Brewer’s Perkins Appliance closes as longtime owner officially retires

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:51 PM EST
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - As of Tuesday evening, a longtime Brewer business owner is officially retired.

Al Elkin ran Perkins Appliance on Center Street for 25 years, but it’s been in his family for generations.

“People ask me now, ‘Are you ready?’ It’s like, ‘Yup. I’ve been waiting three years,” Elkin said.

Tuesday was a long time coming for Elkin, who first walked through these doors on Center Street when he was about 5 years old.

After four generations of family ownership, what became Perkins Appliance is closing for good.

“I think I liked working on radios. In the early days, people brought in radios. We worked on televisions in the day and this was in the day of vacuum tubes. I enjoyed that a lot and still tinker on them today. Go find vintage stuff and work on it,” Elkin said

TV5 asked if he’ll continue to do so in retirement.

“Yeah, don’t tell anybody,” laughed Elkin.

Elkin says he was driven by a desire to help people, and his search for answers is what kept him going through the years.

“When someone comes in and they haven’t been able to get an answer anywhere, they get their answer here, and they get the help that they need, and maybe parts or whatever it is. And you can’t find that anywhere. And so, it’s been a real pleasure,” Elkin said.

“He’s the go-to man. He really has been. So if you got a question, that’s the man to talk to,” said Gary Coleman.

Coleman is picking up the torch and opening his own appliance and repair store a few doors down.

Sure, he’ll be able to call Elkin with any questions…that is, if he can reach him.

“My plan is, I tell people: I don’t have a plan. I have 1,000 hobbies. I have several camps that are at my disposal to use so I am not going to sit down,” said Elkin.

As he rides off into the Maine sunset, he has one last message for the community: “Thank you. Thanks everybody.”