Real Estate Listings: January 2020

Welcome to the January 2020 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

*754 Congress St – plans are underway to build the Longfellow, a new hotel at the corner of Neal and Congress St. The 47-room hotel will have a 950 sq ft commercial space (plus 400 sq ft of separate storage space) available for $25/sq ft (NNN). Target date for completion of construction is mid-2021. The space will be built “as a white box, stubbed with utilities and a hood system”. Contact Tony DeLois for more information at

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.

*935 Congress St – The 5 Spot closed in late December and presumably their former space is now available for lease.

950 Congress St – The Greyhound bus station on Saint John Street is for sale.

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. It’s 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 by JB Brown. 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).

*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.

15 Middle St – a 991 sq ft retail space on the first floor of one of the new buildings off of India Street for $25/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.

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

*1190 Forest Ave – Renovation of a building in Morrill’s Corner is finishing up. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft of space are available for $12-20/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 sale for $550,000.

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.

Portland Coffee Professionals Qualify for Nationals

Staff from Bard Coffee and Speckled Ax participated in the US Coffee Championships qualifying event that took place over this past weekend in Nashville.

Congratulations to all three that have placed high enough to participate in the national championships taking place later this year:

  • Julien Langevin from Bard placed 11th in the Cup Tasters competition
  • Daniel Whitmore from Speckled Ax placed 11th in the Coffee Roasters competition
  • Kyle Knight from Speckled Ax placed 14th in the Brewers Cup competition

This Week’s Events: Good Food Awards, Prohibition Speakeasy

Friday – the Good Food Awards Gala is taking place; 12 Maine food producers are finalists and potential award winners in 2020. Madame Genever’s and Sur Lie are teaming up on a speakeasy to mark the 100 year anniversary of Prohibition.

Saturday – the Winter 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.

207 Bar & Restaurant Opens Today

207 Bar & Restaurant (facebook, instagram) is scheduled to open today at 4 pm. It is located at 337 Cumberland Ave in the building formerly occupied by Maria’s.

207 is being launched by Antoine Bikamba along with business partners Damas Rugaba, Aime Nijimbere, and Aline Bucyana.  It will serve world cuisine with influences from Africa and the Caribbean. For an idea of what that will include you can take a look at the draft menu that was supplied with their liquor license application back in November.

Wine and Food Tariffs

The Press Herald has published an article on the tariffs on wine and specialty food being considered that would have a major impact on restaurants, specialty food shops and the wine industry in Maine.

“Literally, our wine shop would cease to exist if this happens, within a matter of months. Our restaurant would not be the restaurant we want it to be – its heart would be ripped out,” Peter Hale [co-owner of Drifters Wife and Maine & Loire] said in an interview. “That goes for a number of our peers in the community.”

Individual can voice their opposition to the tariffs by posting comments on

Additional reporting can be found on the Bangor Daily NewsFood & Wine and Wine Spectator websites.

New Tavern Slated for Wharf Street

A new tavern serving lunch and dinner is under development at 51 Wharf Street by Tom Minervino, his sister Meg Minervino and their business partner Mike Barton.

The tentative name for the tavern is the Wharf Street Rathskeller. It will seat 44 including a 20-seat horseshoe bar.

The Minervinos and Barton also own and operate Legends Rest in Westbrook.