Location, Location, Location: December 2019

Welcome to the December 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 anestes@portlandfoodmap.com if you know of a good one that may have been overlooked.

West End

762 Congress St – this 1,000 sq ft space on the corner of Neal St is available for $22/sq ft.

785 Congress St – a renovated 1,378 sq ft space near Bramhall Square is available for lease for $2,000 per month (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.

*950 Congress St – The Greyhound bus station on Saint John Street is for sale. Offers are due December 19th.

101 York St – a 15,000 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 $18.75/sq ft (NNN).

*605 Congress St – The 543 – 1,500 sq ft corner retail space in the State Theater Building is available at $25-35/sq ft (MG).


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).

*23 Marginal Way – a 1,300 sq ft space in Century Plaza is available for $28/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).

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. The building is expected to be finished in the fall of 2020.

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

425 Fore St – This is the current address of the Maine Lobster Shack. The 1,548 sq ft turnkey restaurant space is available to lease for $5,795 per month (MG).

17 Free St – this Subterranean space is located in the same building as Sur Lie. The 2,495 sq ft are available for $13/sq ft (NNN).

*40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in early 2021. The rate is $30/sq ft (NNN).

*48 Free St – Located across the street from Aura and nearby the Cross Arena, this 3,604 sq ft is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

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.

15 Middle St – a 954 sq ft retail space on the first floor of one of the new buildings off of India Street for $27/sq ft (NNN).

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.

15 Monument Square –Others went out of business on September 25th. The 900 sq ft space is available for $3,800/month (MG).

*2 Portland Square – Walter’s closed in 2019 and the 3,219 sq ft turnkey restaurant is available for $28/sq ft (MG).

*47-51 Wharf St – a 1,160-3,500 restaurant space on Wharf Street across from the Independent Ice Company is available for $25-30/sq ft (MG).

India Street

*47 India StTwo Fat Cats is moving to West Bayside this spring, and as a result their location on India Street will be available. The 1-,200 – 2,400 sq ft space is available for $4,000 – 6,000 per month (NNN).

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).

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 $14/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 lease. The 2,173 sq ft comes with onsite parking spaces and is listed at 420/sq ft (NNN).

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 $100,000 and the lease for 30-seat 877 sq ft restaurant is $2,700 per month (NNN).

*441 Congress St – The 2,400 sq ft former home of Guitar Grave across the street from 1 Monument Square is available for $20/sq ft.

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

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.


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.

Best Cocktail Bars in America

Thrillist has included the Hunt & Alpine Club on their list of the Best Cocktail Bars in America.

On a recent visit to Hunt and Alpine, I drank an impeccable Green Eyes cocktail (gin, lime, green chartreuse, and egg white) and a throwback Bourbon Renewal made just for laughs, ate their popcorn laced with unicorn dust or whatever, watched a rainstorm pass, and looked around to see 30 other folks all doing the same thing, each of us with a blissed out, grateful look on our faces. Rightfully, Hunt and Alpine is now the Portland institution it has always deserved to be.

Two Fat Cats Moving to Bayside

Two Fat Cats (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) will be giving up their India Street location—where the bakery was founded—and moving to new digs in West Bayside this spring.

The new location at 195 Lancaster Street will provide Two Fat Cats much needed room to continue to grow their business. The 3,000 sq ft building will have space for seating and has onsite parking for customers. Owner Stacy Begin is working with Barrett Made to design and build-out the space with open bakery concept.

Two Fat Cats was founded in 2005 by Dana Street, Alison Pray, Matt James, and Kristen DuShane. Begin and Matthew Holbrook bought Two Fat Cats in 2012, and in 2018 TFC added a South Portland location.

Where to Eat in Portland

Hunt and Alpine Club co-owner Briana Volk has written an eating guide to Portland for Eater Boston entitled, How to Eat and Drink in Portland, Maine, Like a Restaurant Industry Pro.

As someone who has owned a restaurant for seven years now, I have always had a list of places I love to recommend. From the dive bar that serves great food to the restaurant that helped put Portland on the map, these restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and bars are places you’ll hear as recommendations from others — or see your server/bartender after their shift.

The article highlights: Flood’s, Ruski’s, Little Woodfords, Highroller, Belleville, Oxbow, The Cheese Shop, Rose Foods, Fore Street, Salvage, and Izakaya Minato.

David Turin Explores Edgecomb Project

Chef David Turin is exploring an opportunity to launch a new restaurant in the Midcoast. Turin recently spoke to the Edgecomb Planning Board about the former Muddy Rudder building which now operates as the Water’s Edge Banquet & Function Facility.

According to a report in The Lincoln County News, if the project moves forward the restaurant will likely be named David’s Water’s Edge with a target opening date in April and a menu that is “similar to David’s Restaurant in Portland, while likely being a little more seafood-oriented” with the possible addition of a raw bar.

Turin operates three restaurants in the Portland area: David’s, David’s Opus Ten and David’s 388 in South Portland.

BA: Restaurants We Couldn’t Stop Talking About

Bon Appetit has included Izakaya Minato on their list of the 24 Restaurants We Couldn’t Stop Talking About in 2019.

Obviously Maine is synonymous with fresh seafood, but everything at this little Japanese bar is treated with so much care, from the perfectly chilled carafes of nigori-style sake to the crispy-on-the-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside tofu. Oh, and the omakase is THIRTY DOLLARS and the perfect amount of food that leaves you feeling full without keeping you in your seat for three hours. They do every little thing so darn right there—it’s a must visit every time I’m in Portland.”

Ada’s to Open After Christmas

Construction of Ada’s (website, instagram, facebook) is nearly complete and the new Longfellow Square restaurant is planning to open on Friday December 27th at 640-642 Congress Street.

Ada’s is divided into two sections: a counter service restaurant shown above serving Roman pizza and house-made pasta, and a retail store which will incorporate a Fiore Olive Oil tasting room and retail shop. The restaurant will seat 12-14 plus a standing bar.

Chef Siddharta Rumma plans to teach pasta and pizza making classes at Ada’s.

This Week’s Events: Holiday Dinner, Erin French, Mixology Class, Gibson Dinners

MondayLorne and Elda are collaborating on a 5-course holiday dinner with wine, beer and cider pairings.

Wednesday – the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting Erin French from The Lost Kitchen for an on stage conversation at Aura.

Thursday – Bartender Crystal Pomerleau will be teaching a mixology class at Three of Strong.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Judy Gibson Pop-upsChris Wilcox, the chef who is launching Judy Gibson in South Portland, has announced the details for a series of three pop-up dinners taking place January 2, 3, and 4 at Hugo’s. You can see the menu for each night on the Judy Gibson website. To make your reservations, email Wilcox at info@judygibsonrestaurant.com.

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 Enio’s

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Enio’s in South Portland.

 It’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying the Butlers’ home-cooked Italian dishes: homemade pastas, jars of spreads like chicken liver mousse served with freshly baked sourdough and wood-grilled meats like king-sized pork chops drizzled with veal demiglace…Enio’s is the perfect tonic to overdesigned dining rooms and deconstructed desserts – it is a true mom-and-pop operation that, quite simply, feels like home.

Andy’s Old Port Pub to Reopen

John and Tanya Lowell are in the process of buying Andy’s Old Port Pub with plans to reopen it “with the same operations that had been enjoyed by so many and bring back jobs to those that were suddenly displaced, yet, have loyally committed to return.”

John Lowell was a manager at Andy’s for a year prior to its closure on October 31st.  He hopes to reopen in early 2020.