Restaurant Real Estate: March 2022

Welcome to the March 2022 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 during the pandemic many 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

235 Vaughan St – the 700 sq ft space most recently occupied by Other Side Deli and which had been the longtime home of Vaughan Street Variety is for lease. Call (207) 650-0846 for more information.

Arts District

554 Congress St – 1,397 – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $1,518-2,301/month (NNN).

642 Congress St – the former Ada’s space is available to sublet; 2,569 sq ft (MG).


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

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

178 Kennebec St – a 2,644 sq ft space on the first floor of a new building in West Bayside is available for $30/sq ft (NNN).

211 Marginal Way – the 4,052 sq ft space on the corner of Marginal Way and Franklin occupied by Bayside Bark is for lease for $40/sq ft (NNN).

65 Portland Street – the beautiful restaurant space that was home to Back Bay Grill for 34 years is available; 2,750 sq ft for $25/sq ft (MG).

24 Preble St – the former Arcadia space is available; 2,835 sq ft for $20/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).

383 Commercial St – 1,639 – 3,487 of retail space on Commercial Street for $28/sq ft (NNN).

98 Cross St – 3,803 sq ft in the space formerly occupied by Rhum is available for $20/sq ft (MG). The entrance is on the backside of the Free Street building that Arabica is in and is a couple doors down from the Portland Yoga Collective.

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).

40 Free St – the new building constructed by JB Brown has four storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft for $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).

75 Market St – the 5,474 sq ft space on the corner of Market and Middle Streets occupied by Rambler’s Way is for lease for $37/sq ft (MG).

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

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

66 Pearl St – 5,796 sq ft of space—the former Bull Moose retail shop—is available for $15.75/sq ft (MG).

15 Temple St – the 1,702 sq ft space formerly occupied by Bubble Maineia is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

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

251 Congress St – 1,036 sq ft of space is available as of March 1st; $3,250/month (NNN). This listing includes basement access and one parking spot (with option to rent additional parking spaces). Email for more information.

100 Fore St – 3,000 sq ft of space that the listing says is “ideally suited for a restaurant use” for $27-30/sq ft (NNN).

22 Hancock St – this 978 sq ft space across from Benkay is available for $2,300/month (MG).

5 India St – 1,250 – 2,500 sq ft for $35/sq ft (NNN) in a new building under construction near the intersection with Commercial St.

47 India St – 1,000 sq ft of the former Lois’ Market building is for lease, $40/sq ft (NNN).

68 Washington Ave – the 1,272 sq ft space currently occupied by Silly’s is for lease for $23.58/sq ft (MG.

Forest Ave

500 Forest Ave – this 3,200 sq ft space is currently occupied by Starbird. It’s available for $16/sq ft (MG).

651 Forest Ave – a 2,200 sq ft retail space in the Odd Fellows building in Woodford’s Corner for $2,500/month (MG).

945 Forest Ave – 500- 1,220 sq ft of space in the former Photo Market building for $12/sq ft (NNN).


170 Brighton Ave – a 2,173 sq ft free-standing building which most recently was home to D Ajan’s Market, includes parking; $22/sq ft.

873 Brighton Ave – the 1,334 sq ft building that formerly housed the Redemption Center is for sale for $465,000.

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.

1020 Congress St – a 3,375 service station that is going to be “redeveloped as part a planned mixed use development”. The finished space will be available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free-standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $269,000.

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 – 2,400 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – four spaces are for lease at $18-40/sq ft (NNN).

Biscuits & Co, Biddeford – Biscuits & Co closed 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.

Donation to Fight Food Insecurity, Vegan Options

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Kevin Ly and his company’s donation to Full Plates Full Potential. Ly grew up in Portland poor and hungry. Knowing the impact of food insecurity first-hand he’s donated the profits from the first year of his business Golden Wat Cognac to help fight food insecurity in Maine.

But as a child in Portland’s Riverton Park, a low-rent public housing community, Ly grew up hungry. He was the eldest of four siblings living in a three-room apartment with their young, single mother, who had recently immigrated from Cambodia.

“We had a kitchen with absolutely nothing in the cabinets but some ketchup packages,” Ly said. “And we didn’t even have it as bad as some families I know.”

Today’s paper also includes a wrap-up of vegan food options in Maine.

Spring remains weeks away, yet vegan and vegetarian ventures keep popping up across the state. Here’s a look at the latest in Maine veg news.

Down East: Maine Pizza

The February issue of Down East magazine includes a list of the 30 Maine Pizzas You Have To Try.

Maine, she says, was “ripe for the mouthwatering version versus the same old version,” as a decade-plus of proliferating pizzerias has proven. These days, Mainers can find authentic Neapolitan on the midcoast and Jersey-style thin crust down east and arugula on the toppings menu from Portland to Augusta to Fort Kent, not to mention plenty of throwback parlors that have withstood the test of time. Maine’s pizza scene is booming. Here’s where to get a slice of the action.

The list includes several Portland pizzerias: Radici, Lazzari, Monte’s, Portland Pie, Slab, Micucci’s, and Coals.

Back Bay Grill

Chef/owner Larry Matthews has announced his decision to permanently close Back Bay Grill.

I have come to the conclusion that it is time to close the doors to Back Bay Grill and say goodbye. This was not easy, but it is time for me to step out of the kitchen, and move on.

Thank you for sharing your lives with me. Your laughter, and stories. Your special occasions, and family milestones. Thank you for the years. It’s been wonderful in so many ways. You became part of my family, and I loved cooking for you, and seeing the joy Back Bay Grill added to your day.

I was fortunate to have such incredible staff over the years, and they too are part of my family.

I’d like to thin k we did Joel proud. He was a constant presence and a guide for me.

I will be emptying the restaurant over the next few weeks, and selling equipment and other items. Feel free to reach out to me if there is something you’d like to purchase, or ask about.

Back Bay Grill will live on in my memory, as I hope it does in yours.

I wish you all the very best,

Larry Matthews, Jr.

Back Bay Grill was founded in 1988 by Steve Quatrucci who sold the business to Joel Freund two years later. Larry Mathews joined the Back Bay Grill team as its chef in 1996 and became the owner in 2002. The announcement yesterday has triggered a wave of comments on the facebook post from customers and former staff sharing memories and thanks to Mathews.

For additional reporting see these articles from the Bangor Daily News and the Press Herald.

Crepe Elizabeth for Sale

The owners of the Crepe Elizabeth food truck have announced that it’s time for their “family to move on to our next adventure”.

To all our crepe fans out there…
When we moved to Maine, we never thought we’d join forces and open a food truck business. Four years later, we’re so glad we decided to venture out on our own. Lonnie and I have loved every minute of it, meeting so many wonderful people, working with such spectacular employees…we are really blessed.
All that to say, it’s time for this little family to move on to our next adventure. We’re relocating and are looking for someone special to take over the reigns of Crepe Elizabeth.

The business and their two food trailers Babe and Babette are for sale. See their facebook post for more info.

Moonday Coffee Now Open

Moonday (instagram) soft launched their new indoor coffee shop on Wednesday while the renovations for coffee shop/jewelry store continue. Their hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9 – 4.

Owner David Kessel originally launched Moonday this past summer as a food cart serving espresso-based coffee drinks prepared with beans from Speckled Ax. With the move indoors Kessel is expanding his menu with a selection of teas.

Kessel and his partner Rebecca Perea-Kane who is the founder of Thicket (instagram) leased the former Ishi Ishi space on Washington Ave to jointly operate their coffee bar and jewelry businesses.

The Photo Kitchen

Mainebiz has published an update on The Photo Kitchen which is under construction in Morrills Corner.

The space can accommodate photographers, influencers, cooking classes, workshop-based businesses, and events. It was designed with the Portland creative community in mind to be a resource for photographers and food professionals. The high-end boutique studio will also be available to rent as an event and workshop venue.

A&C Moving to South Portland

Joe Fournier is moving A&C Grocery to South Portland where it will re-open as the A&C Soda Shop (instagram) sometime this summer.

The menu will carryover some old favorites from Washington Ave such as the cheeseburger and Italian sandwich while adding soups, salads, and dishes like moules frites and crab cakes. True to its new name the A&C Soda Shop will also serve ice cream floats, milkshakes, and herbal tonics. Wine-based slushies as well as beer on draft and in cans are also on the menu.

The A&C Soda Shop will be located in the former Terra Cotta Pasta building at 501 Cottage Road. In 2019 Terra Cotta moved to a new spot nearby and Nosh co-founder Matt Moran leased the property with plans to open a neighborhood restaurant. The new A&C is a collaboration between Fournier, Moran and Michael Gatlin.

A&C Grocery originally opened on Washington Ave in 2017 as a neighborhood grocery store. The concept transitioned into a popular sandwich shop before closing in 2021 with plans to relocate.