Restaurant Staff Vaccinations

For today’s paper the Bangor Daily News talked with restaurant owners about what being able to get their staff vaccinated means for the industry.

“I think there was a little fear that we wouldn’t be fully vaccinated before the summer season hit,” [Blue Spoon owner Liz] Koenigsberg said. “Now that we know that we are going to be, there’s a lot of positivity. Maybe there’s some light at the end of this crazy 13-month tunnel.”

Weekend Openings

Two new establishments opened over the weekend:

Onggi Ferments (websiteinstagram) opened their retail shop on Saturday. Located at 93 Washington Ave in the The Black Box shipping container building, Onggi is a market for fermented food, a retail shop for fermentation equipment and a resource through classes and workshops to learn the skills to produce fermented foods at home.

Ruby’s West End (websiteinstagram) opened Sunday morning serving takeout coffee and baked goods. Once they open for onsite dining Ruby’s will serve a full brunch menu.

Restaurant Real Estate: April 2021

Welcome to the April 2021 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 in these tough times for the hospitality industry some 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

28 Brackett St – the 900 sq ft former Cider House space is for lease for $1,450/month.

101 York St – a 15,000 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five is available to lease. The 1,089 – 3,647 sq ft space is listed at $22/sq ft (NNN).

593 Congress St – The former Vinland is available to lease. The 1,720 sq ft space is listed at $19.41/sq ft (MG).

605 Congress St – Two spaces in the State Theater Building is available. They are 543 sq ft and 2,685 sq ft and are listed at $25-35/sq ft (MG).

77 Free Street – the furniture, fixtures and equipment for Binga’s Stadium on Free Street are for sale for $85,000. The 17,000 sq ft of space is for lease at $4/sq ft (NNN).


148 Anderson St – 3,000 sq ft in East Bayside located next to Tandem Coffee available for $17/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

84 Cove St – The 8,969 sq ft former Milk & Honey in Bayside is available for $13/sq ft (NNN).

360 Cumberland Ave – a 1,900 sq ft back building hidden behind 360 Cumberland Ave is available for $20-25/sq ft (NNN).

99 Hanover St – 900 sq ft garage space is available for $1,100/month.

23 Marginal Way – a 1,300 sq ft space in Century Plaza is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

34 Portland St – the 4,256 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is available for $3,500/month.

24 Preble St – former location of Arcadia is available.

225 Oxford St – 600-2,000 sq ft of build to suit space in a new building for $25/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).

5 Commercial St – the former Rosemont Market at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 1,700 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

266 Commercial St – 6,689 sq ft of new construction retail space will be available for $20-22/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 4 street retail spaces will be available (1,631 – 1,971 sq ft) at $28/sq ft (NNN) in a new building under construction at the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets.

98 Cross St – a 991 sq ft retail space is available for $20/sq ft (MG).

18 Exchange St – 1,800 sq ft of retail space for lease at $6,950/month (MG).

225 Federal St – the former Old Port Po’ Boys & Pickles is available. 1,000 sq ft at $30/sq ft (MG).

345 Fore St – Vena’s is moving and that’s freeing up their current location. 2,310 sq ft for a $3,750/month.

422 Fore St – the former Pearl space is available, 2,400 sq ft at $38/sq ft (MG).

425 Fore St – The former Five Guys is available. $2,900/sq ft and $40/sq ft (MG).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

505 Fore St – 2,996 sq ft of existing restaurant space is available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street by JB Brown. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in early 2021. The rate is $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).

131 Middle St – this 3,512 sq ft retail space is for lease at $14.50/sq ft (NNN).

28 Monument Square – the former Maine Squeeze juice bar in the Public Market House is for lease. Contact for more information. Also, the second floor space formerly occupied by Sichuan Kitchen is available, call (207) 939-0980 for information.

66 Pearl St – the 5,796 space formerly occupied by Bull Moose is available for $15.75/sq ft (MG).

2 Portland Square – the former Walter’s is back on the market. 3,219 sq ft for $28/sq ft (MG).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 – 3,500 sq ft former Lio space is available at $23/sq ft (NNN).

23 Temple St – this 947 sq ft is located in the same building as the Nickelodeon. It’s for lease at $25/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

100 Fore St – 2 retail spaces are available in a new building planned for Fore Street. 1,141 and 1,914 sq ft respectively, $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

Forest Ave

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

1569 Forest Ave – a 1,400 sq ft “soon to be completed restaurant/retail building” is available on outer Forest Ave.


1041 Brighton Ave – 1,500 -7,000 sq ft of space available in the strip mall that’s the longtime location of Panda Garden. The space is available for $10-13/sq ft (NNN).

118 Congress St – a 1,088 sq ft retail space on Munjoy Hill for $25/sq ft (NNN).

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.

139 Riverside St – a 5,020 sq ft restaurant space available for $15/sq ft (MG).

Riverside Gold Course – the City of Portland is looking for someone interested in taking over the restaurant at the Riverside Golf Course.

Deering Oaks Castle – the City of Portland is looking for someone to take over the mini castle building in Deering Oaks Park. If you’re interested there’s a mandatory meeting at the castle on April 7th at 10 am.

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at

117 Route 1, Freeport – the former Conundrum building in Freeport is for sale for $1.2M.

111 Main St, Westbrook – the former Ruby Tuesday’s in Westbrook Crossing shopping plaza off of Brighton is for lease. Contact

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner (e.g. Piccolo). 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.

Food Delivery Regulations

The Press Herald reports that two Portland city councilors are working to address business tactics by national food delivery services.

City Councilors Andrew Zarro and Pious Ali are drafting a proposal that would likely require third-party food delivery services to have formal agreements with local businesses before offering delivery of their food and may limit the service fees they can charge.

Zarro said it’s unethical for delivery services such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats to make money off local businesses without their consent, while also posting incorrect information about an establishment’s menu, hours and contact information.

In a foodie city like Portland, quality, experience and branding is everything. And, he said, local businesses need more control.

The issue got traction over last weekend with this instagram post by city councilor Andrew Zarro.

Relocating: Roll Call + A&C

Two different eateries have recently announced that they’re needing to find a new home:

In late March Roll Call shared that “for reasons beyond our control, we’re no longer able to sublet 81 Clark Street. We are *so* grateful for our wonderful customers + their patronage thus far and Ian Malin of Little Giant for his support.” Roll Call is currently looking for a new space and has launched their food truck for the season.

A&C Grocery owner Joe Fournier has announced that he’ll need to find a new location when his lease is up in February 2022. “I have some irons in the fire, and fear not my beautiful friends, I’m actively hunting for a new home and hope to have an update sooner rather than later.”

The Maine Course: Mike Wiley

The Portland Museum of Art is launching a chef speaker series called The Maine Course. Mike Wiley from Big Tree Hospitality—Eventide, Honey Paw, Hugo’s, XO—will kick-off the series this week on Tuesday at 6 pm.

The PMA is excited to announce our new series titled “The Maine Course.” Inspired by the exhibition “Stories of Maine: An Incomplete History,” we invite Maine-based chefs to cook a favorite dish and share the story behind it with our audiences. Join us Tuesday, April 6 at 6 p.m. for our exciting program with Mike Wiley from Eventide Oyster Co! Afterwards you will receive a recipe so you can try your hand at creating a special dish from home.

Register for the event on the PMA website.

Rosemont & Harbor Fish Team-Up

The Press Herald reports that Rosemont Market and Harbor Fish are collaborating on a new 4,800 sq ft market in Scarborough.

Alfiero said he’ll bring a lot of the same concepts from the Custom House Wharf market to Scarborough, but there will be some changes. The Scarborough Harbor Fish will sell a lot more prepared foods, such as lobster rolls, crab rolls and chowders, he said, and he plans to continue the line of foods the market has been selling during the pandemic, including calamari salads, pates, seafood salads and poke bowls.

The market will be located in a mixed use development at the site of the former Oak Hill police and fire department building.

Citrus in One City Center

Last month when owner Mark Ohlson announced he’d be closing MJ’s Wine Bar he ended his post with “And now, it is time to move on. Not because MJ’s wasn’t a success, but because I have a new idea in my head and it won’t leave me alone unless I bring it to life. See you in May, I hope you like to dance…”

Ohlson is now working on launching a cocktail bar and dance club in the MJ’s space called Citrus (instagram). In his liquor license application to the City Council Ohlson shared,

Citrus is a breath of fresh air away from the dive bars, brew pubs and dark prohibition cocktail bars. Citrus will serve fresh, familiar drinks, in fair portion sizes in an open air environment. Then, starting at 9pm we will offer DJ entertainment for dancing until 1am all the while offering the same menu and items.

American Fizz Crowdfunding

American Fizz (instagram) has launched a $20k crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. Owner Margo Mazur plans to use the funds to pay “legal and licensing fees, insurance costs, my accountant fees, and start up costs, including paint, racks, storage, the point of sale system, etc. It will also help pay for my first big wine purchase from our local wine distributors, allowing me to get these wines on the shelves. ”

There are over 11 thousand wineries in the United States today, and my mission is to support those dedicated wine and cider makers and get the word out about the excellent products coming out of our local communities. American Fizz will be a two-year pop-up, stocking wines and ciders, made with minimal intervention in mind, from the United States, Canada, and South America. There will also be a small local foods producer section. Inventory will focus on range, representation, affordability, education, and joy—joy is an incredibly important piece of my puzzle. It will open this summer, 2021, in Portland, Maine and start with wine classes and a wine club I can’t wait to set up.