Archive for the ‘Openings’ Category

Baxter’s Fine Candies Moving

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Baxter’s Fine Candies is closing their store on Brackett Street and will be moving Westbrook to set-up shop with Black Dinah. They’re holding a moving sale this Friday and Saturday.

2017 Year in Review: Trends, Key Events, Most Popular Restaurants & Articles, Obituaries

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

I’ve scanned through the records for the past year and here’s a summary of events and trends for 2017:

  • New Restaurants – 2017 was truly a banner year for new establishments with the launch of Sichuan Kitchen, Tipo, Izakaya Minato, LB Kitchen, Mami, Cheevitdee, Baharat, Lazarri, Cong Tu Bot, Noble Barbecue, Chaval, Little Giant, Belleville, Blyth & Burrows, Rose Foods, Roma Cafe, Bolster Snow, Tuscan Table, Highroller Lobster and Yobo, Elda and many more. Read it through again, that’s an amazing list. We’re not likely to see such a strong crop of new businesses in 2018, giving everyone the time to catch up and try them all. You can better ensure the ones you love the best stick around by eating at your favorites often.
  • Year of the Bagel – I think The Blueberry Files put it best when she declared we’ve “officially reached peak bagel”. Between the the pre-existing businesses (Mister Bagel, Union Bagel, Scratch Baking, 158) and the ones that launched in the last 12 or so months (Purple House, Rose Foods, Toast Bar, Rover) and Forage which is still to come there’s been an explosion of new bagel options. This isn’t, as far as I can tell, a national trend cresting over Portland but purely a local phenomenon.
  • Brick & Mortar – 2017 saw a continuation of the ‘diesel to dining room’ trend of food trucks/carts opening brick and mortar restaurants. CN Shawarma converted to Baharat, Mami opened on Fore Street, El Corazon in Longfellow Square, High Roller on Exchange Street, Bite Into Maine in Scarborough, and Noble Barbecue in Riverton.
  • Upcoming in 2018 – The pace of new restaurant and bar projects seems to be tapering off. Of the 30+ new ventures being tracked on the PFM Under Construction list, the ones I’m most looking forward to in 2018 are:
    • Black Cow – the “soda fountain reimagined” with a “focus on great burgers, classic sodas and an inventive cocktail program” taking over the Sonny’s space
    • Crown Jewel – Alex Wight from Flanagan’s Table is opening a new place on Great Diamond Island
    • Drifters Wife – the new and expanded Drifters Wife/Maine & Loire under construction at 59 Washington Ave
    • Falafel Underground – the new iteration of the popular Cumberland Ave takeout restaurant
    • Gross Confection Bar – Brant Dadaleares new dessert/cocktail bar
    • Forage Market – the Lewiston bagel bakery/cafe’s new location on Washington Ave
    • Lio – Cara Stadler’s new wine restaurant that is under construction on Spring Street
    • Quill Books & Beverage – a bookstore/bar under construction in Westbrook
    • Sagamore Hill – a new cocktail bar on Congress in the Arts District

Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Noble Barbecue – opening of the new barbecue shop in Riverton
  2. Winter Storm Watch – list of restaurants open during the March 14th Nor’easter
  3. Duckfat x Oxbow – announcement of the Washington Ave collaboration between Oxbow and Duckfat
  4. Rose Foods – first word on Chad Conley’s plans to open a new eatery in Portland
  5. Legends Rest – first word on Legends Rest Taproom in Westbrook
  6. Elda – first word on Bowman Brown’s plans to open Elda in Biddeford
  7. Fall Openings – an overview of openings planned for September and October
  8. Sun Bakery & Restaurant – first word on the new Asian bakery/restaurant taking over the Thurston’s space in Woodford’s Square.
  9. Bite Into Maine – first word on Bite Into Maine’s plan to open a restaurant in Scarborough
  10. Elsmere II – Report on Elsmere BBQ’a plans to open a second location on Stevens Ave


Notable Events of 2017

  • January – Sichuan Kitchen, Tipo, Izakaya Minato, Coffee Me Up and the West End Other Side Deli opened, Joseph Hardy and Adam Moore bought Howie’s Pub, the Press Herald took note of the growing number of food trucks going from ‘diesel to dining rooms‘, both Speckled Ax and Bard won Good Food Awards, K. Hortons announced plans to close after 18 years in business, and Roustabout, Catbird Creamery, Home Catering and Granny’s closed.
  • February – LB Kitchen, Trattoria Fanny, Vieux Port Creole, Jager and A&C Grocery opened, 12 Maine chefs/restaurants were semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards, and the Maine Restaurant Association named Josh Berry their Chef of the Year.
  • March – BRGR Bar, Cafe Crepe and Bahart opened, chefs Taylor and Wiley from Eventide and Rob Tod from Allagash were named final nominees for the James Beard Awards, D.L. Gearing Brewing was sold to Alan Lapoint, USM launched a Food Studies Program, Mainebiz named Bob and Carmen Garver from Bard Coffee as the 2017 Small Business Leaders of the Year, chefs Matt Ginn and Josh Berry prepared dinners at the James Beard House, the 16th Annual PSO Wine Dinner took place, and the Portland Meatball Company closed.
  • April – Battery Steele Brewing, Mami, Cheevitdee and the Mashed food truck opened and Holy Donut opened a new location in Scarborough, Joe’s opened at their new location on Congress Street, the International Pectinid Workshop took place in Portland, Hugo’s and Miyake were named to the Opinionated About Dining Top 100 list, Milo DeGoosh participated in the US Barista Guild competition, Cara Stadler reverted her restaurants to the standard tipping model, and Aurora Provisions was purchased by Melissa Carr.
  • May – The 5 Spot, the Thainy Boda food truck and Eaux food cart, El Corazon and Lazzari opened, Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Eventide won the 2017 Best Chef: Northeast James Beard Award, New England Distilling released their Tidewalker bourbon, and Salty Sally’s closed.
  • June – Hifi Donuts, Yobo, Maiz, Yes Brewing, the Hakka Me and Falafel Mafia food trucks, Blyth & Burrows, Opium and North 43 Bistro opened, 1820 Wines launched, Allagash pledged to buy one million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year by 2021, the 1st Annual Inner Washington Block Party took place, the first issue of Edible Maine was released, Knack Factory produced a video about Rabelais, Fork Food Lab merged with Foodworks in Brooklyn, and Zapoteca closed.
  • July – Cong Tu Bot, Noble Barbecue, Chaval, Little Giant, Rose Foods, Skordo, the Strictly Cold Brew and Paletas food carts, Portland Pulp, Fishermen’s Grill, Miller Seafood, Linda Kate opened, CN Traveler published an article about how Portland ‘keeps getting cooler’, and Vieux Port Creole closed.
  • August – Roma Cafe, Island Creek, Nonesuch River Brewing, and the Kind Stack and Mainely Hotdogs food carts opened, Bon Appetit named The Purple House and Nina June to their list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America, it was the 10th anniversary of Portland Food Map, and Joshua McFadden, chef of Ava Gene’s and Tusk in Portland Oregon served a dinner at the Palace Diner, and Trattoria Fanny closed.
  • September – Bolster Snow, the Nom Bai food truck and Blue Lobster Wine Company opened, Sean Ryan Turley kicked off his apple column for the Press Herald, AdWeek highlighted Might & Main’s influence in turning Portland into ‘the hippest foodie town in New England’, and Dirigo Coffee went out of business.
  • October – Eventide opened their new location in Boston, the Scratch Baking Toast Bar, Belleville, Mainely Wraps, Little Woodfords, Leavitt & Sons and Higher Grounds opened, the 4th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting took place, Rep. Chellie Pingree received a leadership award from the Beard Foundation, Drifters Wife announced plans to expand, and Falafel Underground closed.
  • November – Bite Into Maine, Sun Bakery & Restaurant, Goodfire Brewing, Rover and One Six Green opened, Eater’s Bill Addison included Eventide on his list of the nation’s 38 ‘essential’ restaurants, Sonny’s announced plans to close and make way for Black Cow, Saint Joseph’s held the 2017 Food System Innovation Challenge, 3 Maine companies were finalists for the 2018 Good Food Awards, and the Winter Farmers’ Market relocated to the Maine Girls Academy.
  • December – Tuscan Table, Highroller Lobster and Elda opened, as did newest Rosemont Market, Moran’s Market reopened, Portland punched in at #27 on Zagat’s list of America’s Most Exciting Food Cities, and Rhum closed.

Top 25 Restaurants

  1. Tipo (-)
  2. Chaval (-)
  3. Baharat (-)
  4. Little Giant (-)
  5. Izakaya Minato (-)
  6. Isa (4)
  7. Sichuan Kitchen (-)
  8. Cong Tu Bot (-)
  9. Scales (3)
  10. Woodford F&B (2)
  11. The Treehouse (16)
  12. Trattoria Fanny (-)
  13. Roma Cafe (-)
  14. Petite Jacqueline (10)
  15. Piccolo (11)
  16. BRGR Bar (-)
  17. East Ender (9)
  18. Noble Barbecue (-)
  19. Empire (14)
  20. Evo (14)
  21. Yobo (-)
  22. The Honey Paw (18)
  23. Union (7)
  24. Bao Bao Dumpling House (17)
  25. El Corazon (-)

The numbers in parentheses indicate their rank last year. The order of the list is determined by the number of times these restaurants were looked up on PFM during the year.


For some other perspectives on the past year see the Portland Press Herald, Portland Phoenix, Portland Magazine, Map & Menu, The Beer Babe, Peter Peter Portland Eater, Maine Sunday Telegram and The 207 Foodie.

Here are links to the Portland Food Map year in review reports for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Omi’s SoPo Opening Monday

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Omi’s Coffee Shop has announced plans to open at their new location in Willard Square at 372 Cottage Ave on Monday January 1st.

Moran’s Market Re-Opened

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Moran’s Market (facebook) at 1576 Forest Ave re-opened Friday. The neighborhood market has been closed since a fire damaged the building in September 2016.

Big Fin Poke Opens 2nd Location

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

The new Big Fin Poké (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) at 29 Western Ave near the Mall opened yesterday.

Tuscan Table Opens Wednesday

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Tuscan Table (facebook, instagram) has announced plans to open their new restaurant in South Portland on Wednesday. Former Cinque Terre/Vignola chef Lee Skawinski will be headlining a new Italian restaurant.

Tuscan Table will be located at 390 Gorham Road next to Books-A-Million at the Mall. The 165-seat restaurant is part of the same restaurant group as the Royal River Grill House and Tuscan Bistro.

New Rosemont Opening Friday

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Rosemont Market’s new store in Cape Elizabeth is slated to open on Friday. The newest of Rosemonts is located at 537 Shore Road.

Highroller Lobster Now Open

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Highroller Lobster Co. opened their new brick and mortar restaurant today at 104 Exchange Street. They plan to be open Wednesday through Sunday starting December 6th.

Founders Baxter Key and Andy Gerry launched their first food cart in June 2015, and for this project Key and Gerry have partnered with Peter and Noah Bissell from Bissell Brothers Brewing.

As with other mobile food operations that have opened brick and mortar establishments (Mami, Baharat, East Ender, Bite Into Maine, etc) the expanded space and equipment has provided an opportunity to expand from the original food cart menu and add beer, wine and spirits to the options they offer.

Here’s a look at the menu:

Elda Opening Tuesday

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

A new restaurant named Elda (website, instagram) is scheduled to open this Tuesday in Biddeford. The restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by Custom Deluxe at 140 Main Street. Chef/owner Bowman Brown has also expanded into the adjacent space renovating both and adding a bar.

Brown has moved from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage (instagram). He was recognized as part of the 2011 class of Best New Chefs by Food & Wine. Additionally, Brown has been a Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest category for six years running from 2011 to 2016.

Here’s a look at the menu from Thursday night’s friends and family dinner:

The name Elda is a reference to the Icelandic word meaning ‘to cook’ as well as the name of Brown’s great-grandmother, Elda Whiting Brown.

Sun Bakery & Restaurant Now Open

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Sun Bakery & Restaurant opened on Saturday. The new bakery and restaurant is located at 699 Forest Ave in Woodfords Corner, in the space formerly Thurston’s and KFC.

I haven’t been able to locate a website or social media accounts for Sun, but you can see photos of the food and interior posted by Thao Koch and Nancy Timberlake on Facebook.

Sun is open 7 days a week, 6:30am – 8:30pm (Monday – Saturday) and 6:30am – 1pm (Sunday).

One Six Green Coffee

Friday, November 24th, 2017

A new coffee shop called One Six Green Coffee (website, facebook, instagram) has taken over the space at 22 Monument Square formerly occupied by Monument Grill. One Six Green is serving coffee from Seacoast Coffee.

Goodfire Brewing Opens Today

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Goodfire Brewing is opening their brewery today and will be selling cans of their India Pale Ale, Prime.

The brewery is located at 219 Anderson Street, and will be open noon – 8pm.

This Week’s Events: Frederiksdal Kirsebaervin, P’Alante Maine, Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap, Beaujolais Nouveau, Sweet Tooth Truffles, 1820 Wines, Thanksgiving List

Monday, November 13th, 2017

MondayEighteen Twenty Wines will be interviewed on WMPG’s radio show Food Stories, and Bier Cellar is holding a Frederiksdal Kirsebaervin cherry wine tasting. Bier Cellar describes he tastes as “wines [that] live in the union of red wine and Port”.

Tuesday – Restaurants across the state are collaborating in P’Alante Maine to raise money for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

WednesdayMark Winne will be speaking at USM about Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap: Exploring Myths, Realities, Solutions, Old Port Wine Merchants is holding a Thanksgiving wine tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayMJ’s is celebrating the release of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau and Petite Jacqueline is holding a Beaujolais Nouveau wine dinner. A Fall wine tasting is taking place at Maine & Loire, and there will be a release party for Same Sun at The Thirsty Pig.

FridayOxbow is releasing Native/Wild Barrel Select: 89, Sweet Tooth Truffles is holding a launch party at Fork Food Lab and Eighteen Twenty Wines is opening their tasting room.

SaturdayFalafel Underground is holding a Turkish Pop-up Dinner in Biddeford, Bolster Snow is kicking off their new brunch service this weekend, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thanksgiving – see the our list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving Day dinners.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Bite Into Maine Opens Tuesday

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Bite Into Maine (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) will be opening their new 12-seat brick and mortar kitchen/cafe at 185 Route 1 in Scarborough on Wednesday Tuesday.

The space will serve both and as a prep area to keep their two food trucks amply supplied throughout the summer months and a destination where Bite Into Maine fans can go all year round to get their lobster roll fix to eat in to take out.

Hours are 11 – 4 on Sunday, closed Mondays and 11 – 6 the rest of the week.

Update: Bite Into Maine shifted their opening day to Tuesday.

This Week’s Events: Portland Beer Week, SMCC, Goodfire Brewing, Tuna Debunked

Monday, November 6th, 2017

MondayPortland Beer Week continues through Sunday. Visit the PBW site for the full schedule and see the our Beer Week highlights list.

WednesdayHugo’s is holding a beer dinner with Allagash, the SMCC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs are holding A Light on the Point, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – The Thirsty Pig is hosting the Goodfire Brewing launch party, DiMillo’s is holding benefit dinner for Full Plates Full Potential, and there will be a lectures at GMRI entitled Tuna, Debunked: Myths and Misconceptions.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont in the West End.

Saturday – there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.