SoPo Seafood Now Open

SoPo Seafood (websitefacebookinstagram) opened their new fish market in South Portland on Wednesday. They’re located at 171 Ocean Street in the space formerly occupied by Uncle Andy’s. In addition to the retail shop the new business also features a raw bar where co-owners Matt Brown, Lucas Myers and Joshua Edgcombe plan to showcase the local Maine seafood that they specialize in.

SoPo Seafood launched in March 2020. In addition to in-person sales at the market, and selling wholesale to restaurants, they also operate a seafood delivery service (order online) serving Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Saco, Biddeford, and Biddeford Pool. The South Portland market will initially be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 7.

SoPo Seafood is located in the evolving restaurant row on Ocean Street that now includes Taco Trio, Solo Cucina Market, Judy Gibson, Ben Reuben’s, and Cafe Louis.

Old Port Flores Now Open

Flores (website, facebook, instagram) opened their new restaurant on Congress Street on Saturday. The newly renovated space is located at 431 Congress Street adjacent to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church at the head of Temple Street. The restaurant seats 30+ people and features a bar and full liquor license.

Flores in the Old Port is open Monday 5 – 11 pm, Thursday and Friday 5 pm – 1 am, Saturday 2 pm – 1 am, and Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. The Flores in Parkside will remain open for takeout.

Here’s a look at the menu.

Newly Opened: Sushi & Mobile Coffee

Another two food businesses have launched:

Tokyo Sushi Ramen (website, instagram) opened on Monday. They’re located in the former BRGR Bar space at 11 Brown Street. The menu includes an extensive list of offerings including sushi, ramen, pad thai, tempura, teriyaki, poke bowls and more.

A new mobile coffee cart called La Mega (instagram) launched last week. Owner Joe Radano is serving a menu of coffee and espresso based drinks as well as baked goods from Standard Baking. You can find La Mega Friday on Spring Street, in Deering Oaks on Saturday, and in Congress Square Park on Sunday.

Food Trucks: Eat It & Beet It, Clam Bar, Knitting Nook

The new food trucks keep coming. Here’s some information on three more:

The Clam Bar (instagram) is getting ready to open. The business is located at 199 West Commercial St. They will initially be opening with a food truck kitchen while the brick and mortar restaurant is still under development. September 1st is the target open date.

The Knitting Nook (instagram) in South Portland has expanded on the existing cafe offering with a food truck serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

A new food truck called Eat It & Beet It (instagram) is under development. Founder Lea Andrukaitis Verrill plans to serve a menu of gourmet beef and vegan/vegetarian burgers which will feature a beet burger she’s developed. Verrill hopes to open in late 2021 or early 2022. Verrill has worked the last few years as a pastry chef at Botto’s Bakery.

Congolese Takeout from Taste of 243

A Congolese takeout and delivery service called Taste of 243 (instagram) launched this summer in Westbrook. Owner Daniella Mawika offers up a weekly menu that includes chicken, beef, goat, Thomson fish, peanut butter stew, fufu, yellow rice and kwanga, as well as weekly specials. The 243 in the name of the business is a reference to the international calling code for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A recent graduate from USM with a degree in business and it’s Mawika’s dream to one day own a restaurant, and to make Congolese food to available to diners in Maine and beyond. As a next step Mawika is hoping to expand the catering side of the business.

Taste of 243 is open for business on Saturdays and Sundays. You can call or text in your order at (207) 409-5240 and pay either with cash, Venmo or Cash App.

Lucky Pigeon & Nibblesford

Two new establishments opened in Biddeford this weekend.

Lucky Pigeon Brewing (facebookinstagram) is Maine’s first brewery exclusively dedicated to producing gluten-free beer opened on Friday. They’re located in building 13 of the Pepperell Mill complex just off Laconia Street. Their initial tap line-up include a New England IPA, brown ale, blonde ale and pale ale. Lucky Pigeon is open Friday (4 – 9 pm),  Saturday (noon – 9 pm) and Sunday (noon – 6 pm).

The Nibblesford (facebookinstagramtwitter) cheese shop and specialty market opened on Saturday. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern are focusing on Maine cheese makers and other Maine sourced food and products as well as wines, oils, and other specialty food stuffs from around the globe. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street. Travis Kern has been working in the restaurant industry for 20+ years—his most recent position was as the chef de cuisine at Local 188. They’re open 11 – 5 on Sunday, and 11 – 7 on Monday and Thursday through Saturday.

Mobile Food: Moonday, Quanto Basta, Witty Monkey, Maxim’s

2021 has seen a riot of new mobile food and drink operations. Here are a four more that have recently surfaced or recently launched:

Moonday (instagram) is a mobile espresso cart that popped-up for the first time this past weekend. Owner David Kessel is serving cold brew and espresso-based drinks made with Speckled Ax coffee as well as a house-made chai.

The Witty Monkey (instagram) Monkey launched in July. Owner Sokly Soeuy is serving up dishes from Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisines.

Quanto Basta (websiteinstagram) is holding their first pop-up on Saturday August 21st. Owner Elizabeth English plans to serve a rotating menu of four to five Neapolitan pizzas as well as Italian pastries and provisions. [more info]

Maxim’s Desserts (instagram) has relocated to Portland from Kennebunkport. Owner Max LeBlanc serves pie cones which are a “waffle cone with crushed pie filling and crust coating the inside, ice cream in the middle, and more pie sprinkled on top, all made to order”. Maxim’s currently expects to be operating in Portland through the end of August.

Portland’s mobile food scene continues to rapidly expand. Stay tuned for more updates on new food trucks, carts and pop-ups. For the best information on which carts and trucks are open on any given day check out the Food Truckalico app.

Rosemont Market & Wine Bar

Rosemont opened their new market and wine bar on Thompson’s Point yesterday. According to an article in this week’s Portland Phoenix,

[Rosemont Marketing Director Holly] Martzial described the new Rosemont as being a “picnic Rosemont” that will carry grab-and-go items like sushi, noodles, yogurt, some fresh fruit, and ice cream treats. The wine bar will also offer small plates to complement its wine pairings, including items like meat and cheese, but Martzial said overall most of the offerings will be snack-like instead of full meal portions.

The wine bar, she added, will offer a selection of wines that are available at all of Rosemont’s markets. Martzial said the staff plans to open the new Rosemont for outdoor service only and will start slowly with its schedule.

Zephyr Ice Opens Thursday

Zephyr Ice (instagram) will be opening their new shaved ice shop this Thursday. Zephyr Ice is located at 129 Spring Street. Owners Julie and Don Martin launched Zephyr as a food cart last summer. This will be their first brick and mortar location.

Zephyr Ice will be open Thursday and Friday, 4 – 8 pm.

Cong Tu Bot Opens Saturday

 

Cong Tu Bot (websiteinstagram) will officially reopen Saturday morning at 8 am. The highly regarded Vietnamese restaurant is transitioning into a counter service daytime cafe serving breakfast and lunch.

On Saturday Cong Tu Bot will be serving a limited breakfast menu (see below) that includes a breakfast sandwich, coconut yogurt parfait, and pandan cake, along with coffee, tea and other drinks. Over the next few weeks perennial favorites such as the phở gà and bún chả as well as a range of new breakfast and lunch items will make it onto the menu.

Cong Tu Bot has a new outdoor seating area—indoor seating is not available at this time. Hours will be: Thursday and Friday 7 am – 1 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 2 pm.