Family Dinner Expanding to Portland

A new food delivery service called Family Dinner (website, facebook, instagram) is expanding to Portland. The company was founded in Boston by Erin Baumgartner and Tim Fu who have grown their Boston area service from 10 customers to 600+ in four years.

Family Dinner is in the process of putting together a Maine staff and building relationships with farms. They expect to release information on delivery areas and the farms they’ll be working with soon and hope to launch Family Dinner in Portland in November.

Follow them on  instagram for updates on which farms and food producers they’ll be partnering with.

Authentic Italian Collaboration

Forbes reports that Paolo Laboa from Solo Italiano is collaborating with chefs from 22 other Italian restaurants to serve a single authentic Italian dish as part of an initiative organized by the Italian government.

The signature dish created by Baracchi is “Stuffed Pasta Rings with Pork Ragù in a Cannellini Bean Soup,” rustic in its roots but assembled in a modern and fresh way. The dish stands as a tribute to the autumn season and Chef Baracchi’s native land of Tuscany, Italy. At the same time, the ingredients are very accessible to the United States as well. Chef Baracchi studied the preparations and composition to be able to easily be reproduced in a busy kitchen during service. 

The Stuffed Pasta Rings will be available on the Solo Italiano menu all this week, Wednesday through Sunday.

More Maine Cider

The Waterville Sentinel has written about the growing Maine cider industry,

“Maine is actually really fortunate in that we have a ton of apples, they’re everywhere — that’s why a lot of people do wild foraging,” Rochon said. “So I think that Maine, more than a lot of other places, is set up to expand. I think that a lot of places are starting to hit their ceiling on how many people can go and forage and get them from the area.”

There are 20+ cidermakers in Maine, for more information see our Guide to Maine Cider.

The Forager

The Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Maine mushroom forager, Jean Yarbrough.

She set herself a goal of learning one edible mushroom a year, a timeline that has accelerated as her expertise has developed. She bought herself books. She joined the Maine Mycological Association and a Maine mushroom club on Facebook. (“It’s the only thing I do on Facebook,” she said.) She went on mushroom forays, learning from “really kind, helpful people who were generous with their knowledge.” She mastered spore prints; studied Latin names; taught herself gills, pores and smells. Early on, she hired David Spahr, author of “Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada: A Photographic Guidebook to Finding and Using Key Species,” to walk her land with her.

Upcoming Events: Falafel Time, Soul Food Paradise

Monday – the new Middle Eastern restaurant on Forest Ave called Falafel Time is scheduled to open today at 4pm.

TuesdaySoul Food Paradise is scheduled to open their new location at the Maine Mall.

October 27thMr. Tuna is kicking off their Night Market series.

October 30th – 25+ food and drink establishments and other businesses are working together to hold East Bayside Halloween Fest. The event is raising funds for Maine Needs; S & P is holding a plant-based Autumn Party.

November 21stLorne Wine is holding a Fete du Beaujolais at Broadturn Farm.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Falafel Time Opening Soon

A new Middle Eastern restaurant called Falafel Time (website, instagram) is slated to open October 18th. The restaurant is located at 1053 Forest Ave adjacent to Ginza Town.

Owner Qutaiba Hassoon will be serving a menu that includes falafel-based sandwiches, salads and plates, hamburgers, cheese steak sandwiches, a beef kabob sandwich, fattoush salad and other dishes as well as pizzas and calzones. Check their website on Monday for an online ordering system.

Falafel Time will be open on Monday October 18th, 4-8 pm. Their general hours will be Wednesday through Monday, 11 am – 9 pm.

50 Most Exciting Restaurants: Cong Tu Bot

Congratulations to Cong Tu Bot for their inclusion in the New York Times list of the 50 restaurants in America that the paper is most excited about.

We dispatched our critics, reporters and editors around the country to find the 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in 2021. They’re not ranked, but together they reflect the rich mosaic of American dining — from the melding of Thai curry and Texas brisket in the Pacific Northwest, to heritage crab rice on the South Carolina coast, to vegan soul food in the East Village.

Specifically regarding to Cong Tu Bot they shared,

Happiness is a bowl of Cong Tu Bot’s chao chay on a chilly Maine morning — warm, supple grains of rice that disappear into the bowl, slicks of chile oil, tart tangles of mustard greens, a chewy cake of daikon and kale and showers of herbs and scallions. The restaurant was originally a noodle shop; but a few months ago, the owners, Vien Dobui and Jessica Sheahan, transformed it into a daytime cafe, with a menu that includes pho ga, bun cha and outstanding pastries like a crumb-topped, neon-green pandan coffee cake. A meal here is an extremely compelling argument for the superiority of Vietnamese breakfast food.

Upcoming Events: Indigenous Peoples’ Day Dinner, Falafel Time, Halloween Fest

MondayLuke’s Lobster is holding an Indigenous Peoples’ Day Dinner.

October 17thCraft Curbside and Portersfield Cider are collaborating on a 5-course cider dinner, and Mami, Sur Lie and Austin Street are collaborating on a pop-up event to celebrate Sur Lie’s 7th anniversary, and Norumbega Cidery is teaching a cider making workshop (also taking place October 24th).

October 18th – the new Middle Eastern restaurant on Forest Ave called Falafel Time is scheduled to open on October 18th at 4pm.

October 30th – 25+ food and drink establishments and other businesses are working together to hold East Bayside Halloween Fest. The event is raising funds for Maine Needs.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

Restaurant Real Estate: October 2021

Welcome to the October 2021 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business.

Even in these tough times for the hospitality industry some people are pursuing their dreams and opening new food businesses. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this new resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

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 $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

554 Congress St – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $17.04/sq ft (NNN).

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five building is for sale for $2,400,000.

44 Oak St – 4,347 sq ft on first and basement floors for $30/sq ft (MG).


170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumberland Ave and a 1,000 sq ft space in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 – 22,034 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $16/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).

30 Danforth St – 3 units (1,800, 1,881, 2,900 sq ft) are for lease at $2,475 – $3,950/month (MG).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $320,000.

100 Fore St – 1,914 sq ft of space that the listing says is “ideally suited for a restaurant use” for $27-30/sq ft (NNN).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

505 Fore St – The 2,996 sq ft former Pizzarino space is available for $24/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 2021. The rate is $30/sq ft (NNN).

38 Market St – a 1,200 subterranean space near the intersection with Milk Street for $1,175/month (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).

111 Middle St – this 1,600 sq ft space has a storied past as the former location of Piccolo and before that Bresca. It’s available for $3,500/month (NNN), the building is also for sale.

1 Monument Square – 1,500 sq ft of first floor space for $3,125/month (MG).

28 Monument Square – the former Coco Cones space in the Public Market House is for lease. Contact the Market manager at (207) 939-0980 for information.

25 Pearl St – 1,689 sq ft former Subway space available for $30/sq ft (MG).

1 Pleasant St – 850 sq ft of space adjacent to Hi Bombay for $4,000/month (NNN).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 – 3,500 sq ft former Lio space is available at $19/sq ft (NNN).

41 Wharf St – the former Jager space is available; 1,107 sq ft for $43/sq ft (MG).

42 Wharf St – this 3,770 sq ft space in the Old Port includes a 2,000 sq ft patio, $45/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

47 India St – the former Lois’ Market; 1,000 – 3,300 sq ft for $3,000 – $8,200/month (NNN).

100 Fore St – 3,184 sq ft are available in the new WEX building for $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

22 Hancock St – 978 sq ft for $2,300/month (MG).

Forest Ave

333 Forest Ave – a 2,468 retail space is available for $16/sq ft (MG).

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $20-25/sq ft (NNN).

945 Forest Ave – 500-5,510 sq ft of space in the former Photo Market building for $12/sq ft (NNN).

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

1569 Forest Ave – a 1,400 sq ft “soon to be completed restaurant/retail building” is available on outer Forest Ave.


865 Brighton Ave – a 1,232 sq ft former gas station/quick market is for sale for $400,000.

1041 Brighton Ave – 1,500 -7,000 sq ft of space available in the strip mall that’s the longtime location of Panda Garden. The space is available for $10-13/sq ft (NNN).

437 Congress St – 1,000 sq ft for $20/sq ft (MG).

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.

155 Riverside St – the Season’s Bar & Grille and Banquet Center is for lease. The 23,750 sq ft facility includes parking and all furniture, fixtures and equipment.

240 Saint John St – 1,600 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for lease at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

158 Pickett St, South Portland – the former home of 158 Pickett Street Cafe is for lease. Call (207) 615-2858 for more information.

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at

Gather, Yarmouth – Owner Matthew Chappell has put his Yarmouth restaurant, Gather, up for sale.

Biscuits & Co, Biddeford – Biscuits & Co is closing on October 16th and the business and equipment is for sale. Contact for more information

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.


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.

Fork Food Lab Expanding

MaineBiz reports that Fork Food Lab is planning to move out of their digs in Bayside to a larger space in South Portland.

Fork Food Lab, a Portland shared commercial kitchen and business incubator, has signed an agreement to buy a bigger space in South Portland to alleviate current capacity constraints.

“We signed a purchase and sales agreement for 42,000 square feet in South Portland, which is about eight times what we have now,” Bill Seretta, Fork Food Lab’s executive director and president of its Yarmouth-based nonprofit owner, told Mainebiz on Wednesday.

The article indicates “[i]f the deal does close, Seretta said a move would occur in stages, over the course of two years.”