Back in July, a turbulent few years for a South Portland chain restaurant finally came to an end. Romano's Macaroni Grill near the Maine Mall permanently shut their doors and left behind an incredibly interesting piece of property.

Google Maps
Google Maps

It was an abrupt end to what has been an up-and-down existence for the chain over the past couple of years. Back in late 2021, Romano's Macaroni Grill appeared doomed after it suddenly closed around Thanksgiving without notice. The restaurant promised that closure was planned and based on renovations, but social media whispers said differently.

The restaurant did eventually reopen, and received several five-star reviews on Google as recently in the weeks preceding its closure. But positive online reviews weren't enough to keep the business open, and the decision was made to close permanently in July.

Macaroni Grill follows a lengthy line of chain restaurants that have closed down around the Maine Mall. Bugaboo Creek, Weathervane, Tilted Kilt, and Ruby Tuesday have all tried and failed to catch on. Ironically, several of the national chains that didn't make it have been replaced by local restaurants.

Google Maps
Google Maps

But that isn't going to stop national chains from trying their hand around the Maine Mall. The mall remains a popular destination, and many of the restaurants that operate in the area are doing great business. That includes chains like Longhorn and Olive Garden.

So would another chain restaurant move into the old Macaroni Grill space? It's possible. Here are 15 possible replacements, featuring several chains Maine doesn't currently have.

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