Linden + Front in Bath

A new restaurant called Linden + Front (instagram) is under construction in Bath in the former Relish/Salt Pine Social building at 244 Front Street. Owners Zac and Khristine Leeman are renovating the 3,535 sq ft building and hope to launch the 85-seat restaurant in February.

The Linden + Front menu is still under development but the overall plan is to serve modern takes on classic comfort food with a wide selection of small plates and entrees including woodfire dishes, steak and chop, and dishes for vegetarian and vegan diners. The bar program will offer local draft beers, wine and L+F takes on classic cocktails. Linden + Front will initially be open for dinner but they do hope to eventually add brunch/lunch service too. They’ll have a 20-seat patio open seasonally.

Zac Leeman grew up on nearby Orrs Island and is a graduate of Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. The Leemans met in Minnesota where they were both worked in the restaurant industry.

They opened their first Maine restaurant, Sundrenched, on Bailey Island in 2022. Sundrenched will reopen for the season in May.

Maine Food & Dining News

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know on what’s going on:

  • Maine’s newest cidery, Sea Hag Cider (instagram) recently opened their tasting room. They’re located at 315 Commercial Street in Rockport. They’re open Fridays through Sunday. Sea Hag ciders are made from Macintosh and Paula Red apples from Randall’s in Standish.
  • Edelweiss (instagram) is opening a pastry and chocolate shop in the building that’s been under construction this year at 5 Alfred Street. The new shop is expected to open in January.
  • Costa Media (instagram)—the new Camden outpost of Cafe Louis (websitefacebookinstagram) in South Portland—held their soft opening Thursday night. Moving forward they’ll be open Friday through Tuesday, noon – 9 pm. Costa Media is located at 50 Elm Street in the former Wolf Peach building.
  • The Holy Donut has announced plans to open a new donut shop in Brunswick this spring. It will be located on Route 1 in a building formerly occupied by a Tim Horton’s.
  • The Pen Bay Pilot published an article about Albatross, the new restaurant set to open soon in Camden.
  • The storm earlier in the week impacted numerous restaurants in its path. This report from Maine Public about the Augusta/Hallowell/Gardiner area, and this one from the Bangor Daily News provide some insight into the issues restaurants are dealing with as they recover.

Maine Food & Dining News

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here a recent update from Lewiston, Biddeford, New Vineyard, and Camden about about new restaurants under construction:

  • A Brazilian-style churrascaria called Food Taste is under construction in Lewiston. The Sun Journal reports it will be located at 413 Main Street and that owner Rita Ferreira hopes to open the 50-seat restaurant in early 2024. Ferreira is from Angola where she operated a restaurant in the capital city of Luanda.
  • The launch of Albatross in Camden has been pushed out. They’re tentatively scheduled to open next week.
  • As reported earlier this week Catface Cafe is under development in Biddeford and The Chametz is under development in New Vineyard.

Catface Cafe in Biddeford

Sur Lie owner Krista Cole and business partner Tyler VanScoy have leased the space being vacated by Part & Parcel in Biddeford where they plan to open the Catface Cafe (website, instagram).

Catface will be serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. Chef Mimi Weissenborn is planning a seasonal Maine-inspired menu with “elevated modern flare.” The cafe will have a specialty coffee program, beer, wine and “fun boozy cocktails” to go with the food. Weissenborn is the executive chef of Sur Lie and Gather.

Cole and VanScoy want Catface to be a community gathering place. The location includes a back patio which can host warm weather events or be a spot to hang out solo or with friends. They plan to hosts monthly special events at Catface for the people of Biddeford to gather and socialize.

Cole is a co-founder of Sur Lie which opened for business in 2014. In 2023 she was a James Beard Awards semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category and Sur Lie was a semifinalist in the Outstanding Hospitality category. In 2022 Cole took over ownership of Gather in Yarmouth from the restaurant’s founder, Matt Chappell. VanScoy has worked in the hospitality industry in a variety of front and back of house roles for over 10 years.

Part & Parcel owners Danielle O’Neill and Ali Preble announced on November 25th that they plan to close their market/cafe. Their last day in business is December 23rd.

The Chametz in New Vineyard

A new fine dining restaurant called The Chametz (website, facebook, instagram) is under development west of Skowhegan in the town of New Vineyard, Maine. The restaurant promises to bring “Michelin-level dining experiences” to Franklin County.

Founders Lina Mamut and chef Jared Rudnick plan to source all their ingredients from within a 100-mile distance from their restaurant and in 2023 planted a biodynamic garden to augment the produce they’ll have available from Maine farms and from foraging in the local area.

When it launches the 20-seat restaurant will offer a 10-course tasting menu served at a communal table (see architect’s rendering above). The Chametz will have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic pairings to go with the meal and with a full liquor license will also have a cocktail program. The menu is expected to showcase seasonal ingredients and Rudnick’s skills in whole animal butchering and fermentation/preservation techniques.

The couple met while working at Journeyman in Somerville, Massachusetts. They have extensive front of house and back of house experience at a variety of restaurants in the Boston area. Rudnick’s resume includes Craigie on Main and No. 9 Park as well as being the chef de cuisine at Journeyman. In addition to their hospitality experience, Mamut also has MS in Data Science, and has worked in the food tech startup world.

For Mamut and Rudnick how they operate their business is perhaps as important as the food and dining experience they and their team will create.  The Chametz will be run as a collective that gives all the team members a voice in decision making and an approach to compensating staff that reflects that shared responsibility.

The build out of a commercial kitchen for The Chametz is underway with the hope the restaurant can launch in early June. To support the launch of The Chametz, Rudnick and Mamut have set-up a $150k Kickstarter campaign. The campaign has already raised $25k towards its goal.

If you are in the Sugarloaf area on this Saturday December 16th you may want to stop by at Cork & Rind for an event featuring tastes of Rudnick’s cooking.

Credit: Image courtesy of The Chametz.

Maine Food & Dining News

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know on what’s going on:

  • Downhill Bagel Company (instagram) has leased space at 446 Main Street (shown above) in Springvale where they plan to open a bakery cafe. Downhill will be serving bagels, brewed and espresso-based coffee drinks, lunch specials including pastrami on rye, daily soup specials, and pizza baciata. Owner Billy Nichols wants the shop to be a community space where art is displayed, events can take place and people can come and get to know each other. Nichols hopes to open the new shop by early February. He launched Downhill in October selling at the Sanford and Berwick farmers’ markets.
  • Brunswick’s Dog Bar Jim (instagram) coffee house has been running a dinner series that’s been gaining steam. Owner Ben Gatchell launched The Golden Demise in mid-October. He’s now serving 4 different menus each with its own night, Wednesday through Saturday which in order are Mexican, Korean, burgers, pan-Asian. For more information see this article from the Bowdoin Orient and this instagram post from DBJ.
  • The Pat’s Pizza in Presque Isle has re-opened under new ownership. The father of co-owner Michael Gallagher, Brian Gallagher, was a co-owner of the original Pat’s when it opened in 1989 according a report from the Bangor Daily News.
  • Good Wine Bar opened last Friday on Main Street in Saco.
  • A wine bar and retail shop called Pulling Corks is under construction in Belfast.

Pulling Corks in Belfast

A new wine bar and wine shop called Pulling Corks (instagram) is under construction in Belfast. It’s being launched by David Speer and Kristin Amundson-Speer. Their vision is a place where customers can “casually drop in and have a glass and a snack, or come and celebrate a really special occasion with an amazing bottle.”

They’ve purchased the 150 year old building that was the former of Bellabooks and are in the process renovating the first floor to be the home of Pulling Corks. The building is at 31 Pendleton Street located just a block away from the center of town. The bar will seat 24-30 people with outdoor seating in an adjacent garden during warmer months.

David Speer has been in the wine industry for over two decades. In 2013, he was named by Food & Wine to their list of the Best Sommeliers of the Year. Prior to moving to Maine, he was the founder and owner of a 20-seat champagne bar called Ambonnay in Portland, Oregon. Speer also operates the Red Slate Wine Company which offers private sommelier service specializing in wines from Champagne and Burgundy.

The couple hope to have Pulling Corks open in time for the start of the summer season.

Good Wine Bar Now Open

Good Wine Bar (instagram) opened for business on Friday. They’re located at 172 Main Street in Saco at the corner of Main and Water Streets. They had expected a slow start on opening day but had a full house by 5:30.

GWB serves wines by the glass and bottle, draft beer and a small selection of classic cocktails. The food menu includes a small selection of salad, snacks, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates all prepared by former Yobo chef/owner Sunny Chung. If you go try the Pear and Parma Ham salad.

Co-owner Kim Lully has put together a selection of primarily Old World wines from France, Italy, Austria and Spain with a few bottles from the US and South America in the mix.

Good Wine Bar will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 4 – 9 pm with a happy hour each day 4 – 6.

Chung and Lully formerly ran the Korean restaurant Yobo, and were partners with Sarah Gabrielson and chef Tony Pastor in the launch of Main Street Steak & Oyster in Brunswick.

Maine Food & Dining News

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know on what’s going on:

Dos Gatos Gastropub in Belfast

Adam Roberson and Jesse Soto have leased the former Perennial Cider Bar space at 84 Main Street in Belfast where they plan to open Dos Gatos Gastropub (instagram).

Dos Gatos will serve a taco-centric menu prepared with house-made tortillas. They plan to offer traditional standards as well as some taco combos of their own design (e.g. duck confit, crab, etc).  The bar program will include classic cocktails and specialize in margarita variations with an extended selection of mezcals and tequilas.

Soto and Roberson have been thoroughly renovating and redesigning the space with the aim of creating a venue that “combines vintage charm with a mischievously playful approach.” Overall Dos Gatos will seat 30 with a pair of lounge areas, a 14-seat bar and table seating.

The Dos Gatos experience will be informed by Roberson’s and Soto’s global travel and experience with and within the restaurant industry. Their aim is to create an “overall ambiance that captures the essence of a memorable dining journey”.

Dos Gatos is slated to open in December. Stay tuned to their instagram account for updates and an announcement on an opening day.