Biddeford’s Restaurant Scene

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on Biddeford’s developing restaurant scene.

But things are starting to change, thanks in no small part to the town’s nascent food and restaurant scene, which is slowly but surely growing. As newcomers move into old mill buildings that are being renovated into apartments and commercial spaces, and into upper-floor apartments on Main Street, the demographics are changing in this town of 22,000 – and the community’s tastes are changing, too.

Urban Sugar Name Change

Urban Sugar has run into a trademark issue and as a result will need to change their name.

The time for change has approached for Urban Sugar Donuts. In our pursuit for growth we encountered a problem. We discovered that our name had previously been trade marked and therefore unavailable for us to continue operating under. We made an attempt to license rights of use however we were unable to come to an agreement.

This isn’t the first time a Maine restaurant has had to change names for legal reasons. Back in 1981 a beer bar called The Grizzly Bear changed their name to The Great Lost Bear after a legal challenge from an existing West coast operation called Grizzly Bear Pizza. More recently Cara Stadler’s restaurant in Brunswick changed its name to Tao Yuan when an existing restaurant named Tao objected to their choice of names.

Regulatory Pressure Hamstrings In-House Curing

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on City regulatory enforcement that has ended in-house meat curing programs at Portland restaurants.

Chefs like curing their own meats because it makes their restaurants stand out and attracts customers who like an artisanal approach to food. But Portland chefs appear to have decided that curing food in-house is not worth the paperwork and potential regulatory tangles. No restaurants have plans on file with the city indicating they are using sodium nitrite, also known as “pink salt,” to cure meats such as ham, bacon, brisket or pork belly in-house, according to Michael Russell, director of Portland’s permitting and inspections department. Some have simply taken the meats off their menus, he said, while others “are finding it more convenient just to buy the product.”

Lack of Love for Valentine’s Day?

Mainebiz reports data that shows Valentine’s Day is the 130th busiest day of the year for Maine restaurants.

If you do go out, the Womply’s breakdown of the stats for Maine restaurants shows there’s a 1% decrease in transaction volume on Valentine’s Day but a 12% lift in revenue compared to an average day. In other words, while fewer people eat out that night, they’re spending more money in the name of love.

Heart of Hospitality

The Press Herald has published a report on Heart of Hospitality, a new training program for restaurant workers “recognize and de-escalate harassment”.

To tackle potential sexual harassment, a few local bar and restaurant owners are launching the Heart of Hospitality program Thursday. It will offer two-hour sessions to train servers, bartenders and other hospitality staff to recognize and de-escalate harassment, whether from an employer, an employee or a customer who’s had too much to drink.

Don’s Lunch Moving

The American Journal reports that Westbrook-based food truck, Don’s Lunch, is in search of a new location.

The van, which doesn’t roll out at the end of each day, has been stationed in various Westbrook locations over the years, including Cavallaro’s Auto Repair, Bernie’s Auto and Friendly Gas. Bernier said he’s looking for a new location on a main road with good visibility.