4 Re/Openings

Full Turn (websiteinstagram) just completed a kitchen expansion and reopened Friday night with their latest menu theme. This time around the concept is Italian Sunday Dinner. They’re located in East Bayside in the former Baharat location, and are open Thursday through Saturday  4 – 9 pm.

Thai Esaan (facebookinstagram) opened on Saturday at their new location on Portland Street in the former Back Bay Grill building. Their hours are 11am to 9 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. See photos below for a look at their menu and the Krah Pow Moo Grob (crispy pork, spicy Thai basil, green beans, onions, red pepper with rice) dish.

The bar Room for Improvement (instagram) will be open to the public on Thursday, April 13th. Owners Arvid Brown and Nick Coffin have completely renovated 41 Wharf Street into a 36-seat venue with bar along the left wall, circular booths along the right and additional seating out back. The hours of operation will initially be Thursday through Monday, 5 pm to 1 am.

The well-loved bar Maps (instagram) on Market Street has been closed since the start of the year. The space has undergone a extenive renovation in the last few months and is slated to open this Thursday at 5 pm. Their regular hours of operation will be Tuesday and Wednesday 4 pm to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday 4 pm  1 am.

Every week there’s word of some new business under development. To get caught up visit our Under Construction List.

Papi Opens Wednesday

Papi (website, facebookinstagram) is set to open this Wednesday. The highly anticipated bar and restaurant is located at 18 Exchange Street. Papi will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 4 – 11 pm.

Papi is being launched by Joshua Miranda (owner of Blyth & Burrows and Via Vecchia) along with beverage manager LyAnna Sanabria (instagram) and chef Ronnie Medlock.  The menu features food and drink inspired by the foodways of Puerto Rico. When you go be sure to try the Chuletta (fried pork chop serves with rice, pigeon peas, red onion and tomato) and the Papi Douro (guava, mulled port wine, armagnac, pink peppercorn, cane sugar).

Here’s a look at the food and cocktail menus from the friends and family preview service held Saturday night. The food menu is expected expand.

The Ugly Duckling Opens Tuesday

The Ugly Duckling (website, instagram) is scheduled to open this morning at 8 am. The new bakeshop and luncheonette is being launched by Ilma Lopez  and Damian Sansonetti the co-owners of Chaval (Lopez is shown above talking with Matt Bolinder from Speckled Ax and chef Rob Evans from Duckfat). The cafe space features a horseshoe coffee bar as well as additional table seating in the front windows along with a small retail section.

The Ugly Duckling will be open this  week Tuesday and Wednesday 8 am – noon. Next week it will be open Tuesday through Thursday and the hours will be 8 am to 1 pm. Over the next few weeks menu and hours/days of operation will expand; closing time will eventually be 6 pm. The Ugly Duckling is located at 246 Danforth Street in the West End.

Shown above are the pastrami and rye breakfast sandwich (pastrami, fried egg, provolone, horseradish-espresso red-eye aioli) on a house made rye caraway English muffin, a canalé and scenes from the friends and family test run that took place Monday. The Ugly Duckling is serving Speckled Ax coffee and espresso drinks and has a full liquor license—watch for the spirit-espresso pairings—and be sure to try the fennel/orange/tea mocktail if you’re looking for a no ABV beverage.

Here’s a look at the opening day menu:

Lenora Opens Monday

Lenora (website, facebook, instagram) a new 115-seat Mexican-inspired taco bar is scheduled to open Monday morning. The restaurant is located in 2 Portland Square in the location that was formerly the home of Walter’s. The space has been completely renovated and features a central bar, tile floors and high ceilings which makes for a large open light-filled dining room.

Lenora will be initially open for breakfast and plan to expand hours and menu to include lunch and dinner within a few weeks.

The dine-in or take-out counter service breakfast menu (see below) includes breakfast tacos and sandwiches, pastries, a fruit parfait, fresh juices, cocktails and a full espresso bar. Once Lenora opens for lunch and dinner they’ll be serving a menu of table service Mexican-inspired street food. You can see Lenora’s draft lunch/dinner menu and drinks menu on their website.

Owners Rian and Jen Wyllie, Brian BeattieAaron Sanders and Max Toste formerly worked together operating Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum in Boston. The Wyllie’s have been part of the Portland restaurant community since they moved to Maine in 2017.

Lenora will be 7 – 11 am, seven days a week starting Monday.


Auntie’s House on Free Street

Kennebunk-based Auntie’s House (website, facebook, instagram) has opened a Portland location in the new building at 40 Free Street.

They sell a range of baked goods and chocolates including their house specialty: the Whoopie Ball which is a mini whoopie pie dipped in chocolate. They come in a wide variety of flavors from the classic to ones like banana, blueberry and almond.

Auntie’s House is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm.

New LB Kitchen Now Open

The new LB Kitchen (website, instagram) is now open. Owners Bryna Gootkind and chef Lee Farrington purchased the building on the corner of Congress and Smith Streets back in February and have completely renovated the corner unit to move and expand LB Kitchen into. The new LB will feature a 28-seat dining room, a retail market and a dedicated space for takeout pick-up.

LB Kitchen will be open everyday 8 am – 3 pm with their regular menu (food, drinks, children’s). Then from 3 to 6 pm they’ll be serving beer, wine, cider snacks and small plates during what they’ve dubbed Golden Hour (menu).

The original LB Kitchen storefront is being converted to serve as a brick and mortar location for Quanto Basta.

Badger Gluten-Free Bagels

A new gluten-free business is launching this week with their first product, Badger Bagels (website, instagram). Produced in North Yarmouth, the bagels are made with white and brown rice, sorghum and sweet rice flours along with honey, olive oil and other natural ingredients.

The bagels are debuting this week on the menu at Arabica Coffee starting Tuesday with cinnamon raisin, plain and everything bagels.

Owner Chris Franklin is participating in the Maine Center for Economic Development’s Top Gun program for entrepreneurial development to help grow Sligo Foods, his gluten-free commercial kitchen in North Yarmouth where the bagels are produced.

Salvatore’s Hoagies

A new delivery sandwich shop called Salvatore’s Hoagies (instagram) is launching with a pop-up service on Friday.

Salvatore’s is run by Kara Picone and chef Owen Price. The couple are tapping into their Sicilian and Philly/South Jersey (respectively) heritage to deliver their take on a classic hoagie sandwiches (see menu below). To dial in the experience Salvatore’s are baking their own bread for their menu.

Price has cooked in Sonoma, Vietnam, and in Philadelphia where he worked for chef Marc Vetri. Picone also has experience in the restaurant industry in front of house and general restaurant management.

Salvatore’s will initially be operating out of Fork Food Lab with the option to pick-up at Fork on Parris Street or with delivery in Portland and to the Greater Portland area—see details on this post for the Friday pop-up.

Ordering will be available by text, phone and social media to start with online ordering to come in the future.

The 2022 Year In Review

Here’s a look at the highlights, themes and key moments from the 2022 year in food:

Concept Shift – with the pre-pandemic closure of Five Fifty-Five and the 2022 shuttering of Back Bay Grill and Hugo’s, Portland’s fine dining ranks have thinned quite a bit. Twelve is the new standard bearer for white table cloth dining in Portland. In the meantime, daytime cafes and combination restaurant/markets are increasing in number. Smalls and Friends & Family are a prime examples, and coming online in 2023 are the Bread and Friends bakery/cafe, The Ugly Duckling in the West End, the Night Moves/Lambs collaboration, and the new LB Kitchen.

National Recognition – while none of the nominees came home with the gold in June, the 2022 James Beard Awards season saw Maine honored with 10 semifinalists (just shy of the record 11 set in 2020) and a record 5 finalist nominees—a confirmation of the strength of the Maine restaurant industry and hopefully an indication of what’s to come (watch for the 2023 semifinalists list in February). National recognition came in other forms as well this year: Bon Appetit included Regards on their list of the Best New Restaurants in America, the NY Times identified Leeward and Twelve as two of the “50 places in America we’re most excited about right now,” Food & Wine and CN Traveler shared their love of Biddeford, and Esquire magazine has named Twelve to their 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

Maine Food Map –Biddeford will continue to be a hot spot, and new restaurants are opening in South Portland and the Portland suburbs. However, there’s also been a growing drumbeat of new and interesting food and beverages businesses opening outside the Portland area, and in 2022 that seemed to have gone into a higher gear…here are just a few examples from the past year: Table Bar in Gardiner, Aboslem Cider in Winthrop,  Nomad in Brunswick, Solo Pane in Bath, the new Dennett’s Wharf in Castine, The Alna Store in Alna, Sidereal Brewing in Vassalboro, Wolfpeach in Camden, Sophia in Belfast, Perch in Waldoboro, Hey Sailor in Searsport, and The Rooting Pig in Bristol.

Upcoming in 2023 – For a rundown of new food businesses under development see PFM Under Construction list. Here are some of the more exciting ones in the pipeline:

  • Bread and Friends – an elevated bakery/cafe located on Fore Street.
  • Lambs/Night Moves – Kerry Haines is bringing her bakery to South Portland and her partner Wade Ritchey is opening a bar in the adjoining space.
  • LB Kitchen – Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind are reopening LB Kitchen in an expanded space on the corner of Congress and Smith Streets.
  • Lenora – a taco bar focusing on Mexican-inspired street food from the creators of Lone Star in Boston.
  • Mr. Tuna – a new iteration of Mr. Tuna located on Middle Street is slated to open this summer.
  • Papi – a Puerto Rican-inspired bar and restaurant expected to open early in 2023.
  • Quanto Basta – a brick and mortar version of the popular Neapolitan pizza food truck which will be located in the original LB Kitchen space.
  • Room for Improvement – a modern dive bar being brought to life on Wharf Street by Arvid Brown and  Nick Coffin.
  • The Continental – European pub food meets cocktails and featuring slow pour nitro ales and stouts in the Oakdale neighborhood.
  • The Ugly Duckling – Chaval owners Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti are launching this daytime cafe and bakeshop on Danforth Street in early 2023.
  • Vertical Harvest – a 70,000 square-foot hydroponic vertical greenhouse in Westbrook.

There are also several other exciting new projects that are currently under wraps but will go public soon. Check back later this year for details.

Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Eastern Prom Food Trucks – early report by the Portland Phoenix that the city was considering new rules to manage food trucks on the Eastern Prom (March 30th)
  2. Somebody Feed Phil – debut of the Somebody Feed Phil episode from Maine (April 7th)
  3. Sacred Profane Brewing – first report on Sacred Profane Brewing being under construction in Biddeford (February 21st)
  4. AC Moving to SoPo – first report on A&C Grocery moving to South Portland (March 2nd)
  5. The Danforth – interim report on The Danforth (February 15th)
  6. The Continental – first report on The Continental (April 14th)
  7. Indy’s Sandwich – first report on Indy’s (February 6th)
  8. Paper Tiger – first report on Paper Tiger (January 6th)
  9. Fish & Whistle – first report on Fish & Whistle in Biddeford (February 1st)
  10. Tobi Open – report on the opening of Tobi (June 3rd)

Notable Events of 2022


For an additional perspective on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram Best of 2022 article.

This is the 13th year running that Portland Food Map has published a year in review article. Take a walk down memory lane by checking out these past editions that covered 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

The Alna Store

alna 3_color.jpg The Alna Store (website, facebook, instagram) held the grand opening for their Midcoast Maine market and 36-seat restaurant this past Thursday with the official launch of their dinner service.

The opening night menu (see below) includes a not-to-be-missed dish of charred chioggia beets, a choice of lamb with yellow-eyed beans, a vegetable tangine or burger and fries for a main course and an amaro chocolate torte accented with sumac and pink peppercorns for dessert. There’s a small set of wines by the glass, beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks to go with dinner (see drinks menu below).

The market side of the business sells wines, beers and locally sourced produce and foods. Portland goods for sale include Tandem coffee, Dear Dairy ice cream, and wines from Devenish.

Owners Jasper Ludwig and Brian Haskins took over the store from the prior owners earlier this year and have completely renovated the space. Ludwig hails from Newcastle and the couple moved to the Midcoast in 2020 from their home in Tucson, Arizona where they founded and operate the Five Points Market and Restaurant. Devin Dearden (instagram) has joined Haskins and Ludwig as the chef for The Alna Store. He comes to The Alna Store from Evo and has also worked in Portland at Scales and Hearth in NYC.

The Alna Store is located at 2 Dock Rd in Alna, Maine (just north of Wiscasset). Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday 4 – 8 pm and brunch is available Thursday through Monday, 8 am – 2 pm. Follow their instagram account for updates on hours and the evolving menu.