Friends & Family Opening Thursday

Friends & Family (instagram) is slated to open on Thursday. The new bar/cafe and specialty market is located in the former Vinland space at  593 Congress Street.

The 30-seat counter service eatery will serve wine, beer, and aperitivos along with menu items such as cheese and chacuterie boards and small plates like chicory salad and pork rillettes on toast. A range of sandwiches will be added to the menu in the coming weeks.

Owners Cecily Upton and Michael Malyniwsky situated their restaurant near the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Stage, Space Gallery, and State Theater to be a casual space to gather pre/post a show or visit to a gallery.

Upton grew up in Maine. Early in her career she worked at former Portland restaurants Natasha’s and Pepperclub, as well as Space Gallery and the PMA. In New York she was part of the front of house staff at Gabrielle Hamilton’s restaurant Prune. She worked as the youth programs director at Slow Food USA before co-founding FoodCorps. Upton returned to Maine in 2015.

Malyniwsky grew up in Ottawa and moved to the US in 2001. The last 7 years he’s worked in California where most recently he was the founding chef of Cellarmaker House of Pizza in San Francisco.  Malyniwsky was on the opening teams of Birch & Barley in DC, and was the sous chef at CityZen working with Michelin-starred chef Eric Ziebold.

Hours to start will be 11:30 am to 8 pm Thursday through Sunday. Monday night will be pizza night open for evening service, 4 to 8 pm. 

The Grateful Cup

A new business called The Grateful Cup (instagram) is under construction at 46 Veranda Street in the space formerly occupied by Union Bagel Company. The Grateful Cup will be a juice and smoothie cafe and will also serve coffee, salads and wraps.

The four founders (Samantha Allen, James and Amy Harder and Jessica Rexford) are owners or managers at the Float Harder Relaxation Center just a block or so away at the corner of Veranda and Washington. They’re launching the cafe to expand the range of “healthy and convenient lunch options” that they were looking for themselves in the neighborhood.

An opening date for The Grateful Cup is TBD as they work through the remainder of the renovations.

Upcoming Events: Pasta Club, Goods/Woods, Open Creamery Day

Wednesday – it’s the kick-off day for the 11-week Ada’s Pasta Club from Ada’s Portland (the deadline to sign-up is Monday October 4th).

Thursday – Friends & Family will open at 11:30 am.

SaturdayOxbow Brewing is holding their annual Goods from the Woods event in Newcastle, and Seth Goldstein will be speaking at SoPo Seafood about the history of the fishing industry in South Portland.

Sunday – it’s Maine Open Creamery Day—visit the Maine Cheese Guild website to locate a creamery near you.

October 11thLuke’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).

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

Regards at 547 Congress Street

A new Los Angeles-inspired restaurant called Regards (website, instagram) is under construction at 547 Congress Street with plans to open this winter.

Owners Neil Zabriskie, Kimberly Lund and Cameron Lewin plan to serve a menu that melds the “fresh, clean [approach of] California cuisine which is intrinsically tied to techniques and flavors from Mexico” with “produce and vegetable driven dishes while shining a spotlight on the bounty that Maine provides.” Chef Zabriskie clarified that Regards isn’t a Mexican restaurant but those food “memories, techniques and flavors are a deep part of LA and my palate”.

Regards will have a natural wine and agave focused beverage program.

Regards will be located in the space that’s been the home to Emilitsa for the past 13 years. The Greek restaurant held their last dinner service on Saturday September 25th.