Cellar Door on Thompson’s Closing

Cellar Door Winery has announced that they’ll be permanently closing their tasting room on Thompson’s Point at the end of September. The winery and tasting room in Lincolnville will remain open.

Friends, at the end of this month, this chapter of Cellardoor on Thompson’s Point will end. The Point is conceived and designed to gather large numbers of people. Over the past four years, we’ve filled our main tasting bar with friends standing three deep, hosted hundreds of food and wine pairings, and countless bachelorettes and other special events. Happy, unforgettable memories.

Unfortunately, as we knew (and loved) them, gatherings are not feasible currently or in the near future. So, with fondness, we’ll host our final tastings on Thompson’s Point by reservation on Saturday, September 19.

Vinland Has Permanently Closed

Chef/owner David Levi has announced that he’s permanently closing Vinland, his locavore restaurant at 593 Congress Street.

Vinland has closed. It is a hard loss for me and for those closest to me, professionally and personally. It is also a beginning. Vinland could not withstand the long quarantine required for the Covid-19 pandemic, the disproportionate impact on the fine dining sector of the food industry, and the overall downturn in the economy, the last of which may reverberate for years. This is plain and simple. It’s a reality that was not lost on me as I cooked and served the last Vinland meals on March 15th, but one which settled in and calcified, slowly, over the ensuing months. I’d hoped for a reopening even as I failed to see the viable path. The path, for us, didn’t exist.

For now Levi looks forward to “spending far more of my time with my wife, my son, and, very soon, my daughter.”

As  for the future,

Have I served my last oat brown bread, my last hakurei turnip soup, my last smoked monkfish, my last parsnip turmeric custard? Has Timm served his last Sunstone cocktail? No. So stay tuned. There will be more Vinland meals. Just not at Vinland, and not six nights a week. If we’ve entered the Brigadoon stage, I promise, we’ll show up a little more often than once a century.

Read the full announcement on Facebook.

The 1,720 sq ft restaurant space in Congress Square is now available for lease for $2,782/month (Modified Gross).

Drifters Wife Closes Permanently

Orenda and Peter Hale have shared their decision to permanently close Drifters Wife, their outstanding and award-winning restaurant on Washington Ave.

We will try to be as concise as possible for your sake, but mostly for ours, because this is very difficult to say: we have decided to close Drifters Wife. After 5 years in business, as of last Fall, we were finally debt free. Now, just months into the Covid pandemic, that is no longer the case. We need to adapt to what is happening in the world right now. We will keep our beloved space at 59 Washington Avenue but need to re-imagine what’s inside.

The announcement goes on to say, “When the time is right and it’s safe, we will open the doors to the shop and to this new space: a space with you, all, in mind, where we can gather closely with loud music, and share a drink. Or many.”

The Hale’s wine shop Maine & Loire remains in business. You can learn more about what they have in stock via their instagram account and place a order for contactless curbside pick-up by phoning (207) 805-1336.

Drifters chef Ben Jackson is a 2020 Beard Award nominee in the Best Chef Northeast Category—the 2020 award winners will be announced in late September. Jackson is collaborating with More & Co. on a private dinner series at the More & Co location in Yarmouth. Dates are still available in August and September.

Here are just a few of the many photos I have taken over the years at Drifters.

Piccolo Has Permanently Closed

Chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti shared the sad news yesterday that they’ve permanently closed Piccolo, their excellent Italian restaurant.

It has been a hard few months to say the least. As we are writing this it’s hard to not get emotional in what we have to announce. We are sad to say that Piccolo won’t be opening it’s doors again.

Thank you to everyone that has been our rock this past 6 years 9 months and 23 days. Our team past and present, our guests, our families. We are forever grateful to all of you. Our home away from home. Our daughter grew up here, we met our friends here, we have the best memories anyone can ask for. Thank you for so much and we are so sorry we couldn’t make it work thru these times. We will find our way back some how; meanwhile much love, kindness and respect to all of you. We will miss you.

Anyone interested in leasing the Piccolo space at 111 Middle Street should contact Damian and Ilma at info@piccolomaine.com.

The closure of Piccolo does not apply to Ilma’s and Damian’s other restaurant, Chaval, which has been on a brief hiatus but will be back in operation soon.

The Cider House Closing

Owner Michael Vassallo has decided to close his West End business, The Cider House, permanently.

The Cider House is closing for good. We were poised to have a really strong summer to tide us over the winter months, but that’s not in the cards now and we can’t see a viable path forward.

You can see a list of the food businesses and events that have permanently closed on our Pandemic Casualty List.

LB Kitchen West Closing

LB Kitchen has made the decision not to re-open their West End location on York Street. Here’s part of their announcement on instagram:

More than being devastated that we’re closing LB West, we feel gratitude and optimism. We’d rather use this space to say thank you to the West End community for supporting us. We learned there is a lot of room for us to grow here in Portland, and we have big plans to continue to do that. We have been fortunate to keep our original location on Congress St open and are so grateful for every single person who orders take out every day. For now, we go back to our roots and become just LB Kitchen again. We’re gonna keep doing our thing, making sure you’re all staying healthy, eating real food and trying to make it all a little easier and brighter right now. Thank you west end. Thank you Portland. Thank you Good Medicine. We are totally inspired by you.

Uncle Andy’s Closing May 31

The Press Herald reports that Uncle Andy’s plans to close at the end of this month.

Uncle Andy’s Diner in South Portland, which has twice appeared on a Food Network makeover show, is closing for good after 66 years in business, its owners unable to keep it financially afloat during the pandemic.

Owner and cook Dennis Fogg said Friday he’ll keep the diner open until the end of May for takeout. He said being closed to sit-down customers for nearly two months has devastated his business, since the diner is mostly a breakfast and lunch place known for pancakes and hash and eggs.

You can read the original announcement from Uncle Andy’s on facebook.

Arabica Closes Commercial Street

Arabica Coffee has permanently closed their location on Commercial Street. They are relocating their bakery to their Free Street coffee shop which is scheduled to re-open on June 1st.

Arabica is also in the process of leasing a new space for their roastery which will also include a new coffee bar. Additional details on the new location will be released later.

Five Fifty-Five to Close

Steve and Michelle Corry have announced plans to close Five Fifty-Five in mid-April.

After much consideration Steve and I have come to the decision to close 555 in its current location in mid-April.
This decision has been extremely difficult and very emotional, but ultimately we want to focus on our family and future projects. We are so appreciative of our supporters, including all of our guests, many of which are now friends, and the wonderful people who have worked with us over the last 17 years. We were touched that when we told our staff yesterday they were all very understanding and supportive. It will be a priority for us to find placement for our entire crew, which is why we have given them several weeks before closing. We hope to see many people in the next few weeks to be able to say goodbye properly. Petite Jacqueline will remain open and several of our signature dishes, including the lobster mac and cheese, will be added to their menu.

Five Fifty-Five opened its doors in 2003. Steve Corry was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2007. The couple went on to also open their French bistro Petite Jacqueline in Longfellow Square 2011, and PJ’s has subsequently moved to its present day location in the Old Port.

For questions about the Five Fifty-Five space, contact Joe Porta at the Porta Company.