Upcoming Events: BBG Dinner, Hi-Fidelity Launch

Wednesday/Thursday – the Knotted Apron will be hosting a 6-course dinner with the Back Bay Grill’s longtime chef/owner Larry Matthews.

FridayHi-Fidelity Beer, Portland’s newest brewery, is opening its doors in Easy Bayside.

June 13 – The 2022 Beard Foundation Awards gala is taking place in Chicago. Five Maine chefs and restaurants are contenders for this year’s awards.

June 13 – 19 – the 5th Annual Portland Wine Week will be taking place—see details on their Women in Wine Dinner.

June 18 – the grand opening of the Absolem Cider tasting room in Winthrop, Maine.

July 1 – it’s the opening day of Fake Restaurant #2 at the Washington Baths. The month long pop-up will be “slinging traditional ((and not-so-traditional)) versions of Greek cuisine” Saturday’s during the month of July.

July 21Magnus on Water chef Ben Jackson will participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Glidden Point Oyster Farm in Edgecomb.

July 23Chaval chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti will participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham. The Wavy Days Beer Fest is taking place.

July 25 – 30 – the Kneading Conference is taking place.

September 3Tender Table is holding their 2nd Annual Food & Art Fair in Congress Square Park.

September 19 – 25Maine Lobster Week is taking place in Skowhegan.

September 23 – 25 – the Common Ground Fair is taking place in Unity.

October 9 – the Maine Cheese Guild is holding Maine Open Creamery Day.

Hi-Fidelity Beer Opens Friday

Hi-Fidelity Beer (websitefacebookinstagram) is launching their East Bayside brewery and tasting room this Friday. They’ll be opening at noon and are located in Unit 6 of the Urban Farm Fermentory building at 200 Anderson Street.

Owners PD Wappler and Dante Maderal are focusing on low ABV  beers. Their opening day line-up will include:

Moving forward Hi-Fidelity will be open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 1 am, and Mondays 2 pm to midnight.

Restaurant Real Estate: June 2022

Welcome to the June 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

156 State St – 5,250 sq ft of space on the first floor of the Portland Club is available for $14/sq ft (NNN).

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 – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $2,301/month (NNN).

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

643/647 Congress St – 1,107 – 5,016 sq ft of space near Longfellow Square is available for $20/sq ft (MG).

649 Congress St – this 3,000 sq ft space is available for $22/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).

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).

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 2,086 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

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

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.

83 Middle St – 1,480 sq ft of retail space is available in the new building being constructed across the street from Eventide; $30/sq ft (NNN)

Forest Ave

500 Forest Ave – a 1,500 – 3,200 sq ft space is currently occupied by Starbird. It’s available for $16/sq ft (MG).

945 Forest Ave – the former Photo Market building is for sale for $995,000.


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).

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 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $14/sq ft (NNN).

Northgate Shopping Center – 2,200 to 5,700 sq ft of space is available.

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 Biscuitsandcompany@gmail.com 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.

Review of Judy Gibson & 4 New Food Books

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Judy Gibson,

The first rule of Judy Gibson is that you must start telling absolutely everyone you know about Judy Gibson. Let friends know that chef/owner Chris Wilcox (Eventide, Velveteen Habit) isn’t serving his pandemic-legendary fried chicken anymore, and that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s making excellent use of an encyclopedic larder of house-preserved local ingredients, adding a portion of pickled blueberry stems to his extraordinary tuna crudo, dusting dried ramp powder on a rich beef tartare hash brown … you get the idea.

and an article about four new food books with connections to Maine.

With summer here and leisurely pursuits on the rise, it’s time for a fresh batch of cookbooks and food writing from Maine authors. Here, we’re taking a look at four recent publications that will suit readers with a range of interest in food, from aspiring mixologists to nostalgic eaters.

Yordprom’s Tobi Takeout Now Open

Yordprom Coffee (instagram) owner Tom Yordprom has launched a new takeout restaurant in the West End called Tobi. Shown here is the Pad Pik Pao prepared with stir fried rice noodles, peppers, onions, tomatoes, chicken, and chili soy paste, eggs, and basil and a side of the crispy chive cakes.

Tobi is located on Walker Street in the former takeout kitchen that was home to Figgy’s. They’ll be open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 – 8 pm to start.

Here’s a look at the full opening night menu:

Prior to launching Yordprom Coffee in 2010, Tom Yordprom operated Siam Grille on Fore Street in Boothby Square.

Fish and Whistle Opens Saturday

Fish & Whistle (website, instagram) is slated to open this Saturday and Sunday. F&W is being launched by Kate Hamm and husband Jason Eckerson at 299 Maine Street in Biddeford. The restaurant is named for a song by John Prine.

Fish and Whistle is opening this weekend with a reduced menu (see below) but will eventually serve fish and chips as well as fish and chicken sandwiches, a calamari burger made with Maine squid, smoked tempeh sandwich, salad, chowder, hand cut fries, seasonal vegetable slaw and a chip butty sandwich. Additionally, the dessert menu will includes soft serve ice cream as well as Hamm’s deserts.

Hamm is the former pastry chef at Leeward and founder of Sweet Woodruff Provisions. Eckerson has worked for Big Tree Hospitality where he’s been the sous chef at Eventide and seafood buyer.

Big Tree & Town Landing Market

Big Tree Hospitality (website) is the new owner of Town Landing Market (website, facebook, instagram) on Route 88 in Falmouth. Big Tree closed on the purchase Wednesday. They don’t expect to make any major changes to the operation of the market.

In operating the Town Landing Market, Big Tree will be taking the baton from previous owner MaryBeth Bachman and generations of proprietors who have operated the market since the late 1800’s and established it as one of the pillars of the Falmouth community. Big Tree intends to do no more or less than carry on in their footsteps, keeping the market in its current form and striving to make it the best version of itself. “We have always loved the Town Landing Market and the rich history it holds as a building and community institution and hope we can be as good stewards to the market as those who have operated it for over a century now. We look forward to bringing our love for food and local markets to Falmouth” says Co-owner Kira Butera.

In 2021 Big Tree Hospitality became the owners of the Higgins Beach Market in Scarborough. They also operate Eventide Oyster Co and Eventide Fenway, The Honey Paw, Big Tree Catering, and Big Tree Grocery.

Food Truck Lottery

The City held their Eastern Prom food truck lottery today and per a report from the Press Herald four entrants representing five trucks were left out in the cold “Eighty 8 Donuts, Mr. Tuna, Maine Maple Creemee and two trucks, Cheese the Day and Ironclad Eats, that applied jointly to share one spot.”

Mr. Tuna owner Jordan Rubin is quoted saying that he’ll need to cut 6 to 10 positions from his staff as a result.

“This is really disappointing. There goes our business,” said Jordan Rubin, chef and owner of Mr. Tuna, a mobile sushi bar, following the drawing held on Zoom on Wednesday morning.

“That’s six to 10 people who don’t have jobs anymore because of this lottery,” Rubin said.

A representative from Mr. Tuna shared the loss of the Eastern Prom location will result in a $500,000 drop in revenue.

A protest is scheduled to take place at City Hall at 9 am on Thursday.

The 10 trucks that got spots are On A Roll, BOGS Bakery, Falafel Mafia, George’s North Shore, Gelato Fiasco, Vy Banh Mi, Tacos La Poblanita, Cargo Pizza Company, Twist and La Mega.

Neighborhood Bars

This week’s Portland Phoenix takes a look at neighborhood bars with an update on The Continental which is under construction on Brighton Ave, and interview with owners from Samuel’s and Howie’s.

“The neighborhood decides if you’re the neighborhood bar,” he said. “You try to provide a great product, you have to want to be there every night and find good people to work for you. And the neighborhood decides, they have to show up. You’re the fortunate one if they do.”

He said there is something about knowing all the regulars’ names that sets a neighborhood bar apart. He said it makes you feel accepted, where if you see the regulars out walking around or at the store, you wave and say hello, and they do the same.

“There’s something about knowing the community is happy to know you’re there,” Barbuto said. “When that finally clicks, it’s like the business is breathing on its own.”