Under Construction: Dry Dock

The Press Herald has an updated on the renovation of The Dry Dock. The article reports that the moratorium on non-marine construction has forced downsizing the initial plans.

The new proposal, submitted to the city last week, would only include a small addition to the building at 84 Commercial St. that will allow the restaurant to move the kitchen from a leaky basement. It will also include the rebuilding of the rear decks, but not an expansion.

Location, Location, Location: February 2019

I’m pleased to introduce the new Portland Food Map restaurant and food retail commercial real estate listings. This column will gather in one convenient place current and soon to be available spaces in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers to locate their next business.

I’d like to thank Portland Food Map’s newest sponsor, The Boulos Company, for their help and generous support to make this new feature possible as a public service to the community. The column will include listing of Boulos properties as well as those of other commercial realtors and developers. 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 retail and restaurant spaces 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.

Feel free to post a comment below or email me at anestes@portlandfoodmap.com 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 in The Francis.

953 Congress St – located at the corner of Congress and Saint John Streets, this was the longtime location of Dogfish Cafe. Rossana’s Ice Cream occupies it now and the store front will become available when Rosanna’s goes out of business at the end of February.

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.

64 Pine St – the former Aurora Provisions building sold at Auction in early January to real estate developer Tom Landry. Landry has indicated in a Press Herald interview that he wanted to “ensure that the property’s new owner would replace Aurora, a West End fixture that opened in 1997, with a similar type of business”.

101 York St – a large 15,000 sq ft space (which is sub-dividable to 2,500 sq ft) in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN).

Arts District

482 Congress St – a 1,675 sq ft space near Monument Square is available for $6-16/sq ft (MG).

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.

642 Congress St – 1,208 – 2,569 sq ft in the Lafayette Apartment building is available for lease at $18/sq ft. The building is near Longfellow Square and the State Theater and is home to the Bearded Lady and Sagamore Hill.

654 Congress St – the former Ocho Burrito in the Lafayette Apartment Building has remained vacant since 2016.


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.

191 Marginal Way – 2,206 – 4,406 sq ft of space in this new building at $29.95/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

Canal Plaza – The oval-shaped glass building in Canal plaza is available for lease. 1,350 square feet at $55/sqft (NNN). It’s an interesting structure, and I hope one day to walk around the corner and see a cocktail bar or cafe with outdoor seating in the plaza.

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.

305 Commercial St – a 1,987 sq ft space in the Baxter Place building is available for $25/sq ft (MG). The space is immediately adjacent to the Courtyard Marriott.

229 Congress St – Ramen Suzukiya went out of business in late 2018. the 900 sq ft space is now available for lease at $35/sq ft (MG).

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 that that project is not moving forward in this space.

98 Cross St – the space formerly occupied by Rhum and an additional retail space on the same side of the J.B. Brown-owned building. The former Rhum space (Suite A) is 3,800 sq ft, and the other store front (Suite D) is 2,000 sq ft. They’re available to lease at $22,50 and $19.75 per square foot (MG).

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).

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).

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 is moving 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.

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).


502 Stevens Ave – Ice It Bakery recently shut down the retail side of their business and as a result their store front on Stevens Ave is available. 772 sq ft for lease at $22.50/sq ft (NNN).

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.

1217 Congress St – This former gas station, located adjacent to Tony’s Donut Shop is for sale for $799,000. A number of Portland eateries, like Tandem Bakery and Otto in South Portland, are located in former gas stations.

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.

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

1363 Washington Ave – the former Sala Thai building which was converted to a Taco Bell in 2016 is for sale for $1,250,000, and can be leased for $96,000 per year (NNN).

Forest Ave

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

561 Forest Ave – the Portland branch of Juiced closed late in 2018. 561 Forest Ave is diagonally across the intersection with Ashmont Street from The Great Lost Bear. The 2,760 sq ft space is not yet listed but presumably available.

1053 Forest Ave – the 1,200 sq ft former Papa John’s building on Forest Ave is available at $18/sq ft (NNN).

1207 Forest Ave – the 4,296 sq ft former Wok Inn in Morrill’s Corner is for lease at $16.29/sq ft (NNN).



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.

This Week’s Events: Prohibition Dinner, Queer Soup Night, Bibliophile Supper Club, Polish Dinner

Wednesday – Eaux, Good Fire Brewing and Mr. Tuna are collaborating on a Prohibition-themed dinner.

Thursday – This month’s edition of the Bibliophile Adventurer’s Supper Club will be at Schulte & Herr.

FridaySolo Italiano and Allagash are teaming up to put on a special menu with matched beer pairings.

Saturday – Swallowtail Farm is serving a 4-course Polish dinner, there will be a wine tasting at Browne Trading, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – Cong Tu Bot is hosting a Queer Soup Night.

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.

Vegan Sandwiches, Restaurant Theft

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on rampant theft from restaurants,

At DiMillo’s on the Water in Portland, customers steal steak knives, souffle cups, and nautical decorations from buffets. A chef who owns several Maine restaurants says pictures have been removed from their frames. And someone once stole a large ficus tree – like Volk’s painting, a gift from a parent – at one of his openings.

and on the improved availability of vegan breakfast sandwiches.

A few years ago I couldn’t buy a vegan breakfast sandwich in Portland for love or money, and now at least five places sell them. The sandwiches reflect a wider boom in vegan breakfast taking place across the city. From sandwiches to tofu scrambles to pancakes and doughnuts, it’s become easy to eat vegan in the Forest City for the first meal of the day.

Reviews: Hugo’s, Duckfat Frites Shack

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Hugo’s, and

Think of it as the Anne Brontë of the trio: It keeps the lowest profile, but it is almost certainly the most interesting of the bunch. An eclectic, New American restaurant that plays up both its Asian and Mediterranean influences, Hugo’s offers a menu of small (and slightly larger) plates that demonstrate new chef de cuisine Ben Christie’s mastery at equilibrating acid and umami, heat and sweetness, as well as textural contrasts. His best dishes include smoky, hand-rolled tortellini in a sparklingly clear pork consommé and a remarkable pairing of uni (sea urchin roe), pickled ginger and carrots.

the Press Herald has reviewed the Duckfat Frites Shack.

What the soup lacked in quantity, though, it made up for in quality. It was more like a duck chili – smoky, warm and satisfying. Bits of carrots and other veggies were mixed in with the duck and the fried duck skins. The tiny bits of fried duck skin were a little soggy by the time I ate them – my fault – but I picked a few out to taste separately and they were delicious, definitely adding to the layers of flavor.

Kuno Launches Sunday

Kuno (instagram) a new food truck serving Malaysian Peranakan cuisine is set to launch on Sunday at Battery Steele Brewing.

Wikipedia describes Peranakan cuisine as “the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community,” and with some Thai influences.

Owner Nick Yee has acquired the former Thainy Boda food truck which he has converted into Kuno.

Under Construction: Flood’s

Boston.com has an update on Greg Mitchell’s new 50-seat restaurant called Flood’s (instagram) which is currently under construction in the West End in the space formerly occupied by Bolster Snow.

Flood’s will focus on dinner when it first opens, before serving breakfast and lunch at a later date. While Mitchell, who is still in the process of hiring a chef and bar manager, hasn’t nailed down specific dishes quite yet (other than “a delicious burger”), he said that the menu will have a strong focus on classic, hearty meat and fish dishes, including a Sunday roast that he hopes will “remind people of eating at their grandma’s house at 3 or 4 in the afternoon.” A drink list of cocktails, beer, and wine will offer hotel guests and locals a solid place to wind down in the evening.

Under Construction: Magnus on Water

The Journal Tribune has published an update on Magnus on Water, the new cocktail bar under construction in Biddeford.

Through that exterior space thee partners’ vision of being part of improving their community will extend through and beyond their restaurant. On Tuesday, City Council approved entering a lease-purchase agreement for Tale Wind to purchase 2 Water St., known as Liberty Park from the city. The LLC will pay $100,000 over 20 years for the lot and will pay to redesign and maintain new landscaping for the park. That area will be connected to new green space the city will create and maintain when the intersection and Main, Water and Hill streets is reconfigured by the Maine Department of Transportation later this year.