Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

City Defines Sidewalk Dining Rules

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

The City has detailed rules governing restaurant sidewalk dining spaces.

The permit application that restaurants must submit to apply for outdoor seating spells out clear measurements for how much sidewalk space their tables and chairs can take up, and how many feet of pedestrian space must be maintained.

For restaurants without sidewalks wide enough to support outdoor dining, businesses can request to use a parking space, or appeal to planners for an exemption.

The Farm Stand Wins Source Award

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

The Press Herald announced the winners of the inaugural Source Awards over the weekend. Among the recipients was The Farm Stand in the Newcomer category.

“Indispensable,” one nominator gushed of our winner for the Source Newcomer Award, for a business or entity established in the last 18 months. Another credited The Farm Stand, the brainchild of Penny Jordan and Ben Slayton of Farmers’ Gate butchery in Wales, with allowing them to “effortlessly integrate” the mission of eating local into their lives.

Town Landing Market

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Forecaster has published an article on the new owners of Town Landing Market and their plans for the Falmouth business.

MaryBeth Bachman, a school nurse at Falmouth High School, purchased the iconic Town Landing Market on March 31. Bachman will run the store with her daughter, Sara, and two business partners: her brother Arthur Curran, and accountant Dan McCarthy. She said virtually all the staff will be staying on.

“The idea is to keep the old-time feel, but update some of the products,” Bachman said this week.

Aurora Provisions

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Aurora Provisions(facebook, twitter, instagram) has applied for a liquor license. Owner Marika Green plans to expand their hours to 7 days a week and serve beer and wine to customers who eat at the popular West End cafe.

Maine Restaurant Inspections

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram reports that the state will soon be making state restaurant inspection reports available online.

The move to open access to inspection reports comes as a Yarmouth lawmaker is pushing to expand the team of state health inspectors so they can get to each restaurant more frequently to check kitchens and look for improperly stored foods. A legislative committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday morning on the bill.

Restaurant inspection reports for Portland are already available on the city’s website.

F&W People’s Best New Chef: Sansonetti & Gould

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

2015-2-pbncChefs Damian Sansonetti from Piccolo and Chris Gould from Central Provisions are nominees in the Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef competition.

Visit the Food & Wine website to cast your vote for one of our home town favorites.

Restaurant Inspection & Food Safety

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an update on the city’s restaurant inspection program,

The paper revealed that many restaurants hadn’t been inspected for years and that, when the city hired its first health inspector in 2011, 19 out of the first 23 restaurants inspected failed – a failure rate of 82.6 percent. Since then, the failure rate has steadily improved. It was 45.5 percent in 2012 (40 out of 88 restaurants), 10.5 percent in 2013 (33 of 314) and just 6.4 percent in 2014 (31 of 482).

and an article on the crack-down on Portland chef’s use of cooking methods such as sous vide.

In recent months, hundreds of pounds of meat have been embargoed by health officials and are waiting in cold storage until restaurants can prove the food is safe. Several restaurants have been ordered to stop vacuum-sealing their meats, cooking sous vide dishes and offering some types of house-cured meats until they develop special hazard plans and in some cases get formal variances from the Maine Food Code.

Portland Phoenix Readership Poll

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

phoenix2015The nominees have been announced and voting has begun in the Portland Phoenix 2015 Best of Portland Readership Poll.

Portland Food Map is a nominee this year in two categories:

  • Best Food Blog/Column category (along with Portland Food Coma, From AwayEater Maine and The Daily Dish)
  • Best Blog category (along with Spinster Jane, Fighting the Tides, Hilly Town, and Knack Factory).

Now is the time to review the full list of categories/nominees  and to vote for your favorites.

Food Trucks for Sale (Updated)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Several food trucks are for sale:

On the flip side, at least two new food trucks are set to launch this year: Cannoli Joe’s and an, as yet unnamed, Japanese food truck.

Update: the Press Herald reports that Don’s Lunch has been sold.

Update on Mama’s Crowbar

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Press Herald reports that a deal has been worked out to negate the eviction notice that Mama’s Crowbar had received so the bar can remain open through the end of their lease on October 1, 2015.

Mama’s Crow Bar

Friday, March 13th, 2015

The Press Herald has published an article about Mama’s  Crow Bar and the efforts of their landlord to evict the popular East End bar.

Henley finds herself locked in a legal battle with the building’s owners, who she says are trying to evict her. This week she received an eviction notice saying she failed to pay the March rent. Her attorney, John McVeigh, said the owners failed to come and collect the rent check as they have each month over the past two years.

“Why they’ve decided to try this end run when all they have to do is wait six months and they’ll be done with it anyway, I can’t explain,” McVeigh said.

2015 Phoenix Best of Portland Poll

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2015 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix readership poll is a 2 step process:

  • Step 1 which just started, we nominate entries that are an especially strong candidates in any or all of the categories
  • Step 2, later this month the Phoenix will publish a ballot summarizing the top nominees from each category for us all to vote on

There are a plethora of food and drink categories (Food Truck, Chef, Brunch Location, New Restaurant, Bakery, etc) to make nominations in there’s even one for Best Food Blog/Column.

Maine Craft Distilling Crowdfunding Campaign

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Maine Craft Distilling has kicked off a $20,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. They plan to use the funds to “outfit the kitchen and install the plumbing” for the 2nd floor of the building that houses their Freeport tasting room.

The Mallet Building is a 2 story, brick building located in downtown Freeport, Maine. The first floor of the building has already been outfitted as a tasting room but we will be expanding to the second floor to provide more local craft spirits, more local craft beer and also small plates from our small “Pop-Up” kitchen. We envision a full Maine Craft experience with local foods, music and of course….beverage. We plan on creating a kitchen where various Maine culinary establishments can expand and share their passion of food from food truck vendors, taquerias, to area chefs and beyond.  We want to make a place where Maine chefs can come and combine their passion with ours and those of local area brewers (which we will have on tap), local area vintner products and other local craft distillers. 

Late Night on Wharf Street

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The March issue of The Bollard includes a feature article about Bonfire and on the history and changing nature of The Wild End of Wharf Street.

Bayside American Cafe

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Portland Street breakfast restaurant Bintliff’s American Cafe is changing its  name to Bayside American Cafe. The current owners, Joe and Diane Catoggio, purchased the restaurant from Roger Bintliff in 2003. According to the press release,

The name change will be rolled out in the coming months. While the Catoggios are excited to embrace the cafe’s new identity, the message to their customers is clear: the name is the only thing changing. The menu, style and staff that diners have come to know and love will remain the same.

Weather’s Impact on Restaurants (Updated)

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald reports on the negative impact the large number of snow storms are having on Portland restaurants.

Most of all, downtown restaurant owners dread parking bans. The owners are particularly upset that the city declared a 36-hour parking ban last weekend for a storm that dropped 2.3 inches of snow. The ban began at 10 a.m. Saturday – Valentine’s Day – prompting some restaurant managers to ask city officials to keep the tow trucks away until closing time. The city honored the requests.

The city in practice doesn’t begin towing cars downtown until 1 a.m., but many people don’t know that, so business suffers.

Update: The Forecaster and WMTW have also posted reports on the snow’s impact on restaurant sales.

2015 James Beard Awards

Monday, February 16th, 2015

The semifinalist nominees for the 2015 JBF Awards will be announced this Wednesday by the James Beard Foundation.

What Maine chefs and restaurants do you hope will be on the list?

For reference take a look at the semifinals lists from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Revisiting Uncle Andy’s

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The Press Herald has revisited Uncle Andy’s to learn what lasting impact there has been on the South Portland diner from their appearance last year on the show Restaurant Impossible.

But even though Fogg found plenty to argue with Irvine about, six months later he says that he can’t argue with the results. In the first few months after the Uncle Andy’s episode of “Restaurant Impossible” aired in August, the diner’s business increased roughly four-fold. That initial boost has leveled off, and today Fogg says the family-run place is doing about twice as much business as it did before the show.

Don’s Lunch Closed by State (Updated)

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

The Press Herald reports that the Maine Revenue Service has shut down Don’s Launch in Westbrook.

A sign posted on the door by Maine Revenue Services says the business’ registration certificate “has been revoked for noncompliance” with state sales tax law. The agency would provide no further explanation and a spokesman for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services said laws protecting personal taxpayer information prevent officials from providing specific details about the situation.

The Press Herald has published an update on the Don’s Lunch closure.

Food Writing in Maine

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Today’s Press Herald takes a look at the growing population of food writers and expanding coverage of food in Maine and asks if

All the media coverage around food – blogs, new publications, the renewed commitment from established outlets – is it too much for Maine?