Upcoming Events: KitNA, Twelve Opening, Clam Festival

ThursdayKitNA is holding a tasting event at their West Bayside location. Twelve (reservations) is opening to the public.

Friday-Sunday – the Yarmouth Clam Festival is taking place.

July 18 – Little Brother is throwing a party at Fork Food Lab, “[w]e invite you to eat, drink, watch the old Chinese movies we’ll be projecting on the wall outside our HQ, and dance to a special guest DJ set of Asian soul/funk/psychedelia curated by Dad’s Denim.”

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 be 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.

August 13 – the 91st Annual Saint Peter’s Bazaar.

August 19 – 21 – the 2022 edition of the Maine Apple Camp 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.

Lost Fire & Dennett’s Wharf

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles about The Lost Fire in Kennebunkport,

As the restaurant’s asador, or grill master, Lucarelli started the fires an hour earlier, at 4 p.m., so they’d be ready in time for 5 p.m. service. His Argentinian grill has crank wheels that let Lucarelli raise or lower the grill grate, away or toward the flames, but nothing needs adjustment. After four years of open-fire cooking in this kitchen – which doesn’t even have a propane hookup – he can tell when the heat is right practically by instinct.

and about Dennett’s Wharf in Castine.

First built as a sail loft to manufacture big canvases and at one time home to nine-pin bowling lanes, Dennett’s Wharf has been a restaurant and lounge for at least two generations now. Among the handful of spots in town to get a cocktail and a bite to eat, for residents, it’s most like an extension of home.

Yankee’s Best Ice Cream List

Yankee magazine has published their list of the 36 best ice cream shops in New England. The Maine section of the list includes Bresca & the Honey Bee, Fielder’s Choice, Gorgeous Gelato, MDI Ice Cream, Rococo Ice Cream, Sweetcream Dairy and Toots.

New Englanders love their ice cream. Home to Ben & Jerry’s, birthplace of Howard Johnson’s 28 flavors, our region tends to float to the top of most polls measuring ice cream consumption per capita. So we set out to answer an essential question: Who makes the best ice cream in New England? After looking at “Best Of” awards, talking to locals, and scouring Instagram, we hit the road to taste and compare, focusing on ice cream made by hand at brick-and-mortar scoop shops. The result is this ode to New England ice cream, including 36 winning shops in all six states.

Interview with Martin Beavers

Mainebiz has published an interview with Martin Beavers, the chef/owner of Soul Food Paradise at the Maine Mall in South Portland.

Martin Beavers is a self-taught cook who started a food business out of his home before joining Portland’s Fork Food Lab. Later when a space opened up at the Maine Mall Food Court in South Portland, he jumped at the chance to stake a claim. The New York City native shares the story of Soul Food Paradise’s early success and his unexpected route to Maine’s biggest shopping mall.

Karibu Kwetu on Saint John Street

A new bar and lounge called Karibu Kwetu is under development at 263 Saint John Street in the space adjacent to Burundi Star Coffee. Karibu Kwetu is a Swahili expression that means “welcome to our place”.

The owners are Antoine Bikamba, Thierry Mugabe, and Bertrand Muguberi. Bikamba is from Rwanda and is a co-founder of 207 Bar and Restaurant on Cumberland Ave. Both Mugabe and Muguberi are from Burundi.

Buena Vista Now Open

A new Filipino market opened on Saturday in South Portland. Buena Vista (facebook) is located at 528 Main St next to Deb’s Sandwich Shop. According to their facebook page,

BVFFM offers a variety of delightful goodies that are product creations proudly made by Filipinos.
It is our humble way of bringing in the feeling of being at home in Pinas to possibly every home built by Filipinos living in America.

Restaurant Real Estate: July 2022

Welcome to the July 2022 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company—a commercial real estate brokerage that has helped Maine’s restauranteurs buy and lease restaurant spaces since 1975.

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. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this 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).

605 Congress St – a 1,180 sq ft retail space in the State Theatre building is available for $25 – 35/sq ft (MG).

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).

142 High St – a 543 sq ft retail space in the State Theatre building that faces High Street is available for $25 – 35/sq ft (MG).


31 Diamond St – this 2,800 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 – 2,223 square feet of retail space on Commercial Street is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

443 Congress St – 5,280 sq ft of space for lease for $16-20/sq ft (MG). It’s located across Elm Street from the Portland Public Library.

446 Fore St – 1,600 to 3,400 sq ft of space for lease for $30-40/sq ft (MG). It’s located in the building that was formerly occupied by the Pearl Tap House.

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).

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).

157 Middle St – 1,091 – 5,155 sq ft of retail space is available for $27 – 29.95/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

369 Forest Ave – 5,040 sq ft of space adjacent for Forest Gardens on Forest Ave is available for $15/sq ft.

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.


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).

1341 Washington Ave – the former Parker’s restaurant is available for sale for $2,750,000.

Buxton – the former Buxton Commons restaurant is available for sale or lease. Lease terms are $4,500/month (NNN) for 3,600 sq ft of space.

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

18 Ocean St, South Portland – the former Snow Squall is for lease for $15/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 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 The Knotted Apron

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a 3 star review of The Knotted Apron.

This upscale, nominally French-Italian bistro on the border between the Rosemont and Deering Center neighborhoods has a lot going for it, not least of which is its inviting front patio, an ideal spot for a non-alcoholic Chasing Waterfalls cocktail and, if you’re a little peckish, a slice of sweet-savory French onion tart. Showing impressive dedication to his craft, chef/co-owner Ryan Hickman makes the pastry base himself, along with nearly everything else on the menu.

Restaurants and Rents

Vine Pair has published an article on the impact media attention on the Portland food scene has had on the affordability of the area for people who work in the hospitality industry.

With the media craze came a shocking influx of out-of-state wealth, and landlords have seized the opportunity to capitalize on the choked marketplace. Prices easily paid by out-of-state visitors are unimaginable to the average Mainer. Expiring leases aren’t being offered for re-signing, and rents are increasing at insulting rates. Supply is shrinking as apartments are converted into short-term rentals and luxury condos. South Portland, Biddeford, Westbrook, and Falmouth — all historically affordable places to live with reasonable commutes to the city — have not been spared in the rental market assault.