Upcoming Events: GMRI, Fake Restaurant #2

WednesdayGulf of Maine Research Institute CEO Don Perkins will be sitting for a live interview with the Press Herald.

Friday – it’s the opening day of Fake Restaurant #2 at the Washington Baths. The month long pop-up will be “slinging traditional ((and not-so-traditional)) versions of Greek cuisine” on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of July.

July 5 – Terlingua is hosting Leroy and Lewis from Austin, Texas for a BBQ dinner.

July 14KitNA is holding a tasting event at their West Bayside location.

July 15-17 – the Yarmouth Clam Festival is taking place.

July 21Magnus on Water chef Ben Jackson will participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Glidden Point Oyster Farm in Edgecomb.

July 23Chaval chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti will be participating in the Outstanding in the Field series with a dinner at Dandelion Spring Farm in Bowdoinham. The Wavy Days Beer Fest is taking place.

July 25 – 30 – the Kneading Conference is taking place.

August 13 – the 91st Annual Saint Peter’s Bazaar.

August 19 – 21 – the 2022 edition of the Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 3Tender Table is holding their 2nd Annual Food & Art Fair in Congress Square Park.

September 19 – 25Maine Lobster Week is taking place in Skowhegan.

September 23 – 25 – the Common Ground Fair is taking place in Unity.

October 9 – the Maine Cheese Guild is holding Maine Open Creamery Day.

Restaurant Real Estate: August 2021

Welcome to the August 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

722 Congress St – the building that’s home to Yordprom Coffee and the now closed Figgy’s is for sale for $650,000.

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 building is for sale for $2,400,000.

44 Oak St – 4,347 sq ft on first and basement floors for $30/sq ft (MG).

Bayside

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

170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/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.

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumberland Ave and a 1,000 sq ft space in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 – 22,034 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $16/sq ft (NNN).

25 Portland St – 2 spaces in the Flat Iron Block (600 and 725 sq ft) are available for $1,300 and $1,500/month respectively.

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 – the 2,800 sq ft former home of Arcadia is available for $20/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).

30 Danforth St – 3 units (1,800, 1,881, 2,900 sq ft) are for lease at $2,475 – $3,950/month (MG).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $320,000.

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

19 Exchange St – 1,000 sq ft of basement space formerly occupied by Blake Orchard for $1,100/month (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 – The 2,996 sq ft former Pizzarino 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 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).

111 Middle St – this 1,600 sq ft space has a storied past as the former location of Piccolo and before that Bresca. It’s available for $3,500/month (NNN), the building is also for sale.

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

2 Portland Square – the turnkey former Walter’s is 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 $19/sq ft (NNN).

India/Washington Ave

47 India St – the former Lois’ Market; 1,000 – 3,300 sq ft for $3,000 – $8,200/month (NNN).

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

333 Forest Ave – a 2,468 retail space is available for $16/sq ft (MG).

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $20-25/sq ft (NNN).

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.

Other

865 Brighton Ave – a 1,232 sq ft former gas station/quick market is for sale for $400,000.

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).

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.

240 Saint John St – 1,600 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for least at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

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 anthony@uncommongroups.com.

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.

Glossary

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.

Hospitality Jobs and Pay

Today’s Press Herald reports on an effort by six local restaurants to “join a national movement to improve food service jobs and get rid of subminimum wages some workers are paid”

RAISE: High Road Restaurants, a national association of business owners, joined Ruby’s West End, Bao Bao Dumpling House, Central Provisions, Chaval, and Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, all in Portland, and Magnus on Water in Biddeford, for a hiring event and media conference Thursday to outline their efforts to improve jobs prone to exploitation, harassment and low pay.

“The age of looking at kitchen work and service work as ‘less than’ is over,” said Corrinna Stum, owner of Ruby’s. “It is good, steady work. You can make a living at it. It is a trade.”

Jackrabbit Cafe in Biddeford

The opening of Jackrabbit Cafe (instagram) will take place this coming Friday on May 7th. The bakery and cafe from Elda (instagram) chef/co-owner Bowman Brown will “focus on Scandinavian-inspired breads and pastries as well as seasonal vegetable dishes, sandwiches, and heartier small plates”. Jackrabbit is located in the first floor of 14 Main Street in Biddeford. The second floor of the newly renovated building will be the future home of Elda when it re-opens (timing still TBD but likely this summer).

Here are some photos from both Jackrabbit and Elda. The picture above is of the Jackrabbit dining room, below you can see photos of co-owners Bowman and Anna Brown, Jackrabbit signage, the Russian dumplings and a cardamom bun. The bottom 4 pictures are of the new dining room and bar of Elda. The Browns worked with Carrie Dessertine of Mey & Co on the design of the cafe and restaurant.

Brown moved to Maine from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage. He was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011. Additionally, Brown was six time Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest from 2011 to 2016. Elda was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bill Addison at Eater in 2018, and was the feature of a New York Times article in that same year.

Jackrabbit Cafe will be open Wednesday through Saturday 8:30 – 3.

Beautiful Swimmer Pop-up

Ordering is now live for the Beautiful Swimmer (instagram) pop-up takeout dinner by chef Ben Jackson.

Visit beautifulswimmer.com to place your order.

The menu for the 3-course takeout dinner for two will feature:

  • Steamed greens and clams agrodolce
  • Chicken meatballs over sprouted lentils
  • Fishcake and scallops, turnip and laminaria, swimming in broth

Pick-up for the dinner will be on March 5th with time slots available from 5 – 7:30 pm. Tandem Coffee is lending out Little Tandem in East Bayside (122 Anderson Street) for Beautiful Swimmer to use as pick-up location for the night.

Beautiful Swimmer is being launched by Ben and Alexis Jackson. Ben is a Beard-award nominated chef. In Brooklyn he worked at Marlow and Sons and Diner before becoming the executive sous chef for Reynard at the Wythe Hotel. He moved to Maine in 2016 to become the chef de cuisine at the now closed Drifters Wife. He received a James Beard award Best Chef nomination in 2020 for his work at Drifters.

Beautiful Swimmer is a new and evolving concept. Follow Beautiful Swimmer on instagram to stay in the loop on future events and milestones in its development.

Restaurant Bonds

Two local restaurants, Woodford F & B, and A & C Grocery are offering a chance for customers to support them now that comes with a payout with interest down the road.

  • A & C Grocery is selling special $100 gift certificate for $90. The gift certificates are after Maine lifts the pandemic state of emergency. Call (207) 329-4314 or visit them on Washington Ave to purchase. Anyone buying two or more also get an A & C t-shirt.
  • Woodford F & B is selling a special type of gift certificate that are worth more the longer you wait to redeem them. A $100 gift certificate bought this month will be worth $115 on April 1st (the soonest it can be redeemed), $125 on July 1st, $135 on October 1st and if held to maturity on December 1st are worth $150.

Permanently Closed

Many hospitality businesses have closed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most will re-open, but not all.

While we’re staying focused on who is open and how the community is evolving in response to the current situation, that picture wouldn’t be complete without documenting the closings and consolidations too.

So here’s the beginning of the pandemic casualty list which will  document the losses as they happen through the remainder of the year.

2020 Beard Award Nominees from Maine

The James Beard Foundation has released the list of nominees for the 2020 awards program. Of the 11 semifinalists here are the 2020 nominees from Maine, all in the category of Best Chef: Northeast:

  • Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot
  • Ben Jackson, Drifters Wife
  • Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House
  • Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley, Palace Diner

This is the second time as a final nominee for Krista Kern Desjarlais, and the first time for everyone else.

It’s also nice to see that Gado Gado in Oregon make the Best New Restaurant list. Gado Gado was opened by former Maine culinary couple Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly. Thomas was the original chef at The Honey Paw.

Prior award winners, award committee members and regional judges will now complete the final ballot. Based on those results, the award winners will be announced on September 25th.

Related information: