Lucky Cheetah Opening in August

Lucky Cheetah (instagram) is scheduled to open in August (tentatively planned for August 6th). The 110-seat restaurant is being launched by Wills Dowd and Jared Dinsmore, the owners of Bird & Co, in the former Old Port Tavern space on Moulton Street.

Lucky Cheetah bar manager Ben Bozeman is creating a cocktail list that showcases Asian spirits. The restaurant will have a sparkling wine list with a 20+ bottle selection of champagnes including the 2013 Dom Perignon and Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut. Bozeman had previously been the bar manager at The Honey Paw.

Chef Zachary Johnson will serving a menu of Cantonese-style dim sum like xiaolongbao and char siu bao. The menu will also include some dishes with modern twists like a foie gras blackberry dumplings topped with a brown butter miso crumb. Johnson has previously worked at Central Provisions and Bird & Co.

Ana Jovic will be the general manager for Lucky Cheetah. She was previously the food and beverage manager at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport.

Dowd and Dinsmore have worked with Susie Smith Coughlin on the renovation and interior design of the 5,000 sq ft space. It now features a 10-seat Italian pink marble bar, a lounge area, a dining room with circular corner booths and a 16-seat private dining/event space. Displayed throughout the dining room are a collection of large format prints by photographer Slim Aarons.

Lucky Cheetah will be open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 – 10 pm. Reservations will be available via OpenTable.

Upcoming Food & Dining Events

TuesdayOld Port Wine Merchants is holding a Kermit Lynch wine tasting (4-6 pm).

Wednesday – It’s the opening day of Leisure Time Cocktail Company. Christina Zani from Pasta Night (instagram) in Philadelphia will be holding a pasta making workshop and dinner at Subcircle Residency in Biddeford. The Coastal Alchemist in Ogunquit will be serving a 5-course dinner featuring wines from Spain and Portugal.

Thursday/Friday – The Kneading Conference is taking place in Skowhegan.

SaturdayAndare is holding a pasta pop-up dinner at Otto Pizza. On the menu will be a walnut pesto, Tuscan chicken, and a gochujang arrabbiata. The 22nd Annual Festival of Nations is taking place in Deering Oaks Park.

SundayFrith Farm in Scarborough is holding a dinner featuring food and drink from the Republic of Georgia. It’s Maine Open Farm Day.

July 30 – Thai supper club Gaaeng will be at Crispy Gai for a pop-up menu.

July 31 – The Taste of Waterville at the Waterville Riverwalk.

July 31-August 4 – The Maine Lobster Festival is taking place in Rockland.

August 2Crown Jewel is hosting a (sold out) Art of Entertaining dinner in collaboration with Cherry Bombe.

August 3/4 – The Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend is taking place.

August 4Yardie Ting will be in Deering Oaks for the 9th Annual Jamaican Independence Day Festival.

August 9/10 – The Saint Peter’s Italian Bazaar is taking place.

August 10 – Space Gallery along with Goodfire Brewing, The Jewel Box and the Ten Mothers food truck will be holding Feastland, a farm dinner, at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough.

August 11Dinner en Blanc—a food event and auction—is taking place in East Boothbay as a benefit for Veggies to Table.

August 11/122Gether is holding their next Secret Table dinner at an as-yet-undisclosed farm in the Portland area.

August 15 – Billy Hager and Hannah Buoye from Waxwing Bakery will be the featured chefs at the August taco night at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham.

August 30September 1 – The Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 8 – The Maine Cheese Festival is taking place in Pittsfield.

September 20-22 – The Common Ground Fair will be taking place.

October 13 – The 16th Annual Open Creamery Day is taking place.

October 24-26 – Harvest on the Harbor is taking place.

Maine Food & Dining News: Winslow, Bucksport, Castine, Kittery, Ellsworth, Biddeford

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know:

  • The Waterville Morning Sentinel has a report on the sudden closure of Big G’s in Winslow. The restaurant launched in 1986 in town and had been at its current location since the mid 1990s.
  • The Bangor Daily News reports that a new “Sicilian-inspired” restaurant called My Buddy’s Place (instagram) has opened in the space formerly occupied by Friar’s Brewhouse Tap Room which closed last year. My Buddy’s Place is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 am – 8 pm and Sunday 8 am – 3 pm.
  • Harbor Burger Shack (instagram) opened last week in Kittery. They’re located at 355 US Route 1. Mainebiz reports that the restaurant is part of the First Serve Hospitality Group which include Bob’s Clam Hut and Mabel’s Lobster Claw. Harbor Burger Shack will be open daily, 11 am – 9 pm.
  • Mainebiz also has a report on the Black Moon Public House (facebook) in Ellsworth which opened in early June.
  • A recent Forbes article about Biddeford and Kennebunkport highlights Magnus on Water, the White Barn Inn, Palace Diner, Elements, Fish & Whistle, Nibblesford, Dizzy Birds Rotisserie, Vietnamese Que Huong, the Chinese Happy Dragon Restaurant, The Jewel of India, Thai ME, Layalina, Batson River, and Mexican Coco Bar & Grill.
  • The Press Herald reports on the relaunch of Dennett’s Wharf (website, facebook, instagram) in Castine.

For a statewide guide to eating and drinking see the Maine Food Map—a growing list of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and other food and dining businesses in all of Maine’s 16 counties.

Leisure Time Opens Next Week

Leisure Time Cocktail Company (instagram) is set to open on Wednesday next week.  Owners Kai Parrott-Wolfe and Matt Noyes have renovated the 1,400 sq ft former Rwanda Bean coffee shop on Thompson’s Point into a 50-seat bar with a mix of bar, banquette and table seating.

The Leisure Time drinks menu (see below) will feature a range of draft and freezer cocktails like the Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade (top left), Teeny King’s Tea Martini and Negroni (both bottom right). There’s also a selection of wine and beer. The food menu (see below) prepared by chef Emma Reed includes pierogis, salads and house made hot dogs and sausages. Shown above are the Kielbasa sausage sandwich and the wild mushroom and kraut pierogis.

Leisure time will be open Wednesday/Thursday noon – 9 pm,  Friday/Saturday noon – 10 pm, and Sunday noon – 8 pm.

Tiqa Reopening

Owners Deen Haleem and Carol Mitchell are ramping up to reopen Tiqa (website, facebook, instagram). The pan-Mediterranean restaurant on Commercial Street had announced they were temporarily closing back in April 2023 while they “consider all possible future options.”

Haleem shared that after “a year of contemplation and self-reflection” they’ve decided to relaunch the restaurant. Philip Sokowolski will be the new chef at Tiqa. Sokowolski has moved to Maine from Annapolis where he had been the chef at Libations Tavern and previously at The Severn Inn.

Tiqa will be launching with a new menu but with the same concept of exploring the various cuisines of the Mediterranean region. Haleem and Mitchell hope to reopen Tiqa sometime in the next few weeks.

Tiqa originally  opened on January 21, 2015 and the  Tiqa Cafe in the Deering Oaks Castle (now closed) launched the following year.

Upcoming Food & Dining Events

Thursday – Richard Lee and Clair Guyer from Little Brother Chinese will be the featured chefs at the July taco night at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham.

Friday – Cafe Mugen (instagram) will be holding a ramen pop-up at Belleville on North Street. Belleville baker and self-described “ramen nerd” Noah Codega will be serving a take on a classic Tokyo-style shoyu ramen with homemade noodles. The menu will also include a blueberry-ginger sorbet for dessert.

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

Saturday – The Maine premiere of the movie One Pint at a Time will take place in East Bayside. The screening is part of a two day event in partnership with Toad & Co, Orange Bike Brewing, Black Travel Maine, The Third Place and the National Black Brewers Association.

Saturday/Sunday – It’s the grand opening weekend for Blue Lobster Urban Winery.

July 24 – Christina Zani from Pasta Night (instagram) in Philadelphia will be holding a pasta making workshop and dinner at Subcircle Residency in Biddeford. The Coastal Alchemist in Ogunquit will be serving a 5-course dinner featuring wines from Spain and Portugal.

July 25/26 – The Kneading Conference is taking place in Skowhegan.

July 27Andare is holding a pasta pop-up dinner at Otto Pizza. On the menu will be a walnut pesto, Tuscan chicken, and a gochujang arrabbiata.

July 31-August 4 – The Maine Lobster Festival is taking place in Rockland.

August 2Crown Jewel is hosting a (sold out) Art of Entertaining dinner in collaboration with Cherry Bombe.

August 3/4 – The Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend is taking place.

August 4Yardie Ting will be in Deering Oaks for the 9th Annual Jamaican Independence Day Festival.

August 10 – Space Gallery along with Goodfire Brewing, The Jewel Box and the Ten Mothers food truck will be holding Feastland, a farm dinner, at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough.

August 11/122Gether is holding their next Secret Table dinner at an as-yet-undisclosed farm in the Portland area.

August 15 – Billy Hager and Hannah Buoye from Waxwing Bakery will be the featured chefs at the August taco night at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham.

August 30September 1 – The Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 8 – The Maine Cheese Festival is taking place in Pittsfield.

September 20-22 – The Common Ground Fair will be taking place.

October 13 – The 16th Annual Open Creamery Day is taking place.

October 24-26 – Harvest on the Harbor is taking place.

Well & Good Brewing Company

Well & Good Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) opened for business on Saturday. The new brewery is located at 173 Cumberland Road in North Yarmouth.

Owners Byron and Elise Kern have built out a very nice 2-story tasting room that has table and lounge seating, a dedicated children’s area, a wood stove for use in cooler months, and outdoor seating and games. The Kerns and their team are producing a range of beer styles (see menu below) as well as a hard ginger ale. Wine and cider are also available as are some snacks.

The Well & Good tasting room will be open Wednesday through Sunday, noon – 8 pm.

Maine Food & Dining News: Bangor, Camden, Gorham, Union, South Berwick, Van Buren

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know:

  • The Bangor Daily News reports that a new cocktail lounge called Barliman’s is under construction in Bangor and expected to open in August. “Barliman’s, a new restaurant and bar that will serve cocktails, hearty farm-to-table snacks and plenty of nonalcoholic options, is the brainchild of local developers and a former co-owner of The Fiddlehead, a shuttered Bangor restaurant.”
  • Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe in Camden has closed. The building recently sold and the new owner will be using the retail space for a different business. Uncle Willy’s itself has been for sale and remains on the market. According to a report from The Courier-Gazette, July 7th was the last day in business for Uncle Willy’s.
  • The Bier Cellar has announced they’re closing their location in Gorham. “We hope this message finds you well. We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your unwavering support over the past 5 years. It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we will be closing the Gorham store at the end of July, with our last day being Sunday the 21st.”
  • The June edition of Down East included articles about Northern Maine Kolache in Van Buren and Alsace restaurant in Union, and the July edition includes an article about the new restaurant in South Berwick, Secundo.

For a statewide guide to eating and drinking see the Maine Food Map—a growing list of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and other food and dining businesses in all of Maine’s 16 counties.

Dok Mali Noodle Bar Now Open

The new Dok Mali restaurant in South Portland, Dok Mali Noodle Bar (website, facebook, instagram), is now open for business. It is located at 169 Ocean Street in the space formerly occupied by Judy Gibson.

Chef/owner Nonglack Thanephonesy, general manager Khaney Muyderman and their team are serving a menu (see below) that features a pan-Asian selection of noodle-based soups and dishes. Shown above is a Korean dish, Japchae, that’s made with sweet potato glass noodles, red bell peppers, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, onions, scallions and beef. They have a selection of cocktails, wine, beer and nonalcoholic drinks available (see menu below).

The layout of the restaurant has remained largely the same but with an interior design that makes use of photographs and books that highlights the family’s history and Thai culture. The restaurant is open daily 11 am – 9 pm.

Dok Mali on India Street opened in November 2022. Judy Gibson went out of business in November.