Casa Novello to Reopen

Casa Novello has announced plans to reopen their Westbrook restaurant on May 3rd.

We are excited to announce that we are reopening on Tuesday 5/3. We still have our two original BOH staff and they are excited to train our new Chef and new team members so there are no changes in any of the recipes!! I cannot thank all of you for the overwhelming support and Love we received! We are so looking forward to celebrating with all of you!! Kimmy, Karen, Leah, Sarah, Nick, Brandon, Derek and Hannah can’t wait to get back to work… And we are excited for all of our new staff to join our Casa family!! PLEASE SHARE!!! Call for reservations. We are also going to be open on Mother’s Day 4-8…

Casa Novello had closed indefinitely in early April due to a lack of staff and at the time it seemed likely they were likely to close permanently.

Onggi to Open April 30th

Onggi (website, instagram) will be opening their fermentation-focused shop at their new location at 131 Washington Ave (the former A&C Grocery) on Saturday April 30th. The move will more than quadruple their space—from 300 sq ft to 1,300 sq ft.

The store will feature a new pastry and lunch service that will be available to go or to enjoy at the counter, window seats or outdoor tables. In addition to some popular items from the Onggi 1.0 menu (e.g. sourdough chocolate chip cookies) the offerings will include options like miso scallion scones, kimchi pork handpies, and matcha black sesame butter mochi. The lunch menu will specialize in fermentation-focused dishes including their own take on the Korean classic Bibimbap.

The retail shop is also set to expand with the introduction of house-made fermented products, equipment, and “fermenty alcoholic beverages”. In the future the second floor of the building will be used to hold classes, workshops, and events.

“Ferments have fascinated – and fed – us our entire lives and we believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of fermentation: richer flavors, improved health, and cultured community,” says Marcus Im, one of Onggi’s three co-founders. “There is so much we can do to educate others and build excitement around all that fermentation can offer, and we hope whoever visits Onggi will share some of our enthusiasm and fall in love with our expanded in-store experience.”

Onggi was founded by Amy Ng, Erin Zobitz, and Marcus Im in April 2021. Onggi was originally located in one of The Black Box retail spaces on the corner of Marion Street and Washington Ave.

Onggi will be open on April 30th, and then starting May 4th will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, and on Sunday 10 am – 4 pm.

Photo Credit: Onggi.

Stars & Stripes Now Open

After a few days of soft openings the new Stars and Stripes Brewing Co. (websitefacebookinstagram) tasting room at 3 Spring Street will open today at 2 pm. The tasting room is located in the space formerly occupied by Lio.

The “Mess Hall” food menu includes pizza, fries, chicken tenders, chicken wings, a charcuterie box and a kid’s “cuterie snack box”.

Stars & Stripes opened their original location in Freeport in November 2018. Today’s hours at the Portland location will be 2 – 10 pm.

Casita Corazon

Casita Corazon, the South Portland second location of El Corazon (facebookinstagram) restaurant in Longfellow Square, opened for business last week. The restaurant is located in the former 158 Pickett Street Cafe location. The building has undergone renovations since 158 Pickett Street Cafe closed at the end of last summer. Casita Corazon will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 8.

El Corazon initially launched as a food truck in 2013 before taking over the former Petite Jacqueline space in Longfellow Square in 2017.

Banded Brewing Kitchen

Banded Brewing
has announced an expanded food program at what they’re now calling the Banded Taproom + Kitchen in Biddeford.

The kitchen has been renovated to allow us to make more food for more folks, [chef Carrie Clark] has been diligently testing recipes, the management team has been diligently sampling french fries and sauces…The menu will feature thoughtful pub fare with all of the housemade sauces, lots of local ingredients, and plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike — in addition the Banded staples you’ve come to know and love.

The new menu will launch on Wednesday April 6th when the Biddeford location will be open 4 – 9 pm.

Tomaso’s, WingIt, MK Buffet, Bay Bowls, Friendly Toast, 555 North, The Proper Cup

Spring has arrived and with it news about new restaurants and food trucks is flowing quickly. Here’s the latest:

A new food truck called WingIt (instagram) was on the Eastern Promenade last Friday. As the name suggests wings are at the center of their menu but it also includes burgers, fries, mac and cheese and more.

Bay Bowls (website, instagram) is under construction on Washington Ave in the space formerly occupied by Onggi. The original Bay Bowls is located in Brunswick, and this will be their second location. They are expecting to open April 8th.

Details are still scarce but it’s confirmed that The Friendly Toast (instagram) will be opening a new location in Portland. The original Friendly Toast opened in Portsmouth and there are now eight locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Tomaso’s (instagram) has bought the former Halstead’s food truck and plan to launch their own mobile food business this summer. The menu is still under development but expect it to offer a variety of tacos. Update: The truck will be called Disco Jalisco (instagram).

MK Buffet Restaurant (facebook) has opened in the space formerly occupied by the Shawarma and Kebab House at 683 Forest Ave in Woodfords Corner.

Michelle and Steve Corry are launching 555 North (website, instagram) a revival of their longtime Portland restaurant Five Fifty-Five. 555 North will be located The Federal hotel in Brunswick, and is expected to open this spring.

The Proper Cup (instagram) is closing down for the month as of April 2nd and will use the time to build out a new kitchen for the coffee house. When they reopen The Proper Cup menu will expand to include sandwiches, toasts and salads.

Della Terra Pizza in Saco

A new New York-style pizzeria called Della Terra Pizza (instagram) opened on Wednesday in Saco.

Owner Micah Robinson has put together a menu that includes 16-inch round pizzas (margheritas, white pizzas, etc), 16-inch square pizzas (Sicilians, L&B, etc), a caesar salad and pizza by the slice. There are gluten-free options. The menu will expand to include specialty pies, more salad options, a calzone, and a stromboli roll in the coming days. The menu is available for pre-order.

Della Terra is located at 213 North Street in Saco. They will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am – 9 pm.

Eat It & Beet It Launching March 31st

The first new food truck of the spring, Eat It & Beet It (instagram), will be launching on March 31st at Goodfire Brewing in East Bayside.

Founder Lea Andrukaitis Verrill plans to serve a menu of beef and house-made beet burgers. All of the sandwiches on the menu will also be available in a gluten-free version, and all of the sides will be gluten-free.

Here’s a look at the starting menu for Eat It & Beet It. All the burgers come with the choice of quarter pound 100% beef burgers or vegetarian beet burgers.