Nosh Taco (instagram), the new eatery located in the oval-shaped building in Canal Plaza, opened on Friday. The menu includes a selection of carnitas, veggie, chicken and fish tacos and tortas. The drinks menu include a variety of margaritas as well as a mojito, ranch water, beer and wine.
The business has been launched by Michael Fraser, Michael Barbuto and Kevin Doyle. The three are also owners of CBG and Nosh.
Nosh Tacos seats ~40 and during the summer season there will outdoor seating spilling out into the plaza. This week they’ll be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am – 7 pm.
Chocolats Passion (website, facebook, instagram) opened their new West End chocolate shop on Friday. The new location is at 175 Spring Street in the former Mercy Hospital building.
Founder Catherine Wiersema, lead chocolatier Sarah Levine and their team now have twice the room for their retail shop and chocolate production area which will enable them to significantly increase production of their award-winning chocolates. The shop sits just off the public outdoor seating area for the building which customers can enjoy while sipping their French Hot Chocolate. Chocolats Passion has some vegan products and serves a dairy-free version of their hot chocolate.
The new shop will be open 1 – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, and then starting on Wednesday will be open everyday through to December 24th, 1 – 6 pm.
Chocolats Passion initially opened for business at 189 Brackett Street September 12, 2018.
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.
Broadway Bowl (instagram) opened Tuesday. The pub and bowling alley is located at 725 Broadway in South Portland and is an outpost of Bayside Bowl in Portland.
The 220-seat facility includes a 10-lane bowling alley, a bar serving beer, wine and house cocktails, a private dining area and a heated and semi-enclosed outdoor seating area (lower left photo) with a view over the water of Portland. Broadway Bowl will be open 3 – 10 Monday through Thursday, 11 – 11 on Friday/Saturday and 11 – 9 on Sunday.
The kitchen is open nightly until 9 pm serving (see menu below) pizza, soup, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, wings and other pub standards. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.
Thistle & Grouse (website, facebook, instagram) will open Friday at 4 pm. The restaurant is located at 10 Cotton Street. The newly renovated space features a 2-story dining room with a bar on the first floor.
The menu (see below) includes raw bar options, cheese and charcuterie boards as well as small plates like a Maplebrook Farm Burrata plated with apple, celery and walnuts and entrees like the Seafood Cassoulet and Sunday Roast Prime Rib.
Thistle & Grouse serves custom cocktails and mocktails, wines by the glass, beers, and ciders (Norumbega and Freedom’s Edge). The bar is stocked with a wide selection of spirits including 14 bourbons, 10 ryes, 19 Scotches as well as whiskeys from Ireland and Japan.
The restaurant is being launched by Kimberly Kraus and chef Bobby Will. Will has worked at restaurants run by well known chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ken Oringer, and Jamie Bissonette. He was the executive chef at Saltaire Oyster Bar in Port Chester when the New York Times gave it a rating of Excellent in 2015. Also on the team are general manager Julia Mcinnis and bar manager Corey Schallek. All four worked together at Kraus’ and Will’s former restaurant Salt and Steel in Bar Harbor.
Thistle & Grouse will be open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4 pm with late night hours on the weekends and happy hour each day they’re open, 4 – 5 pm. Reservations are available on Resy.com.
Orange Bike Brewing (website, facebook, instagram) will be opening this Friday. Portland’s newest brewery is located at 31 Diamond Street in East Bayside in the same building as Bite Into Maine. This weekend they’ll be open Friday 3 – 8 pm, and Saturday/Sunday noon – 8 pm.
Alan Pugsley has been part of the start-up team as a consultant and has developed a set of gluten-free beer recipes which head brewer Jason Kissinger has put into production on a 10-barrel vintage Peter Austin brewery system. Orange Bike is Maine’s second dedicated gluten-free brewery joining Lucky Pigeon which opened for business in 2021.
On opening day Orange Bike will be pouring nine beers (see photo below for the full list) including a Belgian Wit, a New England IPA, a Winter Lager and a collaboration beer which is raising funds for the National Black Brewers Association. They’re just spinning up their canning line this week, and cans will be available for sale at the brewery on opening day.
Founder Tom Ruff and his team have built out a stylish ~40-person tasting room, and they’re working on an outdoor courtyard which when completed will have room for an additional 90+ people.
The opening announcements just keep coming. Mark your calendars:
- November 17 – Orange Bike Brewing is opening their East Bayside gluten-free brewery at 3 pm.
- November 18 – Prairie Baking is opening their bakery cafe on Romasco Lane at 9 am.
- November 28 – Broadway Bowl, the SoPo outpost of Bayside Bowl, is launching at 3 pm.
- December 1 – Chocolate Passion is opening their new location at 175 Spring Street (the former Mercy Hospital building).
Chef/owner Harding Smith reopened The Grill Room on Saturday night. This comes after a 4-month repair and renovation of the Exchange Street restaurant following a fire in June.
The Grill Room will be open Tuesday and Wednesday 4 – 9 pm and Thursday though Saturday 4 – 10 pm.
Renovations are ongoing in the former Swiss Time space which is slated to become part of The Grill Room when completed.
Fans of the former Rick’s Lobby Cafe will be happy to hear that The Proper Cup is starting to serve chef Rick Wood’s breakfast sandwiches starting October 24th.
Rick’s Lobby Cafe closed on September 1st. The Proper Cup was launched in 2018 and is located at 500 Forest Ave. They’re open 7 am – 1 pm.
The Porttown Public House & Coffee Bar (facebook, instagram) opened on Friday. The coffee shop and pub is located at 123 Commercial Street next to Olive Cafe. Porttown serves baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and coffee in the morning, and transitions to a bar with pizza and paninis for the rest of the day.