Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Launchpad: Holy Donut, Bixby, Litl’ Squirts

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The Holy Donut, Litl’ Squirts and Bixby  Bars are in  contention to win $30,000 from Gorham Savings Bank as part of their Launchpad competition. The top five winners of the popular vote will get the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges.

Visit the Launchpad website to read their business plans and vote on your favorite.

If they win The Holy Donut plans to open a new store outside of Maine.

Food & Wine: People’s Best New Chef

Monday, March 24th, 2014

pbnc2014Three Maine chefs are contenders in this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chef Competition:

  • Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Hugo’s/Eventide
  • Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Brunswick

You can see the full list on candidates and vote for the hometown favorites online.

More on Sangillo’s

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Here are a couple more Sangillo’s items:

Little Big’s Cronuts (Updated)

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about Little Bigs and their Sunday sales of cronuts.

Updated: The Press Herald has also published an article on this topic.

2014 Best of Portland Nominations

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2014 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix readership poll is a 2 step process:

  • Step 1 which just started, nominate candidates you think are an especially good fit in any or all of the categories
  • Step 2, next 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 (Bagels, Bars, Barbecue, Beer Selection, Brewpubs, Brunch, etc) to make nominations in there’s even one for food blogs. A list of the 2013 winners is available online as a reference.

If the 2014 polls follows the same schedule as past years then the final results will be made public in April at a live event at the Port City Music Hall.

Food Truck Rules

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on last night’s City Council subcommittee review of proposed changes to rules regulation food trucks.

The Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday supported policy initiatives that would amend the request for proposals process used for the city’s parks to allow food trucks to cluster and use the space and fix a requirement that proscribes what types of food can be served; amend the ordinance related to Compass Park that bars food service in that area; and recommend the city dedicate four spaces on Congress Street adjacent to Lincoln Park for trucks.

The changes no go before the full City Council for final approval.

Sangillo’s Decision Delayed

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

After several hours of presentations from the bar, the police and the public last night, the City Council decided to delay a final vote on Sangillo’s liquor license until the April 7th meeting.

For more information on last night’s meeting see articles in today’s Bangor Daily News, Press Herald and Portland Daily Sun.

For additional perspective on the Sangillo’s issue read this piece by Samuel’s Bar & Grill owner Sam Minervino published by Eater Maine.

Portland Coffee Guide & A Tandem Interview

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Sprudge has posted a Good Coffee Lover’s Guide to Portland,

Beautiful Portland, Maine! As discussed previously in these pages, this jewel of the Northeast is a city of food, and within these food-filled streets is a growing need for coffee. Here’s a snapshot guide to the coffees of Portland—almost entirely roasted in the city itself—bearing in mind we may have been too dizzy from frites endorphins after lunch at Duckfat to remember every single cafe.

and The Root has published the final in their series of interview with local roaster. This final piece is an interview with Will and Kathleen Pratt from Tandem.

“What drew us to wanting to do this in the first place, was we loved how cafes could create that sense of community,” said Kathleen. “Just knowing your regulars and people who come in the door, so when we were planning and building out the space we said we really want this to feel welcoming and inviting like you are walking into our home. That this is some place you can come and meet people and the Wi-Fi thing was definitely a conscience effort. We didn’t want people to be on their computers. We wanted people to talk and engage.”

PDS on Sangillo’s

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has posted an article by lobsterman Chris Shorr entitled “Why is Sangillo’s in the crosshairs?

So my question is, why would the police single out Sangillo’s? If they are so concerned with putting a stop to late night hooliganism and violence, why wouldn’t they focus on the bars in the Old Port first?

Perhaps it’s because as a police force, they recognize that they will never be able to effectively corral the after hours trouble makers in the Old Port. So they might as well feign diligence by blaming a single blue collar establishment for a struggling neighborhood’s problems.

The Save Sangillo’s campaign has set up a facebook page at

The Campaign to Save Sangillo’s

Friday, March 14th, 2014

The Save Sangillo’s campaign has launched a Facebook page to bolster support for the popular neighborhood bar. Go “like” the page to show your support for the bar.

The campaign got a boost today when Eater Maine published an impassioned pro-Sangillo’s editorial from Snug owner Margaret Lyons,

Every neighborhood needs a Sangillo’s. There is a contingent that requires a certain type of bar. Whether that continent be Donald Sussman or Timmy Noname, they need a place where they can just have a gee dee drink … for cheap. Sangillo’s is not a charity endeavor for hipsters or an outreach project. They don’t need salvation. They need the opportunists to shut the f*** up and for their neighbors to circle the wagons. For what it’s worth, The Snug has Sangillo’s back.

and an essay on the from preeminent Portland bartender John Myers on “why Sangillo’s is a great neighborhood saloon“,

Those kinds of places, with that kind of vibe, I fear, are not long for this world. Sangillo’s is one of them, though.

A great neighborhood saloon like Sangillo’s reminds me of a geologist plunging his tap into the earth and pulling up a striated sample of rocks and dirt and compacted debris. He can read history in a 2-foot plug of dirt. I’ve watched the neighborhood change over the decade or so I’ve been in Portland just by watching the people change in that bar.

USA Today: Small Food Cities

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

USA Today has posted a short list of small cities “culinary zeal”.

Hugo’s Sets a new Standard for Restaurant Coffee

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Sprudge has published an article about the coffee service at Hugo’s and the restaurant’s partnership with Tandem Coffee Roasters.

But what’s most unique here—besides being served an amuse course of a single, roe-topped french fry—is, you guessed it: the coffee. Wish to follow your meal with a seasonally paired coffee brewed for you on Chemex? Or a meticulously made syphon, theatrically prepared at the bar, thermocouple and all? Or simply a cup of delicious French press coffee? In partnership with new-kid-on-the-block Tandem Coffee (our friends and partners here at Sprudge), Hugo’s has transformed the finale of an already transformative dining experience.

Cognac Prohibition at Sangillo’s

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

An article in today’s Press Herald explores why Sangillo’s decided to stop serving Rémy Martin and Hennessy.

Are cognac drinkers troublemakers?

That would seem to be the premise behind a Portland bar’s ban on two kinds of cognac – Hennessy and Rémy Martin – as the owners try to convince city officials that they are making the place safer.

Police Trying to Shutdown Sangillo’s

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Portland police have made a recommendation to the City Council not to renew Sangillo’s liquor license, according to a report from the Press Herald. The Council will consider the recommendation on March 17.

On March 17, the City Council will consider the department’s recommendation to deny a renewed liquor license for Sangillo’s Tavern on Hampshire Street. “We feel public safety is jeopardized by the continuing operation of this establishment,” says the department’s recommendation.

The reporter checked in with owners of Dean’s Sweets and Hugo’s as well as a local resident, none of whom expressed any concern about Sangillo’s.

Carmela Difazio of Hampshire Street has never been inside Sangillo’s but has lived two doors down from the bar her whole life.

“There’s hardly any problems, only every once in a while,” she said. “I don’t see any reason why it should have to close.”

Forbidden Crauxnuts

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The owners of Little Bigs have recently been contacted by the NYC creators of the trademark Cronuts with a cease and desist order, according to a report from Maine a la Carte.

The NYC baker who created the Cronut had the name trademarked, and according to James and Pamela Plunkett’s Little Bigs Facebook page, he’s sent the bakers a cease-and-desist order. It seems the name crauxnut is, legally speaking, just a smidge too similar to the trademarked name.

Wannawaf Needs Help to Waffle On

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Wannawaf has sent out an appeal asking for help to recapitalize their business. According to the message, the effort to launch 2nd store in Portland impacted the financially viability of the enterprise.

So here it is, Wannawaf in Boothbay harbor is going to go out of business because of my mistakes in Portland. I bled our consistently profitable Boothbay store in order keep Portland going a little bit longer, and as a result I do not have the capital to reopen this year.

If you want to help Wannawaf out go to their page on Go Fund Me.

Restaurant Roads to Success

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The USM Free Press has published a report on the challenges of launching and running a successful restaurant.

According to Professor Charles Colgan of public policy and management and the Muskie School of Public Service and long-time former chair of the State of Maine Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission, there’s nothing unusual about that. “Restaurants are the same pretty much everywhere. They are the business most frequently started and most frequently closed.”

Specialty Shopping

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The Golden Dish has put together a “short list of Portland shops and their specialty foods.”

For Sale: Portside Picnic

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The Portside Picnic food truck is for sale on eBay. The asking price is $49,900 or best offer.

More Restaurant Inspectors?

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

The Maine Legislature is exploring how to expand the number of state restaurant inspectors, according to a report from the Press Herald.

According to the state Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, 96 establishments have no inspection recorded in the state database and another 1,414 establishments have gone more than two years without being inspected.

[Representative Peter] Stuckey called that backlog “unacceptable.”