New England Craft Beer Summit (Updated)

2016-03-23_10-38-25Brewers, malsters and other professionals connected to the brewing industry will be gathering in Portland next week for the New England Craft Brewing Summit. The summit is billed as New England’s conference on the business of craft brewing.

There’s a full day of panel discussions and presentations. A full schedule of speakers is available on

Update: The Press Herald has published an article about the the keynote speaker for the summit.

25 Years at Becky’s Diner

The Forecaster has published an article about Becky’s Diner. Becky’s recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.

“We had a line the first day; I ended up doing dishes because we had not staffed up,” she said. “I think the whole waterfront was rooting for me. I hope they came back for the food.”

With her home riding on her business, Rand said failure was not an option.

Maine & Loire/Drifter’s Wife

Sweet has posted an article about Peter and Orenda Hale and their two Washington Ave businesses Drifter’s Wife and Maine & Loire.

While opening a natural wine shop like Maine & Loire in a place like Brooklyn might be the long-awaited puzzle piece in certain burgeoning, hip neighborhoods of the borough, that wasn’t necessarily the case for Portland. It was a risk, and one that not only paid off, but led to their newest venture: Drifters Wife, a wine bar tucked inside of the shop.

Under Construction: Izakaya Minato

minato_logoElaine Alden and Thomas Takashi Cooke are working on opening an Japanese restaurant called Izakaya Minato (instagram). Minato is the Japanese word for “port”.

The couple moved to Portland late last year from San Francisco where Cooke had been the head chef at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant. They recently completed a 3-month stay in Japan where he staged at an Izakaya restaurant in Tokyo called Tsumamina.

They’re currently searching for a space for their restaurant in Portland to launch “a fun, casual place to go gather with friends for drinks and food” for dinner, and, depending on location, may serve lunch as well.

In the meantime we have the chance to try some of the Izakaya Minato menu at a pop-up dinner they’re holding next week at Bao Bao (March 29, 5:30 – 10pm).

$500 Fee for Brewery Tasting Rooms

The City Council voted last night to approve a $500 fee for breweries operating a tasting room in Portland, according to a report in today’s Press Herald.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved the new license requirement as a way to level the regulatory playing field with traditional bars, which pay thousands of dollars in licensing fees to serve a variety of alcohol and food.

Under Construction: Cellardoor in Portland

Cellardoor Winery is up before the City Council on Monday for the consideration of their liquor license application. Cellardoor is building a 5,000 sq ft facility in Portland on Thompson’s Point. The floor plan provided with the applications indicates half the space is dedicated to a dining room.

You can see some photos of the construction site on the Cellardoor instagram account.

This Week’s Events: Proscuitto Dinner, PJ Pop-up, Dinner Bottle Release, Maple Sunday, Sip of Europe

ThursdayGiovanni Bianchi from the Pio Tosini will be Piccolo for a 5-course dinner featuring his 500-day Proscuitto, Five Fifty-Five is hosting a Petite Jacqueline pop-up dinner, and wine tastings are taking place at Ohno Cafe and the Public Market House.

Friday — Rosemont is holding an Italian wine tasting at their store on Brighton Ave.

Saturday — lines will start forming early for the Maine Beer Company’s bottle release of Dinner, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — 96 sugar shacks across the state are participating in the annual celebration of Maine Maple Sunday, and it’s the opening day for Sip of Europe (website, facebook, instagram, twitter).

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.

Under Construction: One Eye Open Brewing

A new brewery called One Eye Open Brewing is under construction in East Bayside on Fox Street. The company LLC was registered in late 2015 and there’s the beginning of a website under development at

One Eye Open is under development in the even space formerly known as The Foxhole.


Visit the Under Construction page for a full list of food businesses under development.

Paul’s Food Center Closing

The Bangor Daily News and Press Herald report that Paul’s Food Center will be closing in April.

“While we regret that for a variety of business and personal reasons the family can no longer continue to operate the store we are proud and thankful to have been an important part of Congress Street for 40 years,” read a statement released by the Trusiani family Friday afternoon. “We welcome the new owners and wish them the best with their endeavors. Our family continues to grieve and asks that people respect our privacy.”

Reviews: Paciarino, Ameera, Terlingua

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a guest review of Paciarino by Portland Pirates goalie Mike McKenna,

Paciarino won’t dazzle you with new or flamboyant dishes, but that’s okay. The menu is filled with satisfying classics. It’s hard to go wrong with pasta, especially if you order a dish that relies on the exceptional Bolognese sauce as one of its building blocks. If Italian wine is your thing, the list is concise but well rounded. Be sure to leave room for dessert.

Drink Up and Get Happy has posted a review of happy hour at Terlingua,

Show up early and you’ll be able to enjoy their happy hour as well! Happy hour runs from 5-7pm and features $5 margaritas. There is often a beer special that changes daily. It’s a small place but they can accommodate medium size parties with no problems. It’s a cozy place with great service.

and the Press Herald has reviewed Ameera Bread.

The kufta had a very nice bit of heat to it, not overwhelming, just sort of warm and welcoming. The lamb was tender and had a smoky, charred flavor from the grill.

The Ameera review also mentions that the owner plans to open a 2nd location in the Public Market House.