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.

Azure in Freeport Closing

Azure in Freeport has announced that they will be closing next week on February 23rd after almost 18 years in business. The closure was driven by a impasse in negotiating a renewal of their lease.

Here’s an except from their farewell post on Facebook:

Since 2002, we have been honored to be a part of the community of Freeport, both as Azure’s home and as our family’s hometown.

We are so grateful for all the staff members we have been lucky enough to have throughout the years; without them, Azure would never have been Azure. We are so proud to have watched all the now young professionals wait & buss tables or portion pasta in the kitchen summer after summer as they grew up.

Very few restaurants have been able to turn a profit every year in business but Azure is one of the few, thanks to you, our guests and our tremendous staff.

Thank you to all of you that have shared this experience with our family. You have made our lives and work special. You have given meaning to our daily labors with each smile and kind word. You have honored us with each marriage proposal, birthday and anniversary you celebrated at our tables.

We are forever grateful for the opportunity you have given our family to serve you.

Izzy’s Cheesecake Has Closed

Izzy’s Cheesecake has gone out of business. The owner’s posted this announcement yesterday on Facebook,

It is with much regret that we announce that Izzy’s Cheesecake is closing effective immediately. We would like to thank all of our customers for your support over the last thirty five years and will miss seeing you in our store. Due to the changing market conditions it was just not feasible for us to continue.
Onward and Upward!
Izzy and Jim

By this morning customers and fans of their 37 flavors of cheesecakes had posted 100+ comments in reaction to the news.