This Week’s Events: Culinary Trends, Dine Out for Equality, Maine Meets Miami, Kevin Alexander, Cantillon Zwanze

MondayCulinary Trends in Québec & Maine, a presentation by author Jean-Martin Fortier followed by a panel discussion.

Tuesday – the 2019 Dine Out for Equality is taking place, see the site for a list of participating restaurants. A multi-chef collaboration dinner to benefit the American Liver Foundation will be held at O’Maine Studios.

Wednesday – there will be a tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayMichael Beltran of Ariete Coconut Grove will be the guest chef at the Maine Meets Miami pop-up series at the Portland Harbor Hotel, there will be a Woodland Farms tap takeover at Bao Bao, and author Kevin Alexander will be at Hunt & Alpine to talk about his new book Burn the Ice.

Saturday – the 2019 edition of the worldwide beer event known as Cantillon Zwanze Day is taking place in Maine at Novare Res, Urban Farm Fermentory is holding this week’s Cocktails by the Trail, and 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.

Review of Flood’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Flood’s.

The same holds true on the food side of the menu, where many beautifully executed old-school bar staples cozy up to contemporary, seasonal and locally sourced dishes. Among the more modern dishes, the heirloom salad with house-made ricotta and skinny eggplants roasted together with Jimmy Nardello peppers are a delight. But the real story at Flood’s is the gooey, retro-styled cheeseburger patty it slides into a seeded potato bun baked mere feet away at Tandem Bakery across the street, as well as a simple dish of lush chocolate pudding and salted chocolate shortbread. Not too sweet and intensely chocolatey, it might well be chocolate pudding’s Platonic ideal.

The Climate Change Diet

The Press Herald has taken a look at how the foods that are grown, raised and caught in Maine will shift under the impact of climate change.

Beef, pork and lamb probably won’t disappear from restaurant menus, but could be locally raised or grown in a laboratory to avoid the big carbon footprint of factory farms (why we’re already being urged to eat less meat). Don’t worry about your Sunday brunch of blueberry pancakes slathered in maple syrup, with a side of hash browns. Blueberries, maple syrup and potatoes – all traditional Maine foods – probably aren’t going anywhere in the next 50 years, according to agricultural experts. (After that, we’ll need a bigger crystal ball.)

Location, Location, Location: September 2019

Welcome to the September 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 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, Quiero and Flood’s. As a West End resident myself I’d love to see a business open in this long vacant space.

953 Congress St – the former Rosanna’s at the corner of Saint John and Congress Streets has remained vacant since the ice cream shop closed at the end of February. My understanding is that Dogfish Bar and Grille owner Ted Arcand is the owner of the building.

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

*11 Brown St – the BRGR Bar location on Brown Street is for lease. The 4,321 turnkey restaurant space is available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

114 Center St –this 10,000 sq ft space off Free Street is for lease at $8-25/sq ft (MG).

480 Congress St – 3,513 – 7,213 sq ft space available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

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

649 Congress St – This is the former Local Sprouts location. Local Sprouts went out of business in late June. The 3,000 sq ft space is available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

360 Cumberland Ave – this 1,000 – 2,000 sq ft is currently the home of the Cumberland Ave Shop. It’s available for lease at $21/sq ft (NNN).


148 Anderson St – this 9,600 sq ft building in East Bayside is located next to Tandem Coffee. The building is divisible with spaces between 2,000 – 9,600 sq ft available for $15-18/sq ft (NNN). The building has a drive-in door and comes with 15-20 parking spaces.

*105 Fox St – A 1,950 sq ft space immediately adjacent to Rising Tide is available for $19-21/sq ft (NNN).

82 Hanover St – there are a number of units 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).

195 Lancaster St – this 3,008 sq ft building is located at the intersection of Lancaster and Elm Streets. It is available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

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).

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 1,53 – 3,759 sq ft space formerly occupied by K Colette is available for lease at $24.75 – 37.50/sq ft (MG). It is located in the Thomas Block building which is also home to Solo Italiano.

266 Commercial St – 6,689 sq ft of new construction retail space will be available for $20-22/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 4 street retail spaces will be available (1,631 – 1,971 sq ft) in a new building under construction at the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets.

400 Commercial St – owner Chris DiMillo plans to renovate the first floor of this building into a restaurant space for lease.

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.

2 Portland Square – Walter’s closed May 31st and is for sale. The business and equipment are listed for $250k or just the furniture, fixtures and equipment are available for $175k. The current lease which runs through March 2020 is $24.98/sq ft (NNN).

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

20 Thames St – a 1,800 sq ft is available for lease just off India Street for $24/sq ft (NNN). Speckled Ax Coffee has leased 1,800 sq ft in this building already.

Forest Ave

449 Forest Ave – a 5,923 sq ft space is available in the Forest Ave Plaza across the street from Rose Foods. It’s listed at $21/sq ft (NNN).

509 Forest Ave – 6,000 sq ft of space near Bow Street Beverage is available for $12.75/sf ft (MG).

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

*1569 Forest Ave – a former gas station on outer Forest Ave is available for $1-99/sq ft (NNN). The building is $1,352 sq ft in size.


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.

*559 Brighton Ave – with Rosemont Market centralizing their kitchen, warehouse and office space in one building the retail space in their original building on Brighton is now available for lease, 3,648 sq ft at $12/sq ft (NNN).

90 Congress St – Lolita went out of business on September 2nd. The fixtures are for sale for $275,000 and the lease for 30-seat 877 sq ft restaurant is $2,700 (NNN).

431 Congress St – the Mainely Wraps on Congress Street closed earlier this year. The 1,800 sq ft space is now available for $18/sq ft (MG).

280 Saint John St – 3 spaces are available in the Union Station Plaza. The 4,400, 2,600 and 4,004 sq ft spaces are available for $8/sq ft (NNN), $12/sq ft (NNN) and $14/sq ft (NNN) respectively.

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.

75 Washington Ave – a 1,925 sq ft space in the Nissen Bakery building which is also home to Cong Tu Bot, Drifters/Maine & Loire, Maine Mead Works, Oxbow Brewing and Hardshore Distilling. $18/sq ft (NNN). A hood can’t be installed at this address but it can serve as a food retail space.

*98 Washington Ave – the Flying Fox juice bar is going out of business on October 19th and the 625 sq ft space is now available for $1,600/month.


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.

6th Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting

The Righteous Russet and Portland Food Map have once again teamed up to organize the Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting which is taking place Monday October 14th at 2 and 6 pm at the Island Creek Oyster Shop on Washington Ave. Tickets are now on sale. SOLD OUT

Have you ever tasted a Hudson Golden Gem, Fameuse, or Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple, the Esopus Spitzenburg? Come to the sixth annual Heirloom Apple Tasting to try a wide range apples handpicked in New England’s orchards and learn more about this iconic fall fruit from the Righteous Russet (aka apple and cider expert Sean Turley).

Sean and the team will be scouring Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to amass dozens and dozens of the best varieties for you to try and compare. From the tiny Chestnut Crab to the appropriately named Twenty Ounce, apples offer a wide assortment of tastes, textures, shapes and sizes that are too often underrepresented at the local supermarket or pick-your-own orchard.

Our host, The Shop, will be running a cash bar during the tasting stocked with several hard ciders from across the region that are well worth drinking.

Complimenting the fresh apple tasting will be tastes of three dishes prepared with heirloom cooking apples by chefs Ilma Lopez from Chaval, Krista Desjarlais from The Purple House and Josh Berry from Union.

Best Peninsula Pizza

The West End News visited 15 different established to write-up this review and rating of pizza on the peninsula.

Newcomer Coals Pizza on Preble Street rose to the top of their list.

These large, amorphous, gorgeous-to-the-eye pies were flavored to perfection, and simply scrumptious. These were the thinnest crusts we’d ever experienced on a pizza…. so much so that they were simply an extension of the pie itself: inseparable from the whole, and delightfully wafer-thin crispy. We didn’t need it, but freshly grated cheese plus oregano were also offered for on top. At $15.00 a piece, these pizzas were a steal. I’ve been talking about Coal’s ever since our meal.

This Week’s Events: Turamali, B Side, Vermouth Tasting, Macaron Workshop, Full Plates Dinner

Monday – the next edition of the Turamali (instagram) pop-up Mexican restaurant is taking place at Evo (2 seatings, 6 courses, $60 per person).

Wednesday – Maine & Loire is holding a Le Sot de L’Ange vermouth tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Saturday – the B Side, an educational event at the Portland House of Music will explore “the myriad unexpected ways honeybees are part of the social and cultural fabric of our everyday life”, Suga Suga is teaching a Macaron Workshop, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – chefs from the Inn By the Sea, Union, Evo Kitchen + Bar, Sur Lie, David’s, and Five Fifty-Five are collaborating on a sold out Full Plates Full Potential dinner at the Inn by the Sea.

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.

Maria’s Moving into Espo’s Space

The Press Herald reports that Tony Napolitano Jr. has purchased the Espo’s Trattoria building at 1335 Congress Street where he plans to move his family’s restaurant, Maria’s Ristorante. The Maria’s building at 337 Cumberland Ave was sold to Youth and Family Outreach.

Tony Napolitano Jr., owner of Maria’s, said Saturday that Espo’s will close sometime in mid-October and he will begin “light renovations” at the Congress Street location during the first part of November. Maria’s, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in January, will reopen there sometime in December, Napolitano said.

“We’ll keep a lot of our same old classics (on the menu) and add some new ones,” he said. “We’re going to do some happy hour stuff with small plates at the bar. We’ve got a lot of great ideas for the place.”

Restaurant Impossible Return

The Press Herald reports that Restaurant Impossible will be revisiting Uncle Andy’s in South Portland. The show did an episode featuring Uncle Andy’s in 2014.

Robert Irvine and the rest of the show’s restaurant makeover crew came to Uncle Andy’s in 2014, infusing the diner with a new look, new color scheme and some new menu items. On Monday, they will be back to do another segment on the place, basically a look at how Uncle Andy’s has been doing since its TV makeover.