Restaurant Impossible Return

The Press Herald reports that Restaurant Impossible will be revisiting Uncle Andy’s in South Portland. The show did an episode featuring Uncle Andy’s in 2014.

Robert Irvine and the rest of the show’s restaurant makeover crew came to Uncle Andy’s in 2014, infusing the diner with a new look, new color scheme and some new menu items. On Monday, they will be back to do another segment on the place, basically a look at how Uncle Andy’s has been doing since its TV makeover.

Vegan School Lunches

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about the vegan lunches available to students in Portland public schools.

This school year, Portland Public Schools unveiled new vegan lunch options at elementary schools — a rotating menu of falafel and brown rice, roasted carrot “hot dogs” and lentil-based sloppy Joes alongside its traditional meat-based fare. The vegan program replaces a vegetarian option that had been in place since 2011.

Congress Bar & Grill Changing Hands

Restaurateurs, Jason Loring and Mike Fraser, are in the process of buying Congress Bar & Grill.

They plan to keep the restaurant’s casual feel and will be putting in place an approachable “tavern style” food that will be a departure from the menu at Nosh. They aspire to have a great bar with great food that balances value and quality serving lunch and dinner. Loring shared he’s dedicated to keeping the restaurant an affordable alternative place to eat in the city.

Loring and Fraser plan to close the restaurant for a couple months for some renovations to the space. It will re-open under the name CBG. The atmosphere they’re aiming for is “like your eccentric uncle’s basement bar”. The reconfigured CBG will open the space and make the bar more a focal point.

Loring is in the process of recruiting a chef for Congress Bar & Grill. If you’re interested in interviewing for the position, email

The restaurant at 617 Congress Street began life as Norm’s Bar & Grill and changed names to Congress Bar & Grill in 2011 when the ownership changed.

Pat’s, Skordo, Anania’s

Here are a few more updates on closings, expansion and ownership changes:

  • Anania’s Variety has announced they plan to close their store on Broadway in South Portland. According to their post on Instagram, Anania’s had sold that store to another owner a year ago and that individual has decided to move on.
    Historical Note: Anania’s was originally founded by Joseph Anania in 1956 as the Newbury Street Market and was located on Newbury Street.
  • The Press Herald reports that Pat’s Pizza on Market Street has changed hands. Pat’s will temporarily close as part of the transition.
  • Old Port kitchen store Skordo has announced plans to open an additional location at the Maine Mall

Bird Dog Roadhouse Closing Temporarily

Bird Dog Roadhouse in Cape Elizabeth has announced plans to “hit the pause button” due to an ongoing staff shortage.

Due to an acute ongoing staffing shortage we’ve reluctantly hit the “pause button” here at BDR. We are not closing. We have a beautiful restaurant, a wonderful location and fantastic guests. Our business is sound. All of our employees and vendors are paid. We are simply pausing restaurant service operations until proper staffing levels can be achieved which we anticipate will occur sometime in the fall.

Alcohol Manufacturing Fee (Updated)

Today’s paper reports on a new fee for producers of alcoholic beverages,

The Portland City Council on Monday will consider delaying implementation of a new manufacturer’s license fee for breweries, distilleries and wineries after brewery owners complained about being blindsided by the proposal, which was part of the city’s budget.

Update: the City has decided to postpone the new fees.

Wine Guy in a Beer Town

Joe Appel has penned a feature article for today’s Maine Sunday Telegram that explores what it’s like to be a wine guy in a beer town.

But even if the numbers tell a mixed story, the feelings tell a straight one: There’s cultural excitement around beer in southern Maine that wine doesn’t currently match. Surely in the near future nothing will matter but marijuana (stack those pallets high next Thursday, Riverside Industrial Parkway!), but for now Portland feels like a beer town, and a fancy-beer town at that.

Sunday Food Section

Today’s Food & Dining section in the Maine Sunday Telegram includes:

Recognition of the growing number of restaurants and bars offering non-alcoholic cocktails on their menu,

Walk into just about any bar or restaurant in southern Maine, and it’s likely you’ll find other drinks like the Kermit – mocktails that contain no alcohol, for customers who prefer not to imbibe. Most times there’s a simple explanation for their abstinence – they’re on medication, they’re pregnant, they’re in recovery, or maybe they just don’t like the taste of alcohol. More recently, bartenders have seen the rise of the “sober curious,” people who have quit drinking completely or severely cut back – not because they were addicted but because they want to feel better and say goodbye to hangovers.

intel on where to find vegan and vegetarian tasting menus, and

These chef-curated, small plate meals found at high-end, often meat-centric restaurants can be exciting sources of plant-based nosh, if you know where to look. Each restaurant serves something different, of course, but the tasting menus share an emphasis on seasonal produce and a desire to offer an extra-special dining experience.

a review of Woodford Food & Beverage from the perspective of 6-year old Margaux Boger written up by her parents.

At Woodford Food & Beverage, foodie families can have their cake and eat it, too. Family night out has something for everyone, with sophisticated adult food and an upscale take on kid food favorites. It’s the kind of restaurant that makes you feel like you’re having a classy night out without making you feel like you shouldn’t be bringing your kid. It’s welcoming. This is what we’re looking for in a restaurant.