East Bayside Map

Working with local design firm Sugarjets Studio and map designer/maker Melissa Pritchard, Dean’s Sweets has produced a map of the East Bayside neighborhood where their chocolate shop is located. It highlights the areas food, drink and retail establishments.

“In addition to the hope of boosting business for everyone in the neighborhood, according to Bingham, the map was equally about connecting the community of entrepreneurs and artists. There is a small section on the map on the history of the people who have moved to and lived in East Bayside, still home to many Mainers, as well as information on the current community police coordinator. Fun, inviting illustrations hint at the recreation possibilities in the neighborhood as well.”

You can find paper copies of the map at businesses in East Bayside.

Demolition of Brian Boru Building

The Press Herald reports that new owners have applied for a demolition permit to tear down the former Brian Boru building.

Though closed for nearly two years, Portland’s Brian Boru pub still stands out like an oasis amid the asphalt and dirt parking lots at the western edge of the Old Port. But like a desert mirage, the bright red brick building that once teemed with laughter, libations and live music may soon become a memory.

Interview with Eric Kalala

The West End News has published an interview with Eric Kalala, owner of Chez Castel on Forest Ave.

I bring in food, clothes, shoes, and cosmetics that Maine residents from Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa are looking for. Some specialties include misili – a Congolese vegetable (fougère [fern] in French), dried fish and eel, fresh fish, goat with skin, bitiyo, a variety of fresh vegetables, and bulk grains.

Wine Week & New England Wines

Just in time for Portland Wine Week, the Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article about the developing New England wine industry.

New England wine used to mean pouring yourself a small glass of fruity sweetness. But a growing number of winemakers in the region are now turning out bottles of wine that pair better with a piece of fish or beef than a slice of pie. Some, like Manley and Maine-based Bluet and RAS Wines – which are producing bright, dry blueberry wines – are focusing on native fruits, while others are growing and fermenting cold-hardy hybrid grapes that can survive the region’s below-zero temperatures, are more tolerant of local pests and diseases, and in the end, drink more like classic dry wines than dessert wines.

Visit portlandwineweek.me for the full PWW schedule, and be sure to check out the panel discussion taking place Monday morning if you’d like to learn more about New England wines. Margot Mazur will be leading a panel that includes Dan Lutjens from Bluet, Dan Roche from RAS Wines, Morten Hallgren from Ravines Wine and Brian Smith from Oyster River. They’ll be discussing the Past, Present and Future of Winemaking in the American Northeast.

Abiodun Jerry Olubi

The Press Herald has published an article about Abiodun Jerry Olubi, a Portland chef who slipped into the Saco River and drowned last weekend.

Dany Omba Mugeni met Abiodun Jerry Olubi in the same way many of his friends did: by eating food he had cooked.

She was dining at 207 Bar and Restaurant in Portland. Olubi was “Chef Jerry.” Friends said he liked to come out of the kitchen to talk to customers about their experience, explain the recipes and meet new people. Olubi, 38, had a passion for cooking and was working to open his own restaurant.

A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up to raise funds for his funeral expenses.

2021 Pocket Guide Now Available

The newly revised and expanded 2021 PFM Printed Pocket Guide is now out. This handy paper reference highlights many of the restaurants, bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, cocktail bars, and cafes that make eating and drinking in Portland so compelling. This year it includes a new food truck section and an expanded list of places to dine elsewhere in Maine.

2021 remains a very dynamic environment for the Maine restaurant industry so please consult the online version of Portland Food Map for the latest information and updates on openings as well as a full list of eateries in the city…and consult restaurant websites for the latest on days and hours of operation.

Many thanks to the 2021 Pocket Guide sponsors. Their generous support plays a crucial role in making the guide available in 2021:

While supplies last you can pick-up a free copy of the guide at these local businesses: Portland Trading Company, Bresca and the Honey Bee in New Gloucester, Tandem Coffee on Congress St, Strata (the new shop opens next weekend), Leeward, ChavalRose Foods, Speckled Ax on Thames Street, The Shop, and Oxbow Brewing on Washington Ave.

The pocket guide wouldn’t be as good as it is, in fact it wouldn’t exist at all, without the skills and contributions of Dawn Hagin from Rare Bird Strategic, writer Angela Andre, and graphic designer Sofija Razgaitis. Congratulate them on their work the next time you see them in town.

City Side Food Court

The Courier reports that a new food truck gathering place, City Side Food Court, is under development in Biddeford.

In recent years, Biddeford has become known as an interesting place to dine, as new restaurants spring up in the mills and downtown.

Soon, it could sport another offering — City Side Food Court where seven mobile food vendors would offer a variety of tasty specialties and diners could enjoy them, seated outside, at 64 Alfred St., a lot that has been vacant since a 2006 fire.

Il Leone on Peaks

A new outdoor pizzeria pop-up is operating on Peaks Island this summer called Il Leone (website, instagram)

Owner and chef Ben Wexler-Waite is serving Neapolitan-style made with naturally leavened dough. He uses a portable Forza Foni pizza oven from Italy which cooks the pizzas in 60 – 90 seconds at 850 degrees. The menu includes classic like Margherita and Funghi pizzas as well as their take on a lobster pizza—the Aragosta. They also serve  salads and Gelato Fiasco gelato.

Il Leone is leasing space from the Peaks Island Lions Club which is the inspiration for the business name. They are open Wednesday through Sunday: 12:30 – 3:30 for lunch and 5 – 8 for dinner. Wexler-Waite expects to operate through to October.

Lupita’s Taqueria

The owner of  B. Good on Exchange Street, Bill Zolper, plans to close the restaurant and in its place open Lupita’s Taqueria.

The concept, Lupita’s Taqueria is a combination of my time spent with my wife Alejandra who is from Medellin, Colombia and our time there at different eateries which provide such a different experience of eating. We look forward to bringing a little bit of that Latina soul to Portland…

Here’s a look at the draft menu supplied to the City as part of their liquor license application:

Mr. Tuna x Goodfire in Freeport (Updated)

Mr. Tuna and Goodfire Brewing have combined forces to buy the former Conundrum/El Jefe building on Route One in Freeport where they plan to open a brewery and izakaya bar this fall.

Goodfire will be operating a pilot brewing system and tasting room with both outdoor and indoor seating. In addition to retail sales of their regular line-up Goodfire will have small batch recipes exclusive to the Freeport location.

The Mr. Tuna Izakaya will expand on the sushi hand rolls they’ve been known for to serve a menu that also includes ramen, yakitori, and other Japanese-style food.

Update: Mr Tuna is no longer part of this new brewery project. Goodfire has hired two former Big Tree Hospitality staff to launch the restaurant portion of their brewery.