Walter’s Closing

Walter’s is closing as of May 31st. A mainstay of the Portland restaurant scene, it will be missed by the many customers who have dined there over decades it’s been in business.

Owners Cheryl and Jeff Bueerhaus have shared that they’ve considered this decision for quite some time now and feel that after 30 years in the business the time is right to close and move on with the next phase of their life.

Currently we have no plans for the future but to enjoy our grandchildren. We have thoroughly enjoyed serving the public for the many years we have been in business. To be able to spend time with people celebrating special occasions, date nights, business meetings has been joyful. As all things come to pass so has Walter’s time in the Portland food arena.

Walter’s was originally opened by Walter Loeman and was located at 15 Exchange Street.

The Bueerhaus’s built out the current space on Union Street and moved the restaurant in 2009. It was the one of the first restaurants that departed from the then standard exposed brick and beams aesthetic to something more contemporary.

This Week’s Events: Opera Cocktails, Tequila/Mezcal, Pasta with Paolo

Tuesday – Solo Italiano chef Paola Laboa will be teaching a pasta-making class.

Wednesday – there will be a Greek wine tasting at RSVP, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Friday – Grace is hosting an Opera Cocktail Party, there will be a tequila and mezcal event on Thompson’s Point, and Novare Res will be featuring beer from Stillwater Brewing.

Saturday – 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.

New Summer Restaurants

The Sunday Telegram has published a rundown of restaurants opening this summer in Southern Maine.

Next weekend marks the unofficial start of the Maine tourist season, and every year new restaurants scramble to open in time for the influx of visitors, hoping to get a big, juicy slice of that economic pie. Open by Memorial Day, the feeling goes among restaurateurs, and hopefully the opening kinks can be worked out by the time the crowds really start to swell in July.

Reviews: David’s, David’s 388, Hot Suppa

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the David’s 388 and David’s, and

Equally, it’s hard not to like David’s 388, which opened in 2005. With a terse menu that stitches together New American, French and Italian bistro influences, he and his team put out rock-solid dishes like soft, pan-fried seafood and sweet potato cakes; boozy pecan tartlettes; and a classic bacon burger he slides into tranches of transverse-cut focaccia.

the West End News has reviewed the Hot Suppa.

For starters Alex had the Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade, perfectly fried and paired well with savory dipping sauce. For me it was an outstanding Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo. Neither of us could get enough of it (especially him, since it was intended for me). I’d wished it was a bowl and served as a main entrée. It was that good!

Location, Location, Location: May 2019

Welcome to the May edition of the PFM restaurant and food retail commercial real estate listings. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business. Finding just the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new restaurant, bar, bakery, coffee shop or food retail business and hopefully this new resource will make it a little bit easier.

The listings are organized by neighborhood, and contains square footage, cost, location, background info on prior usage, whether for lease or sale, and a link to the full listing online where you can see all the details. Storefronts that were formerly a restaurant are indicated in the description and those likely already have a hood and grease traps.

Listings that are new or have been updated since last month are flagged with an red asterisks (*).

Feel free to post a comment below or email me at if you know of a good one that may have been overlooked.

West End

785 Congress St – a newly renovated 1,378 sq ft space near Bramhall Square is available for lease at $17.42 per sq ft (MG). It’s located on the same side of the street as Roma Cafe and Flood’s, the restaurant Greg Mitchell is developing at The Francis.

207 Danforth St – the former Eco-Laundry space on Danforth Street next to Little Giant has been unoccupied for a couple years and is for lease directly by the business owner.

101 York St – a 5,249 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

477 Congress St – The first floor mall in the Time & Temperature Building was the longtime home of Whip’s Right Time Cafe. The Cafe closed a few years a go and now this 1,750 sq ft space is available for $13/sq ft (MG).

480 Congress St – 3,513 – 7,213 sq ft space available for $26/sq ft (NNN). This space had been slated be a BBQ restaurant, and that project is not moving forward in this space.

561 Congress St – the 6,668 square foot former Salt Institute space on Congress Street is available for $11/sq ft (MG).

600 Congress St – The Schwartz Building has been under construction for a while now, and during that time a number of restaurateurs have checked out the space. As one of the best positioned, most visible corners in the city it seems destined to become a restaurant some day. The property owner is Geoffrey Rice.

645 Congress St – 1,200 sq ft former market space is available for $2,500/month (MG).

660 Congress St – a potential food retail space is available in the renovated Queen Anne style building in Longfellow Square. The 1,575 sq ft space is for lease at $24/sq ft (MG).

*85 Free St – This 3,500 sq ft space was the original location of the Winter Farmers’ Market. It has 14-foot ceilings and is available for $13/sq ft (MG).


148 Anderson St – this 9,600 sq ft building in East Bayside is located next to Tandem Coffee. The building is zoned for light industrial so a brewery or distillery with a tasting room would fit the zoning parameters but a restaurant would not. The building is available for $12/sq ft (NNN). The building has a drive-in door and comes with 15-20 parking spaces.

166 Cumberland Ave – this had been slated to become the reincarnation of Uncle Billy’s Barbecue. The project never came to fruition and the storefront, formerly Bayside Variety, remains in the hands of the business partner of Uncle Billy and my understanding is he’s looking for a new partner to work with on a restaurant in the space.

82 Hanover St – there are a number of spaces available in the redevelopment of this former Department of Public Works building ranging in size from 1,488 to 7,050 sq ft at $16 – 20/sq ft (NNN). A country western bar called The Whiskey Barrel is already slated to be one of the businesses in this building.

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

5 Commercial St – the former Rosemont Market at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 1,914 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

100 Commercial St – the 3,688 sq ft space formerly occupied by K Colette is available for lease at $37.50/sq ft (MG). It is located in the Thomas Block building which is also home to Solo Italiano.

98 Cross St – The former Rhum space (Suite A) is 3,800 sq ft is available to lease at $22.50 (MG).

*107 Exchange St – this 1,260 sq ft space is located on the corner of Exchange and Federal Street. It’s available for $40/sq ft (MG).

55 Market St – this 3,700 sq ft space on Market Street was formerly occupied by the Big Easy. It’s available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

75 Market/157 Middle St – Portland Trading Company has moved around the corner to 83 Market Street which will free up their 2,025 sq ft space for $27.95/sq ft (MG). It’s one of 4 spaces available at this address. In total there’s 1,071 – 6,356 sq ft for lease.

1 Monument Square – The owners of 1 Monument Square have a large first floor space available for a restaurant. 4,385 sq ft for lease at $25/sq ft (NNN). You can see some artist sketches of what a restaurant in this spot could look like in the full listing.

47-51 Wharf St – 2 different spaces are available across Wharf Street from the Independent Ice Company, 1,170 and 2,070 sq ft, both for lease at $25-30/sq ft (MG).

1 Union Wharf – a 5,608 sq ft space on the first floor of a new building slated for Commercial Street is available for $20.95/sq ft (NNN).

India Street

100 Fore St – 2 spaces available in a new building planned for Fore Street. 1,245 and 2,056 sq ft respectively, $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

170 Fore St – 5,000 sq ft of retail space at $24/sq ft (NNN).

1 Hancock St – the first floor of the new WEX building will have a 5,138 sq ft first floor space available for lease at $27/sq ft (NNN).

16-18 Thames St – Two spaces, both 1,800 sq ft, are available for lease just off India Street for $24/sq ft (NNN).

Forest Ave

301 Forest Ave – 4,000 sq ft space adjacent to the Bier Cellar for $15/sq ft (NNN).

785 Forest Ave – a 630 sq ft building is for sale for $364,100.

865 Forest Ave – this 11,362 sq ft building has had a long history as a restaurant and music venue (who remember’s Raoul’s). The building and .84 acres of land are for sale for $1,210,000.

1207 Forest Ave – the 4,296 sq ft former Wok Inn in Morrill’s Corner is for lease at $16.29/sq ft (NNN). The 1.32 acre property has its own parking.


170 Brighton Ave – the former 7-11 building at the corner of Brighton and Saint John Street is for sale for $550,000. The building is 2,173 sq ft in size and comes with onsite parking spaces.

439 Congress St – the former home of sandwich shop and a cafe, this 1,000 sq ft space is available for $20/sq ft (MG).

1335 Congress St – the longtime home of Espo’s Trattoria is for sale at $899,000. The 5,500 sq ft building comes with 10 parking spaces.

132 Marginal Way – this 2,300 sq ft space is located across the street from Trader Joe’s. It’s available for $23/sq ft (NNN).

25 Portland St – this 550 sq ft retail space is located down the street from Isa and Back Bay Grill. It’s available for $1,100 (MG).

34 Portland St – this 3,724 3-story building is adjacent to the Maine Oyster Company. It’s available for $3,500 (NNN). According to the listing, “Currently a glass blowing operation, the building currently has hood systems in place on various levels.”

100 Portland St – this 500 sq ft retail space is adjacent to Bayside American Cafe. It’s available for $1,200 per month (MG).

280 Saint John St – 2 spaces are available in the Union Station Plaza. The 4,400 and 2,600 sq ft spaces are available for $8/sq ft (NNN) and $12/sq ft (NNN) respectively.

377 Saint John St – the former Aunt Dee’s Cafe is for sale. The asking price is $400,000.

46 Veranda St – the 600 sq ft building that currently is home to the East Deering location of Union Bagel is for sale for $500,000.


MG – Modified Gross which indicates that the operating expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.) for the property are included in the lease rate. The tenant would pay its own utilities, which sometimes includes heat.

NNN – Triple Net which indicates that operating expenses are not included in the lease rate, and the tenant will pay them separately. They are often referred to as CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charges and taxes, which are expressed as $/sf. The tenant is also responsible for utilities.

Gross – Gross indicates all expenses including utilities are included in the lease rate. The tenant would be responsible for phone and internet access, as well as interior janitorial.

Rob Tod has published an article about Rob Tod.

For 23 years, Tod says his “go-to” beer has been his Portland, Maine-based brewery’s iconic Belgian ale, Allagash White. Even when asked about what he likes to drink other than beers from his own brewery, the answer doesn’t change.

“I honestly love Allagash White more and more as time goes by,” Tod said.

Mark’s Hot Dogs: 36 Years

The Forecaster has published an article on Mark Gatti, the longtime owner of Mark’s Hot Dogs, which as of next month will have  been in business for 36 years.

His menu has been constant, including the red hot dogs Maine is known for, topped with chili, cheese or sauerkraut. As business picks up in the spring, he adds Italian sausage and kielbasa.

Gatti tried serving lobster rolls; that lasted one season. Thai spring rolls did a little better – he sold them for about three years.

Parking Spot Dining

The Bangor Daily News, Fox 23 and the Press Herald have all published reports on a pilot program that will let restaurants rent an adjacent on street parking space for outdoor dining.

Portland has approved a pilot program for “parklets,” which are raised dining areas in on-street parking spots adjacent to restaurants that don’t have enough sidewalk space or a nearby public park for outdoor dining. Just five parklets will be allowed in the city during the first year of the program.

This Week’s Events: Quiero Cafe, iPhone Workshop, Latte Art Throwdown, Wine Seminar, Full Plates Chef Dinner

MondayQuiero Cafe (websitefacebookinstagram) is opening in Bramhall Square (10 am – 9 pm), and the PSO’s Symphony & Spirits is taking place.

Wednesday – Knack Factory is hosting an iPhone photography workshop led by photographer Kari Herer, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday – local baristas are gathering at Tandem Bakery for a latte art competition.

FridayOxbow is releasing three new beers (Principesca, Abrico, Cherry Jackpot), there will be a wine tasting at the Munjoy Hill Rosemont, and the Bier Cellar is holding a Sasanoa Brewing tasting.

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

Sunday – Bow Street is holding their monthly wine seminar, and chefs Sam Hayward, Melissa Kelly, Rob Evans, Mark Gaier, Clark Frasier, Ilma Lopez, and baker Alison Pray will be preparing a fundraising dinner for Full Plates, Full Potential at Flanigan’s Table.

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.