A number of businesses are celebrating major decade anniversaries this year:
Legion Square Market was founded in 1939 by John Smaha.
Botto’s Bakery, Micucci’s Grocery and the Miss Portland Diner all opened fur business in 1949. Joseph Botto founded the bakery and sold it to Everett Mathews in 1982. Micucci’s Grocery was founded by Leo and Iris Micucci and is now run by their son Rick and his wife Anna. The Miss Portland was originally located at 175 Forest Ave.
Harbor Fish Market, The Lobster Shack and Lib’s Dairy Treats all go their start half a century ago.
Dave and Weslie Evans and Chip MacConnell opened a bar originally known as The Grizzly Bear. They changed the name to The Great Lost Bear in 1981 after a legal challenge from an West Coast business called Grizzly Bear Pizza.
1989 was a banner year for long lived openings. Ken Ng opened Panda Garden, Dana Street opened Street & Company, Susan Eklund opened Susan’s Fish & Chips, and Hi Bombay!, Brea Lu Cafe, Marcy’s, the Armory Lounge, and Parker’s all opened.
No doubt there were many openings in 1999 but I don’t have the data immediately at hand to detail them out at this time. I had just moved to Portland in 1998 and do clearly remember the opening of Local 188 in 1999.
The owners, Andrew & Briana Volk and Ian & Kate Malin, of Little Giant have shared plans to transform their Clark Street market into a wine bar and cafe. The new business will be named Giant.
The first phase of development for Giant will launch March 1st with the addition of banquet seating in place of the current store shelves and additional table which will seat 25. Giant will serve a menu of “breakfast, baked goods, soups, salads and fresh sandwiches daily. There will also be wine, beer, and heat n’ eat meals made daily to-go that will be for sale”. The owners also plan to hold weekly pop-ups with changing themes and menus.
The second phase will take place after the Summer with the build out of a full bar and the launch of a evening wine bar focusing on natural and organic wines, and wines from small producers, and serving “tinned fish and snacks”.
Giant will be open 7 days a week from 8am to 9pm.
Here’s a look at the construction of the new Crooked Mile Cafe at the corner of Brighton and Stevens. The original building was damaged by a car crash in October 2017.
The Hilltop Superette, formerly Colucci’s, has changed hands. The new owners hail from Augusta where they opened and run the Twins Country Store. Here’s an excerpt from their announcement on Facebook,
We have nearly 10 years experience owning and running a very similar store in Augusta called Twins Country Store. Our motto at Twins which is our goal for Hilltop is to be a friend to the community and to provide our customers with high quality foods and fantastic customer service. We want you to come into Hilltop and leave smiling.
A new food truck called Kuno (instagram) is under development. Kuno will be serving Peranakan cuisine which Wikipedia explains is “the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community,” and with some Thai influences. Nick Yee is the owner of Kuno, and Peranakan is his family’s food culture.
Yee has acquired the former Thainy Boda food truck and hopes to launch Kuno sometime in February.
Tandem Bakery is undergoing remodel and kitchen expansion which will add a new walk-in to the side of the building and an additional five feet of depth to the kitchen.
The good news is that the construction will result in even more baking capacity and more baked goods for all of us to consume. The not so good news, is that the bakery will be out of commission for three weeks starting February 18th.
Little Tandem (on Anderson Street) will still be open, and will be stocked with baked goods from a rotating selection of local bakeries.
Rosanna’s Ice Cream has announced plans to close at the end of February.
So, the big news is that I’m closing down at the end of February. The main reason is that the toll Rosanna’s has been taking on my physical health is unjustifiable. I’m ready to let go, get healthy, and try something new before diabetes gets more of a toehold (which it’s threatening to do).
There are always some business closings at this time of the year but there does seem to be more this year. Since the start of November we’ve seen the closing of the Commercial Street Rosemont, Bolster Snow, the All Those Who Wander coffee shop, Fuji turned into N to Tail, Grace, Federal Spice, Juiced, Little Bigs, Ice It Bakery, Maine Wraps closed 2 of their 3 locations, CBD will be closing their Washington Ave coffee shop, and now Rosanna’s.
Coffee by Design owners Mary Allen Lindermann and Alan Spear have announced plans to close their coffee shop at 43 Washington Ave as of February 28th.
Opening our doors at 43 Washington Avenue in January 2005 offered us a wonderful opportunity to add to the Coffee By Design family of neighborhood coffeehouses and increase the space we needed for our growing coffee roastery. Over the years we have come to know many of you and feel that you are part of the CBD family. There are many memories we will cherish.
It is bittersweet to share the news that after months of careful review, we have decided against renewing our coffeehouse lease at Washington Avenue.
Coffee by Design sold the building to Duckfat last year. In the closing announcement Lindermann and Spear make the interesting comment that,
Having been tenants, they had ties with the neighborhood and had dreams of what they wanted to do here. We look forward to seeing what they choose to do, which will surely add to this already wonderful neighborhood.
Maine Wraps has closed their shops in Scarborough and South Portland to redirect their focus and energy on the Maine Wraps on Congress Street in Portland.
Little Sichuan, the food stall in the Public Market House from the owners of Sichuan Kitchen (website, facebook, instagram), quietly opened for business on Monday. The menu includes a number of Sichuan Kitchen favorites like the Zhong Dumplings, Daikon Salad, Pork Buns and Tian Shui Noodles.