Goodfire Freeport Opening Saturday

  • Goodfire Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) will be opening their new tasting room and restaurant in Freeport on Saturday. The new location has seating for 75 (including the bar shown above) along with an additional 75 of outdoor seating. The 24-tap draft system will be set-up to serve 12 beer, 6 wines and 6 cocktails.

The kitchen is headed up by Ben Christie along with sous chef Colin Kennedy. The menu (see draft menu below) features “interesting & approachable takes on bar food classics” such as Smoked Ricotta Dip served with tomato confit, olive salad and focaccia,  a Napa Cabbage salad served with a roasted jalapeno and pepita viniagrette, cotija, pickled onions and herbs, and a Fried Pork Cutlet sandwich made with apple mostarda, basil and cabbage slaw. There will be four different styles of wings a kids menu and a selection of desserts that includes a soft pretzel bread pudding.

Christie along with Goodfire Freeport general manager Kevin Nelson are both Big Tree Hospitality alums where Nelson was the general manager of The Honey Paw and Christie was the chef de cuisine at Hugo’s. Kennedy’s resume includes time as the sous chef at Leeward.

Goodfire Freeport features a private dining room that can seat up to 14 and is decorated with a mural (see below) by artist Lydia Jane Brown from October Wilde. A few steps away at the end of the bar Goodfire has built in a pilot system brewing system which they’ll use to produce small batch and experimental one-off beers.

Goodfire Freeport is located at 180 South Freeport Rd, Freeport Maine 04032 which owners David and Julia Redding have been renovating since taking over the space in the summer of 2021. Hours will be Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday noon – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday noon – 10 pm, and open for retail sales only on Monday (1 – 6 pm).

Goodfire Brewing launched their original location on Anderson Street in East Bayside almost exactly five years ago in November 2017.

Upcoming Events/Thanksgiving List

Monday – Cera is hosting a meeting “to start a dialog amongst Portland’s chefs/restauranteurs about sustainability in food systems.” Winemakers Alessandra Divella of Divella and Clémence Lelarge of Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot will be at  Maine & Loire for a wine tasting. Tally’s is opening their second location in the Stevens Square Community Center.

Tuesday – the new Thai restaurant on outer Congress Street Mitr (facebookinstagram) is opening, and Yes Yes Pizza is holding a pop-up at Fish & Whistle in Biddeford.

Wednesday – the new West End bakery Zu Bakery (websiteinstagram) is opening, and Broken Arrow is serving a 4-course cider dinner, and Evo is holding a 5-course Rhone wine dinner.

ThursdayPetite Jacqueline is holding a Beaujolais Nouveau dinner.

Saturday – author Eric Kim will be at Onggi for a book signing.

Sunday – Chef Amanda Shulman from Her Place Supper Club in Philadelphia will be holding a pop-up at Crispy Gai.

Thanksgiving – here’s the 2022 Thanksgiving dining and takeout list. Drop us a line if you know of a Thanksgiving-themed offering not yet on the list.

November 26 – it’s the official grand opening for Sweetcream Dairy in Biddeford.

November 29 – The Press Hotel is screening Hearts of Glass a documentary about the Vertical Harvest greenhouse in Jackson Hole. Vertical Harvest is now building a 70,000 square foot greenhouse in Westbrook. Following the screening the Press Hotel will host a panel and Q&A with the filmmaker, a Vertical Harvest co-founder, employee Sean Stone, and Maine Medical Center’s Employee Relationship Specialist Chris Hynes.

December 3 – it’s the first day of the Winter Farmers’ Market which is located at the Stevens Square Community Center.

December 10Bissell Brothers is serving a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

December 11Koji Alchemy author Rich Shih will be at Judy Gibson for a koji workshop and fermentation dinner.

Hilltop Coffee Closing

Owners Guy and Stella Hernandez have announced they’ll be closing Hilltop Coffee later this year.

Apparently, 2022 had a different idea for us. At one point, a potential new building owner indicated we would no longer have a home here as they would not be renewing our lease. (Cue a mad search for a new location, sigh…) Many twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows later, we find that the demands of this corner of Munjoy Hill and the demands of our lives beyond it mean our time here at 100 Congress is over.
Our lease runs out at the end of the year and we have decided that it is time to see what new adventures await us.
We’re sure some of you may have questions. We may or may not have all the answers for you, but feel to stop by to say hello/goodbye, we’ll be around through the start of December.
The coffee will be strong. The food will be good.

Guy and Stella previously owned and operated Lolita and before that Bar Lola.

Updated: for additional reporting see this article in the Press Herald.

Cong Tu Bot Reopens Friday

Cong Tu Bot is  set to reopen this Friday for indoor dining and with a new concept as a quán nhậu. The concept of a quán nhậu approximately aligns with the idea of a Vietnamese pub or tavern and more directly translates to a shop/diner for drinking and feasting.

The menu (see below) features many new dishes with a few classic carry overs—CTB dessert fans will be happy to know that the chè and the flan made the cut. Some new options include a Rare Denver Steak Salad w/shrimp paste & pineapple sauce, grapefruit, shiso, watercress, birds eye chili, Chicken Liver Pâté w/ fried mantou, whipped condensed milk, chinese mustard, pink peppercorn, and a Caramel Braised Monkfish w/ caramel-cured egg, cilantro, black pepper, and steamed rice.

Also new on the menu is an expanded beverage program designed by Matthew Im, Ashley Ogando, and Hannah Hermes. The bar menu is centered around wine with both by the glass options and bottle list as well as cocktails, beer and no ABV drinks. Cong Tu Bot will also be a BYOB restaurant (see corkage details below).

Co-owner Vien Dobui shared that the popular noodle dishes from their previous dinner service like the phở and bún will eventually make a return.

Cong Tu Bot will be open Friday through Monday, 5 – 9 pm and for the first time is taking reservations.

Upcoming Events/Thanksgiving List

Monday – French author and cider producer  Claude Jolicoeur will be giving a talk at Urban Farm Fermentory. The Washington Baths will be holding their next Bread Soup Cake dinner.

WednesdayBar Futo will be holding a pop-up at Crispy Gai.

Friday – Sunday – the 5th Annual Downeast Cider and Cheese Festival is taking place in Ellsworth.

SaturdayPasilla is holding a pop-up at Cabana.

November 14 – Cera is hosting a meeting “to start a dialog amongst Portland’s chefs/restauranteurs about sustainability in food systems.”

November 15Yes Yes Pizza is holding a pop-up at Fish & Whistle in Biddeford.

November 16Broken Arrow is serving a 4-course cider dinner, and Evo is holding a 5-course Rhone wine dinner.

November 19Lorne is holding their 2nd annual La Fête du Beaujolais.

November 20 – Chef Amanda Shulman from Her Place Supper Club in Philadelphia will be holding a pop-up at Crispy Gai.

Thanksgiving – here’s the 2022 Thanksgiving dining and takeout list. Drop us a line if you know of a Thanksgiving-themed offering not yet on the list.

December 3 – it’s the first day of the Winter Farmers’ Market which is located at the Stevens Square Community Center.

December 11Koji Alchemy author Rich Shih will be at Judy Gibson for a koji workshop and fermentation dinner.

Review of Butcher Burger

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Butcher Burger.

Most menu items are underwhelming, like a dry chicken sandwich and gloppy Caesar salad. Somehow, the eponymous Butcher Burgers manage to be the worst thing on the menu. Tough and overcooked, the bacon-and-beef blend in every patty I tried over two recent visits was gray and desiccated – which led me to a Carrie Bradshaw moment where I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is ‘butcher’ in the name supposed to be a verb?”

Restaurant Real Estate: November 2022

Welcome to the November 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 – 1,250 – 7,550 sq ft of space on the first floor of the Portland Club is available for $13.50 – 24/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).

649 Congress St – the 3,000 sq ft former Dos Naciones storefront 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 $35/sq ft (MG).


75 Chestnut St – a 2,100 sq ft ground floor retail space under construction in Bayside is for sale for $649,999.

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $2,500/month.

82 Hanover St – the 3,067 sq ft former Yard space in Bayside is available for $30/sq ft (NNN); the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

178 Kennebec St – 2,644 sq ft of space are available in a newly constructed Bayside building for $30/sq ft (NNN).

127 Marginal Way – 3,040 sq ft of space that’s been the home of Allspeed Cycle & Snow is for lease for $32/ sq ft (NNN).

34 Portland St – the 4,256 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is for sale for $649,000.

65 Portland Street – the beautiful restaurant space that was home to Back Bay Grill for 34 years is available; 2,750 sq ft for $22/sq ft (MG).

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

Old Port

Canal Plaza – the former Copper Branch building in Canal Plaza is available for $60/sq ft (NNN).

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is undergoing renovations and is expected to be available in 2023. The 900-2,950 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 1,193 – 4,805 square feet of space in a newly constructed building on Commercial Street is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

441 Congress St – 2,400 sq ft of retail space is available for $15/sq ft (MG).

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.

86 Exchange St – the 1,438 sq ft Swiss Time space on upper Exchange Street is for lease for $31/sq ft.

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).

100 Middle St – a 350 sq ft cafe space on first floor of an Old Port office building is available for $850/month (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).

28 Monument Square – turnkey former Roll Call space in the first floor of the Public Market House, $2,250/month (NNN).

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).

1 Pleasant St – an 1,800 sq ft restaurant space in the Cinnamon Building available for $25/sq ft (NNN).

15 Temple St – the 2,086 sq ft space formerly occupied by Bubble Maineia is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

110 Thames St – two spots (2,700 and 3,200 sq ft) are now available in the newly constructed building in the Portland Foreside development. Both are listed at $35/sq ft (NNN).

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

43 Wharf St – the former 1,350 sq ft Drink Exchange space is for lease for $43/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.

47 India St – 1,000 sq ft of the former Lois’ Market building is for lease, $3,333/month (NNN).

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

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

1871 Forest Ave – the former Tortilla Flat building is for sale for $3,800,000.


936 Brighton Ave – 1,995 sq ft of space in an 11k sq ft building that’s the future home of Allspeed Cycle and Snow 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.

476 Stevens Ave – the Elsmere BBQ building in Deering Center is for sale for $1,650,000; the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

1341 Washington Ave – the former Parker’s restaurant is available for sale for $2,500,000.

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 for more information.

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.

Longwoods Preserve – the Longwoods Preserve is seeking a partner to operate a restaurant on their 55-acre property in Cumberland. The 3,500 sq ft building is expected to seat 70-80 indoors plus a three season porch. For more information contact Joe Atwood at (207) 899–7373,

18 Ocean St, South Portland – the 4,351 sq ft former Snow Squall is for lease for $15/sq ft (NNN).

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.

Clam Bar & Royale Lunch

Owner Garrett Fitzgerald has been renovating his restaurant space on West Commercial Street and expanding the building footprint with prefabricated structures from OpBox. The new complex will be the joint home for Clam Bar (instagram) and the Portland Beer Garden for lunch and dinner, and the Royale Lunch (instagram) for breakfast and lunch service.

Fitzgerald’s Christmas tree business will launch on the property on the day after Thanksgiving. Royale Lunch will likely open this winter and the full ensemble cast to open in the spring.

Full Turn in East Bayside

A new restaurant called Full Turn (instagram) is under construction in the former Baharat space in East Bayside. The launch of Full Turn is being led by Chloe Kessell and Melissa Pappas in collaboration with the owners of Baharat. Josh Lemay will be running the bar program.

Full Turn will be serving seasonal menus that change-up frequently with restaurant concepts that shift with each ‘turn’ of the menu. Pappas and Kessell plan to collaborate with local farms, breweries and other food producers on special items for their menus. They also hope to create opportunities at Full Turn for chef residencies, pop-ups, and special events. While by design the food and concept will change often, the team is aiming for a steady price point, service level and atmosphere.

Kessell has worked in the restaurant industry for 12 years in both Boston and Portland, and most recently was the general manager of Baharat. Pappas comes from a restaurant family and has worked both front and back of house roles most recently the kitchen manager of Baharat. The pair have worked together in the past to organize pop-ups and events and as hospitality consultants through Sate at Home and Sate at Work.

For us, hospitality is about sharing and taking care of each other. Sharing food, sharing drinks, sharing experiences and sharing knowledge, and that care and respect starts in your own house with your own team. We are so fortunate to have a staff of like minded hospitality professionals with incredible skills and ambition. When the opportunity to take this truly collaborative approach both with our staff and the restaurant community came up, we couldn’t turn it down. We’re excited to have the chance and circumstances to make the changes we’ve wanted to see in the industry and get back to the reasons we all love it after such a difficult run. We want to make good food with good people and share it with our great community in an environment focused on the experience and putting locals front of mind.

The owners hope to open Full Turn in December after construction to expand the kitchen and light renovations to the dining room.