Eight years ago, Alyson Cummings left her New York law practice for a career in cooking, becoming chef and co-owner of Brunswick's Star Fish Grill. Now, a move by its landlord might leave the restaurant high and dry.

Modern Pest Services, which owns the Grill's building, exercised a lease option to take over the restaurant's space at 100 Pleasant St. and convert it into executive offices. The restaurant, a perennial student favorite during Parents Weekend, will be forced to vacate the space by the end of this year.

"We knew of the option in the lease, but we hadn't heard anything this year," Cummings, who co-owns the restaurant with partners Tom Cary and Kate Brinsmade. "In earlier conversations this year, they said they wouldn't need it."

Cummings acknowledged that the termination of Star Fish Grill's lease had been a possibility since Modern Pest Services took over the building four years ago. The company made Star Fish Grill aware that it intended to expand, but the news still came as a surprise.

That news came in an offhand conversation with Modern Pest Service's owner, when Cummings asked about the lease. The owner responded that they planned to take over the space.

"We were a little taken aback," Cummings said.

Star Fish Grill will serve until Thanksgiving. Cummings wants to stay in business but hesitates to move somewhere that isn't a good fit.

"There will be some interruption in business," Cummings said. "But if we're supposed to open, we'll open. I'm looking at it philosophically."

Since food at Star Fish Grill borders the exotic and is a bit pricier than an average meal, Cummings recognizes that dinner at her restaurant is for a special occasion. Still, she cites Bowdoin as a major reason for the restaurant's success.

"I don't think we would be here without the College," Cummings said. "We've been buoyed by the music events, the faculty, and the administration. And thank God for Parents Weekend."

Cummings's love for cooking drove her to experiment with different flavors and food combinations. She takes pride in introducing new tastes to the Brunswick community and developing the diversity of local menus.

"We were the pioneers of our generation in interesting food, and people's tastes have changed dramatically," she said.

Even Cummings's first employees, who she refers to as "my kids," benefited from her experiments with food.

"They've gone on to do other things, but they come back and tell me things like, 'I was in San Diego, and they didn't even take the temperature of the fish and it was overcooked!'" Cummings said. "I like that I had a good influence on their palates."

Cummings hopes to remain in Brunswick, but is disheartened by the prevalence of chain restaurants in the area. She also remains concerned about the larger economic problems facing the town, including the impending closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station and the ups and downs in the Maine economy.

Still, Star Fish Grill and an interest in food have always provided a bright spot for Cummings. During her days as a lawyer, "it was always relaxing to get together with friends, have wine and chop and dice."

To celebrate its time on Pleasant Street, Star Fish Grill is holding Oysterfest this month and an open house on November 21. After that, members of the Brunswick community will have to ascribe to Cummings's philosophical view of the future.