Rigby Yard to Open in October

The owners of the Independent Ice Company have announced a project to convert Rigby Yard (instagram), their event space on Wharf Street, into a new beer and wine hall.

Rigby Yard will feature an “expanded bar, large socially distanced tables that can accommodate parties of up to 8 people, a private tasting room and comfortable leather seating around a gas fireplace” serving Maine draft beer, wine and a full cocktail program as well as  casual food menu.

Rigby Yard is expected to open in October.

Fodor’s Travel

Fodor’s Travel has published an article about Portland, This Small City Makes Booze You’ve Never Even Heard Of.

But, this foodie darling of a destination offers more than just scrumptious bites for travelers. Maine’s largest city is also home to a vibrant and growing beverage scene, complete with a nationally-renowned craft beer pioneer, a creative rhubarb winery, fermented goodness at a kombucherie, a unique artisan gin operation, and so much more. Read on to learn about the quirk and innovation in some extra special Portland beverages.

This Week’s Events: Liu Bian Tan, Sur Lie, Food Lab Member Market

TuesdayLiu Bian Tan is holding a takeout pop-up dinner at Cong Tu Bot.

Wednesday – The weekday Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Saturday – Fork Food Lab is holding a Member Market, Sur Lie is celebrating their 6th Anniversary with a dinner prepared by founding chef Emil Rivera and current chef Jef Wright, a number of Portland area restaurants are taking part in the Equality Maine Gala, the weekend Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – Also in celebration of their anniversary Sur Lie is collaborating with Wine Wise on a virtual wine dinner.

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.

SaltBox Cafe for Sale

The SaltBox Cafe food truck is for sale. Owner Matthew Glatz has posted an announcement on instagram seeking “[s]omeone who has what it takes to bring this tiny house food truck to the next level, whatever that may be.”

Over the past five years, The SaltBox Cafe has been my infant. From the idea’s conception while out to brunch one sunny April Morning to today, a perfect late September afternoon on the Eastern Promenade, this business has been my child…I’ve watched it grow into an accomplished business catering multiple weddings per weekend, employing upwards of five individuals throughout Maine’s busiest summer months.…That being said, I do believe it may be time for this Tiny House to enable someone else with hopes and goals and dreams of being there own employer – someone with their own killer menu items which may take the brunch scene by storm. Someone who has what it takes to bring this tiny house food truck to the next level, whatever that may be. This opportunity isn’t just a listing for a trailer for sale, but an entire operating business which turns significant profits annually. Recipes, contacts, events, menu, tips and tricks of the trade are all included in any transaction which may occur.

See the full text of the announcement on instagram.

Lio Has Permanently Closed

Cara and Cecile Stadler have announced that they’ve permanently closed Lio.

Dear Friends, Family and Guests – It is with much sadness that we announce the permanent closure of Lio Restaurant. We were unable to weather the pandemic without some rent relief, and with the decreasing temperatures and increasing Covid cases, can find no viable way forward. We hope our food and wine brought some small moments of joy to you during these difficult times, a reminder of the simple pleasure of a shared meal with the hope for better times to come.

The Stadlers are selling off the bottles in the Lio wine cellar.

 All bottles are still 50% off our normal dine-in pricing — which puts us on par or below retail stores with great savings on larger format, higher end wines.  In addition, we have added volume discounts of 10-20% on top of this pricing if you spend $100 or more.  There are also specific bottles priced to move, buy one and get a second for 25% off.  This is a great opportunity to stock up on your favorites or build your wine cellar.  The entire list is now online, and you may order anytime…

The Stadler’s other restaurants Bao Bao (Portland) and Zao Ze (Brunswick) remain in business, and the Stadlers will be re-opening Tao Yuan (Brunswick) for “very limited number of private parties, reservations only with a curated menu and minimum spend, starting mid-late October”.

Roast Beef & Meal Ticketing

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a look at the ticket-based reservation model that some restaurants in Maine are starting to use,

“Everything else is changing, so why not?” Lyle Aker, co-owner of Portland’s soon-to-open Broken Arrow, said. “Our intent was to open as a regular full-service restaurant. But now to control costs, the model of Next seems like kind of a good idea.”

“Tickets give us the most control over timing so we can get service right and protect the customers as well when they’re not being forced to wait outside or at the bar,” added co-owner Holly Aker.

and details on three new options for roast beef sandwiches in Portland (George’s, Haltead’s, Roll Call),

Chef Michael Sindoni of Roll Call initially considered focusing on a North Shore sandwich, but he felt the sauces and cheese were “hiding the beef.” Add to that the fact that he didn’t have an emotional connection to the sandwich the way that North Shore fans do, and “it just didn’t do it for me.” George’s came on the scene at about the same time. That was “complete coincidence,” Sindoni said, “but we were probably thinking the same thing at the same time – that no one’s really doing a great roast beef sandwich here.”

Maine Restaurant Relief Fund

To promote and raise funds for the Maine Restaurant Relief Fund, a growing number of Maine’s talented chefs are collaborating to produce a biweekly cooking show called Sunday Supper. The first three shows are all available online:

Episode 1 – Summer Classics features chefs David Turin, David’s Restaurants; Paolo Laboa, Solo Italiano in Portland; Charlie Zorich and Kirk Linder, The Hichborn in Stockton Springs; Ilma Lopez, Chaval in Portland.

Episode 2 – Comfort Food features chefs Daron Goldstein, Provender Kitchen + Bar in Ellsworth; Carter Light of Coda in Southwest Harbor; Casey Harmon of Havana in Bar Harbor; Cameron Prescott of Copita in Northwest Harbor; & Sara Jenkins of Nina June in Rockport.

Episode 3 – Backyard Barbecue features chefs Justin Walker of Walker’s Maine; David Vargas of Ore Nell’s Barbecue; Ben Hasty & Jen Fecteau of Engrain; Becca Poirier of DaVinci’s.

Watch the shows and consider making a donation to the fund.

Episode 4 is slated to air on October 4th.

Liu Bian Tan Launched

Portland’s newest food truck, Liu Bian Tan (instagram) launched on Tuesday at the Western Promenade.

Owner Chung Heng Liu is dishing up a menu of “old school” Taiwanese street food which on Tuesday included Yo Mein, Lo Ba Bung, Gua Bao, and Scallion “Bomb” Bing.

LBT will be back on the Western Prom on Thursday, and  is scheduled to hold a pop-up takeout dinner in conjunction with Cong Tu Bot on September 29th.