Fire Temporarily Closes Restaurants

According to a report from the Press Herald, a fire on Sunday has temporarily closed Flatbread and Ri-Ra.

[Fire Chief] Gautreau said both businesses had to close Sunday following the fire, which was concentrated in a roof line hood vent, and won’t be able to reopen until the owners meet with the city’s code enforcement officer on Monday to develop a repair plan. A portion of the roof had to be opened up and there was some water damage, but Gautreau said the building’s sprinkler system worked well to contain the fire.

Kitchen Apprenticeship Program

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article on the HospitalityMaine kitchen apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship is mostly hands-on training – 2,000 hours’ worth –  plus 145-290 hours of academic work that covers topics such as nutrition and food safety. Apprentices receive raises as they attain certain milestones, and when they complete the program they get a certificate from the Maine Department of Labor.

 

Great Lost Bear, Sidewalk Dining

This week’s Food & Dining section includes an article on the 40-year anniversary of The Great Lost Bear,

Dave Evans, who founded The Great Lost Bear with his wife, Weslie, is now 72, but still comes into the restaurant every day and has no plans to retire. Many Portlanders have their own fond recollections of spending time at the Bear – such as sipping craft brews from one of its 80 taps, or mugging for the Bear Cam at the bar. Evans, naturally, has his own, and recently shared some of his favorite memories of the place that has become his second home.

and an article on sidewalk dining in Portland.

As the number of restaurants in Portland continues to rise, so does the demand for outdoor seating, where locals and tourists alike can bask in the sun while slurping Maine oysters or sipping craft beer. Setting up tables on the sidewalk allows restaurants without private outdoor space to compete for customers who won’t dine out any other way when it’s warm enough or have their dog in tow — and more and more of them are taking advantage of that option.

Purple House Evolution

Chef/owner Krista Desjalais has announced that she’ll be going into Summer recess for The Purple House after May 12th in order to focus time on her Bresca and the Honey Bee location.

When The Purple House reopens in October, Desjarlais will be launching “with a new format which will include new pastries, bread, bagels, savory baked goods and pizza al taglio for the weekend….we will also offer a fancyish lunch served Thursday and possibly Friday… two seatings, 8-10 people per seating, multi course”.

Details on how to reserve seats for lunch will be shared later this year.

Street Food Survey

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram takes a look at the diverse range of international street food now being served by Maine restaurants.

Street food taps into our culture’s growing preference for international flavors and casual restaurants, where curious diners can explore new dishes with friends and family. As with tapas-style dining, people can sample several dishes without blowing their budget, and can pass dishes around the table to share. A lower bill at the end of the night means diners can enjoy a restaurant meal more than one night a month, said Clay Norris, chef/owner of Baharat.

Liquor License for Rising Tide

The Press Herald has published a report on the City Council’s approval of a new liquor license for Rising Tide.

Portland city councilors have rushed through a liquor license for a local brewery despite a warning from the city attorney that doing so would violate the city’s zoning rules and code of ordinances, and go against precedent it set in dealing with a competing brewery.

2019 Beard Award Nominee

The list of nominees for the 2019 James Beard Foundation awards were released today.

There is one nominee from Maine this year. Rob Tod from Allagash Brewing Co. is a nominee in the Outstanding Wine Beer or Spirits Professional category.

This year’s semifinalists were announced in February. The 2019 award winners will be announced on May 6th at the Awards Gala in Chicago.

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