Wine Delivery

Wine shops, like all food businesses, have had to adapt to the current reality. Many offer curbside pick-up and a number of them have launched delivery services including Maine & Loire, Eighteen Twenty Wines, Lorne Wine. Just this weekend, Wine Wise, a wine tour and education company, launched its own retail wine delivery business Wine Wise at Home.

If beer and spirits are more to your tastes check with your favorite brewers and distillers. You might also want to visit delivery services CarHop and Drizly for other options.

Save Our Shifts

A new initiative called Save Our Shifts (website, facebook, instagram) launched this week. It’s designed to provide “an opportunity for bartenders to create educational content about their craft and a platform to deliver it.”

Save Our Shifts was created by Round Turn Distilling, Might & Main, photographer Zack Bowen, and the Portland chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild.

You can see the first few videos on Youtube.

Uncle Andy’s Closing May 31

The Press Herald reports that Uncle Andy’s plans to close at the end of this month.

Uncle Andy’s Diner in South Portland, which has twice appeared on a Food Network makeover show, is closing for good after 66 years in business, its owners unable to keep it financially afloat during the pandemic.

Owner and cook Dennis Fogg said Friday he’ll keep the diner open until the end of May for takeout. He said being closed to sit-down customers for nearly two months has devastated his business, since the diner is mostly a breakfast and lunch place known for pancakes and hash and eggs.

You can read the original announcement from Uncle Andy’s on facebook.

Maine Food Systems Discussion

Maine Food for Thought has published a panel discussion that takes a look at how the current health crisis is impacting with local food systems.

Out of this worldwide pandemic, ensuring the availability of locally and sustainably sourced food has become more important than ever, even as our economy has become more vulnerable than at any time in recent history. We wanted to provide an opportunity to connect with a few of the voices who work directly within our food system to talk about their passion for the work they do, what they have seen, their thoughts as they look to the future, and how communities can support and strengthen local food systems.

Participating in the panel discussion are:

  • Sam Hayward from Fore Street
  • Jen Levin from Gulf of Maine Sashimi
  • Ilma Lopez from Piccolo and Chaval
  • Beth Schiller from Dandelion Spring Farm.

Maine Food for Thought has become known for their in-person restaurant tours that focus on the web of the Maine food system and how it intersects with Portland restaurants. They’ve now launched a new virtual tour series Maine Food for Thought Conversations “as a way for people around the globe to learn about Maine’s unique food system and how they can support the local food system in their community. We are excited to have leaders in Maine’s food economy (chefs, farmers, fishers, food system experts) join the Conversation and provide their firsthand perspectives and enrich the virtual experience.”

You can see the full full schedule and sign-up for future events on

Cooking for Community Receives $60k

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is donating $60,000 to Cooking for Community and YMCA to further their mission to deliver locally produced meals to Mainers in need.

The partnership will help coordinate with local restaurants to prepare 1,000 meals each week for older adults, immigrant families, and others in need in and around Portland. Meals will be delivered to homes by the YMCA two times per week.

The program is also helping put at least 24 people back to work helping others.

You can learn more about Cooking for Community or make a donation to support their activities at

Permanently Closed

Many hospitality businesses have closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most will re-open, but not all.

While we’re staying focused on who is open and how the community is evolving in response to the current situation, that picture wouldn’t be complete without documenting the closings and consolidations too.

So here’s the beginning of the pandemic casualty list which will  document the losses as they happen through the remainder of the year.

2020 Beard Award Nominees from Maine

The James Beard Foundation has released the list of nominees for the 2020 awards program. Of the 11 semifinalists here are the 2020 nominees from Maine, all in the category of Best Chef: Northeast:

  • Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot
  • Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House
  • Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner

This is the second time as a final nominee for Krista Kern Desjarlais, and the first time for everyone else.

It’s also nice to see that Gado Gado in Oregon make the Best New Restaurant list. Gado Gado was opened by former Maine culinary couple Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly. Thomas was the original chef at The Honey Paw.

Prior award winners, award committee members and regional judges will now complete the final ballot. Based on those results, the award winners will be announced on September 25th.

Related information: