The Portland Planning Board is reviewing a request for a zoning change on Washington Ave. If the proposal (page 883) gets approved it will pave the way for a new brewery, Newscapes Brewing (facebook, instagram) to be located at 163 Washington Ave. Owner Jeffrey Curran plans to have outdoor tables along with a limited amount of indoor seating and to serve a menu of pub food.
Update: The Portland Phoenix has published an update on Newscapes (January 17, 2021).
Update: The Portland Phoenix has published an update on Newscapes (February 23, 2022).
The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a report on Maine farmers’ markets.
Farmers who sell at markets around the state report similar scenarios. While they are seeing a lot of new faces across the mountains of zucchini and greens, in most cases the number of customers is down. But sales are up because shoppers are buying more meat and produce from fewer vendors. Adding to the trend of bountiful sales is the fact that homebound shoppers are stocking their fridges and pantries more fully but may not be comfortable buying food at a grocery store.
Speckled Ax (website, facebook, instagram) opened their new coffee shop at 20 Thames Street this morning, Their hours are 7:30 am – 3 pm.
In addition to their stellar coffee brewed from wood-roasted beans, the new Speckled Ax will have a food menu that will include two egg sandwich options, a banh mi, a lobster roll and baked goods from Ilma Lopez at Chaval. Speckled Ax has secured a liquor license. In the future they plan to expand the food menu as well as serve beer and wine.
One of the new innovations of the new shop is a Cyclops brewing machine. Also look for flash brewed ice coffee, cascara, and a new infused milk flavor profile as well as pour overs, espresso-based drinks and one of my favorites—tower shots.
Matt Bolinder founded Matt’s Wood Roasted Coffee in 2007 and opened the original Speckled Ax shop on Congress Street opened in May 2012.
A new restaurant called Broken Arrow (instagram) is getting ready to open in October. Broken Arrow is located at 545 Congress Street in the storefront formerly occupied by the West End Deli. To address public health guidelines Broken Arrow will launch using just part of its 47-seat capacity.
Chef Matt Jatczak will draw inspiration from classic New England recipes for the 5-course meals. Broken Arrow plans to take a ticket-based model and will begin taking reservations for their October opening in early September. The menu is expected to change every 5-6 weeks to align with the seasonality of local ingredients.
Owners Lyle and Holly Aker moved to Portland from Chicago where Lyle operated two restaurants, Charlatan and the Three Aces. They had been looking to make a move back to Maine when the opportunity to lease 545 Congress Street came up 3 years ago. Chef Jatczak also has a Chicago connection. His resume includes time in the kitchen at both The Purple Pig and working for Paul Kahn’s One Off Hospitality Group.
Holly Aker is a Certified Cheese Professional and passionate about Maine creamery products so expect a diverse array of Maine cheeses to grace the menu.