Barber Brothers Now Open

Barber Brothers Meat & Provisions (website, instagram) opened today. The new market is located at 101 Ocean Street in the Knightville neighborhood of South Portland. Customers were lining up on the sidewalk today in anticipation of the opening at noon.

Barber Brothers has an in-house butcher shop, a produce section, refrigerated and frozen products, wine and beer and stocks a wide range of national and local brands of packaged goods. Additional stock is still arriving to fill out the remaining shelf capacity.

The new market is being launched by Max and Jack Barber the co-owners of Mainely Burgers and the grandsons of Gus Barber who founded Barber Foods.

101 Ocean Street was the longtime home of Smaha’s Legion Square Market which was originally founded in 1939 by John Smaha. The Smaha family had sold the market to Alan Cardinal in 2012 and it closed in January 2023.

The market will initially be open Wednesday through Saturday , 11 am – 7 pm.

Peng’s Now Open

Peng’s Pizza Pies (website, instagram) opened for business in Biddeford Wednesday. It is located at 128 Main Street in the storefront adjacent to Sweetcream Dairy.  There was a strong interest in the new pizzeria and they sold out within 90 minutes of opening their doors.

Peng’s is serving crispy thin-crust pies made with naturally leavened dough which stylistically owner Chris Daniels describes as New York meets New Haven. The opening day menu (see below) included six signature pizzas along with a Caesar salad and Basque cheesecake.

Primarily a takeout business, Peng’s also has 8 seats for indoor dining. You can order online.

Daniels has been a professional baker since 2008—in Maine he’s worked at Tandem Bakery, at Belleville and at Rover Bagel. The restaurant is named for Daniels’ father Bill whose nickname was Peng.

Peng’s will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 4 – 9 pm.

Midcoast Openings: Yonder & Alsace

A pair of new restaurants opened this past week in the Midcoast.

Yonder (website, instagram) opened Wednesday in Wiscasset. The sandwich shop is located  just across Middle Street from Treats. The menu includes a selection of sandwiches as well as daily soup and salad specials. The sandwiches are available in three sizes (small/large/big) and served on focaccia bread.

Yonder is owned by Kelsey and Jonathan Turcotte. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm.

Alsace (website, facebook, instagram) opened Wednesday night in Union. As the name suggests the menu features dishes from the Alsace region of France like choucoute garnie and tarte flambé. They also serve some traditional German dishes like jaeger schnitzel and ones whose origins are closer to home like the seafood chowder and grilled lobster. The wine list is weighted to Old World wines with most originating from France.

Chef Fabrice Roux (linkedin) and sommelier Jennifer Roux are new to Maine but not to the industry. They previously operated three restaurants in the Monterey region of California.

Alsace is open for dinner Wednesday/Thursday, 4:30 – 8 pm, Friday 4:30 – 9 pm and Saturday/Sunday 10 am – 2 pm.

Back Cove BBQ & Pizzeria

Back Cove BBQ & Pizzeria reopened this spring. Owner Dan Rubinoff relaunched his one-man operation at 89 Ocean Avenue and is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 – 2, 5 – 7 or other times by chance. The menu is also available for delivery via

The menu of comfort food dishes includes applewood slow smoked pulled pork sandwiches, gyros, sweet Italian sausages with sauteed onions and peppers (shown above), burgers, pizza and much more. See below for full menu.

Rubinoff has been in the food industry over four decades, starting with food cart called One Potato Two that launched in 1980. The cart was located next to the mushroom-shaped pay phone station in Monument Square.

Matcha Mood Opened

A new cafe and retail shop called Matcha Mood (website, instagram) opened today. The 640 sq ft 3-seat shop is located at 654 Congress Street in the same building as Blue, The Jewel Box and Sagamore Hill.

Matcha Mood is being launched by sisters Sarochinee, Veya, and Phuntira Tiparos. Their menu (see below) includes a variety of matcha-based drinks made using ceremonial grade matcha (shown above is a matcha latte). Their line of house-made matcha-based baked goods are expected to be available at some point this week.

Matcha Mood will be open 9 am – 4 pm, seven days a week.

Oak & Ember Opens Friday

Oak & Ember (website, instagram), the new farm-to-table gastropub in Buxton, is scheduled to open on Friday. Owner Shannon Keefe and her team have lightly renovated the former Buxton Common building. It includes an outdoor deck that seats 38, and a variety of rooms and seating areas inside the building that overall seats 60.

Chef Kirby Sholl is the executive chef at Oak & Ember. Sholl was formerly the chef de cuisine at Chaval. The menu (see below) includes a mix of small bites, apps, pasta and mains. Shown above are the Grilled Shrimp and the Grilled Iberian Pork.

The beverage program includes wines (mostly old world) by the glass, draft and packaged beer/cider/seltzer and a short list of house-designed cocktails. In addition to the restaurant there’s also a on-site wine shop that will sell all the wines of the by-the-glass and bottle list offered at Oak & Ember.

Oak & Ember will initially be open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner. Reservations are available online on

Rise Now Open in Cumberland

The Forecaster reports that the new Cumberland restaurant Rise Pizza & Pub (instagram) has opened for business.

For restaurateur Tobey Moulton, offering casual yet elevated food in a relaxed atmosphere is no new feat, but last week, when the co-owner opened Rise Pizza and Pub in Cumberland, he knew he had big shoes to fill.

Partnering with chef Rocco Marzilli, Moulton purchased the building on Main Street from Jim Guidi early this summer. In April, The Forecaster published an exclusive story announcing the closure of Guidi’s restaurant, Louie’s Grille, which was a staple in Cumberland for a decade.

Lambs Bar in South Portland Now Open

A new South Portland bar called Lambs (website, instagram) debuted Wednesday night.  Lambs is located at 695 Broadway in a space adjacent to Night Moves Bread. In addition to 70 seats of indoor bar and table seating, Lambs also has outdoor seating overlooking Casco Bay.

Owner Wade Ritchey along with beverage director Maia Fleming and the Lambs team are serving a bar menu (see below) of local beer, natural wine and a selection of classic cocktails. Food options include ham and butter or radish and butter sandwiches made with Night Moves bread, sardines, olives, bread and cheese, hummus, etc. Shown above are the ham and butter sandwich, castelvetrano olives and a negroni cocktail. Watch for the Lambs menu to expand in the coming weeks with more options for food, a bottles list, and maybe even sake.

Lambs will be open Wednesday through Monday, 3:30 – midnight on weekdays, noon – midnight on weekends.

Night Mares Opens Today

A new bar called Night Mares (instagram) is scheduled to open today at 5 pm. It is located on the far side of the old Nissen Bakery Building at 44 Romasco Lane. Hours will be Thursday through Sunday, 5 pm – 1 am.

The menu (see below) includes a variety of house cocktails, beer, wine, mocktails, as well as some sweet and savory snacks. The gougeres are especially tasty. Shown here are the Night Mares on the Prairie cocktail and the beet and chevre tartine.

Night Mares occupies the same space as the cafe/bakery being launched later this year by Prairie Baking Company. The owner of Prairie Baking, Elizabeth Rzoska, along with Louis Masi, Devan Marr, and Christian Roadman are the co-founders of the bar.

The name of the bar is meant to “acknowledge the serious, refined aspects of a bar slightly mysterious and intriguing with a lighthearted, welcoming touch.”

Ore Nell’s North in Biddeford

Ore Nell’s North (website, facebook, instagram), the Biddeford outpost of Ore Nell’s BBQ in Kittery, opened for business on Wednesday. It’s located just across the parking lot from Palace Diner at 42 Franklin Street in the building formerly occupied by Louie’s Pizza.

Ore Nell’s serves Texas-style barbecue (see menu below) that’s a reflection of chef Will Myska’s Houston upbringing. The menu includes brisket, ribs, pulled pork, other meats and even BBQ tofu as well as sandwiches, traditional sides. There’s also a children’s menu. Shown here are a plate of their Saint Louis ribs, brisket, collard greens and a loaded baked potato (top right), a smoked chicken taco from the day’s specials menu (bottom left), and a Toxic Mezcalinity cocktail (bottom right).

This week they will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 4 – 9 pm. Hours will expand next week and Ore Nell’s plans to eventually be open seven days a week.

The original Ore Nell’s in Kittery launched in 2018 as a collaboration between Myska, David Vargas from Vida Cantina in Portsmouth and restaurateur Jay McSharry. Kyle Chauncey has joining the founders in launching the Biddeford location.