Dedalus Wine in Portland

Dedalus Wine (website, facebook, instagram) from Burlington, Vermont has leased a 3,040 sq ft space at 127 Marginal Way where they are expected to open a Portland outpost of their business. They filed as an LLC in Maine in September 2021.

Dedalus was founded by Jason Zuliani in Burlington in 2007 and has since added shops in Stowe and Middlebury. Dedalus acquired Cured in Boulder, Colorado and it became the base for them to expand into Colorado. Dedalus has also reportedly bought a property in Brooklyn in August.

Allspeed Cycle and Snow will be moving into a new building on Brighton Ave that they purchased earlier this year.

Old Port Tavern Closing

The Press Herald reports that the Old Port Tavern is closing. New Year’s Eve will be their last day in business.

The Old Port Tavern on Moulton Street will close its doors on Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, ending a 50-year stay in the heart of a waterfront district known for its lively nightlife and plethora of dining options.

Housed in the basement of the historic Mariners Church Building, the Old Port Tavern opened as a restaurant and bar in 1973. Richard Herrera, 71, and his business partner, Charlie McGee, 75, have operated the tavern for five decades, but have decided to retire after the business serves its last round of drinks Saturday night.

Tar Coffee in Monument Square

A new coffee shop called Tar Coffee (website, facebook, instagram) opened this morning in the Public Market House in Monument Square.

They’re serving a full spectrum of brewed and espresso-based beverages, along with a menu (see below) of sandwiches, house-made cinnamon rolls, beignets, and New York-style bagels. The beans for Tar are initially being sourced from Carpe Diem from North Berwick but Tar plans to eventually set up an in-house roastery.

The owners previously operated a coffee shop called Dermody Road in Gorham, New Hampshire.

Mr. Tuna Moving to Middle St

Co-owners Jordan Rubin and Marisa Lewiecki have leased space in the new building under construction at 83 Middle Street where they plan to relocate Mr. Tuna (website, facebook, instagram) from Monument Square.

The new restaurant will serve an updated Mr. Tuna menu with the addition of a full bar program of cocktails, sake, beer, wine. Rubin shared that the new restaurant will bring to life the full vision he had for Mr. Tuna when he first launched the business as a food cart in 2017. The space will have 25 indoor seats (see draft floor plan below) with additional sidewalk seating in season.

Lewiecki and Rubin hope to open the new Mr. Tuna this summer. The current Mr. Tuna location in the Public Market House will continue to serve as a commissary kitchen for the Mr. Tuna food trucks and catering operation, and may also be a pick-up spot for Mr. Tuna takeout.

Rubin launched Mr. Tuna as a food cart in 2017. The Mr. Tuna sushi counter opened in the Public Market House in 2018. Rubin, Lewiecki Sasha Brouillard, and chef Cyle Reynolds launched Crispy Gai in the summer of 2021. Rubin and Lewiecki launched Bar Futo on Fore Street earlier this month.

The Alna Store

alna 3_color.jpg The Alna Store (website, facebook, instagram) held the grand opening for their Midcoast Maine market and 36-seat restaurant this past Thursday with the official launch of their dinner service.

The opening night menu (see below) includes a not-to-be-missed dish of charred chioggia beets, a choice of lamb with yellow-eyed beans, a vegetable tangine or burger and fries for a main course and an amaro chocolate torte accented with sumac and pink peppercorns for dessert. There’s a small set of wines by the glass, beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks to go with dinner (see drinks menu below).

The market side of the business sells wines, beers and locally sourced produce and foods. Portland goods for sale include Tandem coffee, Dear Dairy ice cream, and wines from Devenish.

Owners Jasper Ludwig and Brian Haskins took over the store from the prior owners earlier this year and have completely renovated the space. Ludwig hails from Newcastle and the couple moved to the Midcoast in 2020 from their home in Tucson, Arizona where they founded and operate the Five Points Market and Restaurant. Devin Dearden (instagram) has joined Haskins and Ludwig as the chef for The Alna Store. He comes to The Alna Store from Evo and has also worked in Portland at Scales and Hearth in NYC.

The Alna Store is located at 2 Dock Rd in Alna, Maine (just north of Wiscasset). Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday 4 – 8 pm and brunch is available Thursday through Monday, 8 am – 2 pm. Follow their instagram account for updates on hours and the evolving menu.


Upcoming Events: OxbEaux, Liu Bian Tan, Caviar, NYE List

MondayOxbow and Eaux are collaborating on an Oxbeaux Brunch taking place at Cafe Louis in South Portland.

TuesdayLiu Bian Tan will be holding a Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup pop-up at Cong Tu Bot.

Wednesday – Browne Trading is holding a champagne and caviar tasting.

New Year’s Eve – here is the start of our NYE list. We’ll be adding entries as businesses announce their plans. Drop us a line if you know of a New Year’s Eve offering not yet on the list.

  • Bao Bao – 6-course for $68 per person.
  • Batson River (Biddeford) – is holding a cocktail party and a offering a dinner and cocktail party combo.
  • Batson River (Portland) – is holding a New Year’s Eve party; $75 per person.
  • Blue Spoon – is serving their full menu with a set of NYE specials.
  • Broken Arrow – 5-course dinner with pairings for $150 per person.
  • Central Provisions – 5-course dinner for two for $300.
  • Crispy Gai – will be serving chicken nuggets, caviar, and champagne in addition to their regular menu.
  • Elda – tasting menu for $160 per person.
  • Evo – 6-course tasting menu with optional pairings for $150 per person.
  • Full Turn – open for dinner and will have options for “large format take-out.”
  • Helm – 4-course dinner for $80 with optional wine pairings for $45.
  • Isa – 4-course dinner with optional wine pairings; $95 per person.
  • Jessica Labonte – has a variety of baked goods available for preorder.
  • Judy Gibson – 6-course dinner; $100 per person with optional $45 beverage pairing.
  • Knotted Apron – 6-course tasting menu with champagne toast for $120 per person.
  • Luna – Complimentary glass of Veuve Clicquot with raw bar, caviar, cheese/charcuterie, hors d’oeuvres, midnight toast; $150 per person.
  • Maine Oyster Co. – 4-course prix fixe; $90 per person.
  • Mr. Tuna –  has a selection of sushi party platters.
  • Regards – $95 per person.
  • The Danforth – is holding a dance party; $50 per person.
  • Twelve – 5-course dinner featuring truffles, caviar, foie gras and a glass of champagne; $175 per person.
  • Wine Wise – a virtual wine dinner for two for $275.

January 7Dobra Tea is holding a tea tasting.

January 28Sam Hayward is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

February 11Ali Waks Adams is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

February 14Broken Arrow will be serving a Valentine’s Day dinner.

March 18Chris Toy is teaching a virtual cooking class to benefit the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick.

Filipino Community & Christmas Foods

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Maine’s growing Filipino community and the foods that are part of their Christmas celebration.

There are also traditional star-shaped parol lanterns; nine days of masses; the twinkle and hubbub of elaborate Christmas displays; the church bells; the visiting and gatherings; the caroling and dancing; the presents, for children only; and a countdown to Christmas that begins on Sept. 1. The extended Christmas season is a point of pride and joy. Also chief among Filipino culture and traditions at Christmas – and really any time of year – is the food.

Food-Fueled Biddeford

Eater Boston has published an eating tour of Biddeford entitled, One Perfect Food-Fueled Day in Biddeford, Maine.

In Biddeford, it’s relatively easy for most people to spend a food-fueled day exploring the area on foot due to the robust selection of restaurants and activities all within a mile of downtown. That means there’s no excuse not to visit the little Maine mill town, which is steadily building its own reputation as a national dining destination. After all, this tiny Vacationland spot is as charming as it is tranquil — making it ideal for a mini escape from the big city.

The article is written by former Portland resident Stasia Brewczynski.

A Home for Quanto Basta

Quanto Basta (website, instagram) owner Betsy English has leased the original LB Kitchen location where she plans establish a permanent home for her Neapolitan pizzeria.

If you had told me two years ago that the world’s tiniest little food truck would become an actual pizza place, I’d say you were out of your mind. And perhaps I am..a little..but you kind of have to be to do this, right?! This was always the dream, but it really came down to finding the perfect space, & I couldn’t be happier to have landed in #lowermunjoy with Lee & Bryna of LB Kitchen as my neighbors. They have welcomed me with open arms, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to grow next to them in their new space.

English plans to serve a menu inspired by regional Italian cooking with a rotating selection of sourdough pizza along with natural wines from Southern Italy, beer and spritzes, plus some additional small plate “snackies”.  After some renovations (construction starts in February) she hopes to have the new brick and mortar QB open in June. The Quanto Basta food truck will be taking a vacation in 2023 while English puts her energy into launching the restaurant.

Quanto Basta launched as a food truck in August 2021, and has built a strong following for their mobile pizza operation. LB Kitchen is in the final stage of building out a larger restaurant for themselves at the corner of Smith and Congress Streets – just two doors down from their current location. LB Kitchen expect to open their new spot in January.

Dobra Tea To Move

The owners of Dobra Tea have announced plans to close their Exchange Street shop while looking for a new smaller location. They will continue to sell teas online while their business is in transition.

…We signed the lease to our 1st space on Middle Street in Portland – 12 years ago almost to the day. We’ve had a good long run with so many fond and lovely memories, but change is a constant. We are sad to leave this space we created, this community of tea drinkers, but find it necessary to change our business and will move to online sales on our website as we look for a smaller space. We will wind down on Exchange Street in the next week, will be closed for the holidays Dec 25-Jan 2, and will have a clearance sale in early January.. stay tuned…We leave this space, grateful we’ve been able to inspire this community in tea, and move into the longer days of the solstice with hope, heartfelt love and deep gratitude for all your support over the past years.

Dobra originally opened on Middle Street in April 2011 and relocated to Exchange in 2014.