Archive for the ‘Under Construction’ Category

Under Construction: 185 Cottage Road

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

White Cap Coffee (website, facebook, instagram) had planned to locate a cold brew tasting room on Washington Ave in the former Sahara Club building. Now 3 months later, they’ve evolved their business, and after a merger with Rwanda Bean Co. and in collaboration with Cape Whoopies they are leasing 185 Cottage Road in South Portland.

The space will be used for to “manufacture whoopie pies and support coffee cold brew manufacturing, roasting coffee and retailing both products”. It will be a place where customers will be able to “see the manufacturing operations and then enjoy the products there in a retail setting”.

White Cap/Rwanda/Cape Whoopies hope to take over the space in February with plans to open in late Spring.

Under Construction: The Proper Cup

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

A new coffee shop called The Proper Cup (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 500 Forest Ave in the space formerly occupied by Express Nail Supply. Proper Cup is located on Forest in between Rose Foods and Little Woodfords on the corner of Noyes Street.

Owners Rachel Kreie and Zachary Figoli are planning to open their “Quirky, professional and industrial themed cafe that sells high quality espresso drinks, drip coffee and tasty pastries from local vendors” in late January or early February.

Kreie and Figoli have both worked as baristas. They have a combined passion for creating a community oriented coffee shop for the people living and working the neighborhood.

Under Construction: Maine Beer Co.

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Maine Beer Company has leased a 30,000 sq ft space at 15 Sanders Way in Westbrook for a “storage and distribution site” to enable MBC to expand production capacity, reports Mainebiz.

Under Construction: Definitive Brewing Co.

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

A new brewery called the Definitive Brewing Co. (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is now under construction at 35 Industrial Way across the street from Allagash. Definitive Brewing plans to open this Spring.

Under Construction: Poké Pop

Monday, January 1st, 2018

A new poké shop called Poké Pop is under construction at 658 Congress Street in Longfellow Square. The 29-seat restaurant plans to serve poké, bubble tea and bingsu, a dessert made with shaved ice sweetened with condensed milk and fruit syrup.

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.

Under Construction: Bow Street

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

The Press Herald has published a report on Bow Street’s plans to relocate out of the Public Market House and to their new building on Forest Ave.

A new Bow Street sign hangs outside the Forest Avenue location and the shelves have been stocked with some products. An employee at the Public Market House said Tuesday the Forest Avenue location should open in early January. The store will be able to sell beer and wine while it waits for a Jan. 17 hearing with the city and the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to relocate its liquor license.

Northern Hospitality Due Out in June

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Portland Hunt & Alpine co-owners, Andrew and Briana Volk have been working on a new book entitled, Northern Hospitality.

The book is due out early this summer and is now available for pre-order.

Under Construction: Legends Rest

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

The American Journal has published an update on Legends Rest,

The other owners are Mike Barton and Minervino’s sister and Westbrook resident, Meg Minervino. The 1,000-square-foot space will seat 35 people and will have a late 80s to early 90s feel that will “capture the old school sports bar vibe,” Tom Minverino said.

For more information see the original announcement on PFM.

Under Construction: Nuts & Bolts Brewing

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

A new brewery called Nuts & Bolts Brewing (website, facebook, twitter, instagram) has leased 1,050 sq ft of space in the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford.

Patrick Doherty and Deedra Zeeh hope to have the brewery open in early 2018.

Under Construction: Maine Food for Thought

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

A new food touring company called Maine Food for Thought (website, twitter) is under development.

Founders Sarah and Bryce Hach are looking to provide a look behind the scenes of the Portland’s culinary scene to the talk about the origins of the food we eat and the people who make it all happen.

Discover how Portland’s stellar food scene tells the story of Maine’s vibrant and unique food system. Beyond a tasting, beyond an exploration of how food gets to your plate, we’ll look at how being a nationally celebrated food destination affects the people, ecology and economy of America’s eastern-most state.

Visit the Food For Thought website to sign-up for their mailing list and keep updated on their launch.

Food Truck Updates

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Even during these colder months, local entrepreneurs are making progress to turn their mobile food plans into food truck realities:

Under Construction: Stars and Stripes

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

The Forecaster has published an update on Stars and Stripes Brewing Co. (website, facebook, instagram).

Nadeau has worked since last November with SCORE, a network of business mentors with a chapter in Portland, to develop the brewery. Once he’s found a location, Nadeau will use his construction background to build the business.

“We’re really going to focus on making great beer,” Nadeau said, while donating a percentage of proceeds to veterans who could use the help, such as those with disabilities.

Maine State Pier Proposal

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

The City Economic Development Committee will discuss a draft proposal on Tuesday to reinvent the Maine State Pier building (page 15) to include first floor retail stalls for fresh seafood, seafood takeout, seafood specialty foods as well as a bakery, butcher, deli/cheesemonger, grocer, wine merchant, brewery tasting room, coffee roaster and restaurant, with office and event space on the second floor.

For more information, see the article in today’s Press Herald.

Under Construction: Tuscan Table

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Former Cinque Terre/Vignola chef Lee Skawinski will be headlining a new Italian restaurant call Tuscan Table (facebook, instagram) in South Portland.

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. The owners hope to open in mid-December.