Double Great Opens Sunday

Double Great Coffee (websiteinstagram) is set to launch Sunday morning at 6:30 am. The new Munjoy Hill coffee shop is at 100 Congress Street in the storefront formerly occupied by Hilltop Coffee (which closed in late 2022).

Double Great will be a multi-roaster coffee shop serving coffee from Verve in Santa Cruz and Passenger from Lancaster, Pennsylvania with a special focus on coffees from Central and South America. Double Great also have a range of green, black and herbal teas including chamomile, herbal chai, star bright peppermint, china breakfast and sencha.

They will be exclusively be sourcing their baked goods from chef Ilma Lopez at Ugly Duckling, providing Hill residents easy access to pastries like their wonderful Pastel de Natas (Portuguese egg custard tarts).

As you can seen, the space has been renovated with a design and build out by Joiya Studios, the same firm that produced several other Portland restaurant interiors including Quanto Basta, Cong Tu Bot, and Maine & Loire. It includes window seating, and banquets in the the center and along the right wall of the room. Also in the corner is a children’s table and play space.

Double Great is being launched by Carolyn and Michael Force (shown below), the co-owners of Portland Dry Goods with Amanda Foreman from Abura Skincare.

The coffee shop will be open 6:30 am – 2 pm seven days a week.

The 2023 Year In Review

Here’s a look back at the 2023 year in food. It’s been a very busy year of events, openings and, sadly, of closings too. Read on for a refresher on the year we just experienced and for a look at the new restaurants, bars, pizzerias, and other business that are in the pipeline.

Closings – Some restaurant close every year whether due to retirement, lack of business success, owners interest in pursuing a new venture or external personal circumstance. However, 2023 has clearly seen much more than its fair share. 2023 has been notable not only for the overall number of business closures, but also for touching established businesses as well as more recent arrivals alike.

To name just a few there was Little Woodfords, Maine Mead Works, the Rosemont wine bar, and Bull Feeney’s in Q1, Blue Spoon (since reopened in Rockport), Tiqa, Full Turn and Timber in Q2 and Vena’s shared plans not to launch their new bar/retail shop, Petite Jacqueline, Rick’s Lobby Cafe, The Danforth, Wolf Peach in Camden in Q3, and the CBD on Congress, the Other Side Deli, Judy Gibson, Radici, The Snug and Cabana in Q4. See this page and the month-by-month recap below for a fuller accounting of the departures.

Hopefully as we head into 2024 we’ll see this peak in these losses to the food and dining community subside.

Maine Food Map – The energy that’s powered the Portland area restaurant scene for the last decade is also now making an impact on communities across the state. New hospitality businesses are launching in small towns like Waterford and Alna as well as in tourist destinations like Rangeley and Eastport. Nowhere has that entrepreneurial activity been more keenly evident than in the Midcoast. However, the last two years have also seen notable establishments opening in locations like Gardiner and Lewiston—cities that weren’t at the top of anyone’s #TheNextBiddeford list. A pandemic influenced in-migration to Maine from other states is one of the contributing factors which has brought experienced professionals to (or back to) Maine and a growing customer base for the businesses they’re creating.

Take a look back the 2023 reporting on the Maine food scene for more details, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Beard Awards: The Quarry in Monson was a Beard Awards winner in the Outstanding Hospitality Category, and Nezinscot Farm in Turner was named a James Beard America’s Classics Award winner
  • Kennebunk: Chefs Nate Norris and Annie Callan opened Bev’s Cafe and Market in Kennebunk
  • Bath/Brunswick: Caballeras, BizziBuns, Oysthers, and The Abbey all opened. A new Holy Donut shop, Reverie Coffee and Linden + Front are under construction. After a long hiatus Tao Yuan reopened.
  • Camden/Rockport: Costa Media opened in the former Wolf Peach building. Additionally,  Albatross, the new bar at The Norumbega, The Place Bakery, Sea Hag Cidery and the relocated Blue Spoon opened. Buttermilk Kitchen is under construction.
  • Thomaston: Honey’s is under construction and Uproot Pie Company just opened.
  • Alna: The Maine Sunday Telegram named The Alna Store their pick for the Best New Restaurant of 2023.
  • Greenville: the Blair Hill Inn hired Max Snyder as their new chef.
  • Belfast: a new wine bar called Pulling Corks, and a taco/cocktail bar called Dos Gatos are under construction.
  • Wiscassett: The “prettiest village in Maine” saw the opening of Jolie Rodger’s and Yonder, and Jodie’s took the place of Sarah’s.
  • Blue Hill Peninsula: Travel and Leisure declared the Blue Hill peninsula “One of the Best Places to Eat in the U.S. Right Now“.
  • Union/Warren: Alsace opened in Union and the Black Goat Test Kitchen opened in Warren.
  • Lewiston: The opening of Bon Vivant brought fine dining back to Lewiston.
  • Waldoboro: The Waldoboro Inn launched Ida’s their fun bar and pop-up collaboration venue.
  • Gardiner: Table Bar launched a dinner service with chef Jimmy Leftis.
  • Buxton: Oak & Ember opened in September.
  • Saco: The Scandinavian bakery Fika opened.
  • Waterford: The launch of Tallulah’s at The Waterford Inne.

Upcoming in 2024 – There remains a strong pipeline of new businesses under development in the Portland area. For a full list see our Under Construction list. Here are just some highlights to look forward to:

There are also several other exciting new projects in the works that we’ll be writing about soon. Check back soon for all the details.

Notable Events of 2023


Top 10 Articles

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

  1. Salvatore’s Hoagies – first word of the new sandwich takeout business.
  2. Oak & Ember – first word about a new restaurant in Buxton.
  3. 2023 Beard Semifinalists – 11 Maine restaurants and chefs were named as awards semifinalists.
  4. Battery Steele – first word of the brewery’s expansion to Wells.
  5. Bistro Leluco – opening of the restaurant in South Portland.
  6. Wander at Longwoods – first word about the farm-to-table restaurant in Cumberland.
  7. Tacos La Poblanita – first word of their new restaurant in Westbrook.
  8. Thanksgiving List – the 2023 edition of our Thanks giving Resource list.
  9. Lambs – opening announcement for Lambs in South Portland.
  10. Lecha – first word about the new boba tea and ice cream shop in Deering Center.

For an additional perspective on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram Dine Out Maine: Best of 2023 article, and the Portland Old Port 2023 wrap-up.

This is the 14th 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 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Novel Opens Wednesday

Novel (websitefacebookinstagram) is set to open this Wednesday. It’s located at 643 Congress Street near Longfellow Square. The combination bookstore, coffee shop and bar serves coffee (which they roast in-house), beer, mocktails, wine and cocktails along with baked good and quiche, pie and flatbread (see full menu below).

Owners Joshua Ames and Nate Donovan have partnered with The Green Hand bookshop to stock the shelves with a wide assortment of fiction and nonfiction books including a children’s section.

The ~50-seat space has a variety of seating options including standard tables, counters in the window a 7-seat bar, leather couches and even a pair of rocking chairs. Novel will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 8 am – 10 pm.

Nosh Tacos Now Open

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 Opened Friday

Chocolats Passion (websitefacebookinstagram) 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 Now Open

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 is Now Open

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 Opens Friday

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

Orange Bike Brewing Opens Friday

Orange Bike Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) 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.