A new Maine food publication Resurgam Mag (website, instagram) has published their first issue online.
Resurgam is the creation of Josh Lemay, Harper Fendler, and Sean Connerty as “an attempt to document and celebrate the prolific food community of Maine while giving back to those in need”. Resurgam is written and created by people from the hospitality industry.
Copies of Resurgam can be purchased on their website on a donation basis. “[A]ll proceeds will go to benefit unemployed hospitality workers. Pay what you feel comfortable giving and know your donation will go to support others in need”
Wine shops, like all food businesses, have had to adapt to the current reality. Many offer curbside pick-up and a number of them have launched delivery services including Maine & Loire, Eighteen Twenty Wines, Lorne Wine. Just this weekend, Wine Wise, a wine tour and education company, launched its own retail wine delivery business Wine Wise at Home.
If beer and spirits are more to your tastes check with your favorite brewers and distillers. You might also want to visit delivery services CarHop and Drizly for other options.
A new initiative called Save Our Shifts (website, facebook, instagram) launched this week. It’s designed to provide “an opportunity for bartenders to create educational content about their craft and a platform to deliver it.”
Save Our Shifts was created by Round Turn Distilling, Might & Main, photographer Zack Bowen, and the Portland chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild.
You can see the first few videos on Youtube.
For an article in today’s paper the Press Herald interviewed restaurant owners, managers and staff to understand the plans they’re making and uncertainties they’re working through as they decide how and when to re-open.
[Matt] Chappell [owner of Gather in Yarmouth] still has a lot of questions: Does the state-set limit of no more than 50 people gathering in one place at a time include the 10 cooks and servers who usually work a dinner service? Can he serve 50 people in his dining room and 50 more outside? What kind of limits will be set on the distance between tables, and the number of people allowed to sit at any one table? Will the public be skittish about dining out again?
As reported earlier this week, Maine restaurants and bars can now move ahead with curbside cocktail takeout. Businesses are in the process of figuring out their plans and menus. No doubt many more venues will jump on board over the next week.
For right now here are the first few out of the gate with cocktails ready to order:
Local 188 plans to have cocktails ready for their Sunday brunch takeout on May 3rd.
Ferry Village Market (instagram) is slated to open this Friday. The new business is located in South Portland at 323 Broadway in the space formerly occupied by Anania’s. They plan to sell groceries, wine beer, and have a menu of sandwiches, subs, pizzas and calzones.
A local chapter of the national organization Frontline Foods (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has been established in Maine. The organization raises money that is used to pay restaurants to produce meals that are delivered to healthcare workers at hospitals. Frontline Foods is operating in 44 locations across the country.
The local chapter has been set-up by Portland area natives Christopher Curran and musician Lyle Divinsky. Allagash Brewing and Peak Organic are both making donations to Frontline Foods Maine, and the organization is partnering with chefs from Chaval, Duckfat, Evo Kitchen + Bar, Knotted Apron, Luke’s Lobster, and the Foreside Tavern to produce meals that will be provided to medical staff at Mercy Hospital. In addition to the work to organize the local chapter, Curran is donating all profits in April and May from his winery, Strider Wines to support the initiative.
Frontline Foods is working with World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit established by chef José Andrés, which is functioning as Frontline Foods’ 501(c)(3) partner.
For more information, you can read about Frontline Foods in the Time magazine. To make a donation to the Maine chapter visit their website: frontlinefoods.org/maine.
Ramona’s (website, instagram) a Philly-inspired hoagie shop created by Chad Conley and Josh Sobel, will be opening as a takeout service at 98 Washington Ave this Friday, April 17th. Pre-order your sandwiches online at ramonas.me/takeout.
Conley is well known as the co-owner of Palace Diner and founder of Rose Foods. Sobel hails from Philadelphia. He is a member of the Rose Foods staff, and has worked in NYC at Mile End, Diner, Marlow & Sons, and Court Street Grocers; he was also a co-owner of Southside Coffee. Grub Street put Southside at the top of their list of NYC’s best breakfast sandwiches back in 2016.
A new organization called Cooking for Community (website, facebook, instagram) is working with restaurants to buy local food from farms and fisheries to provide meals to those in need. So far Cooking for Community has raised $55,000 dollars. A pilot project will launch Monday with the kitchens of Chaval and Little Giant preparing 450 cooked meals for Catholic Charities of Maine, Wayside Food Programs, Amistad and Preble Street.
Cooking for Community will enable production and delivery of hundreds of locally sourced, warm, fresh meals during its first week. At the same time, it will create and revise the structure and best practices for its expanding program model. Ultimately, the volunteer-run group hopes to expand to involve many more local restaurants, local food providers and donors to feed hundreds, possibly thousands of underserved, unemployed, elderly, and homeless people each day.
The Cooking for Community program “reinforces a positive feedback loop: restaurants can pay employees, leveraging payroll funding from the Cares Act federal stimulus package. Producers, farmers and individuals in the fishing industries, a big part of this loop, will receive financial support. The model also uses donations of perishable food goods that would otherwise go to waste.”
The organizers “hope is to inject essential nourishment, resources and hope back into thousands of Mainers’ lives. Anyone in need will know where and when they can depend on a free meal, cooked with love from all of us in Maine.”
For more information watch this interview with organizer Ellie Linen Low and Little Giant owner Ian Malin on Youtube.
Also pay a visit the Cooking for Community website, where you can also make a donation to support their ongoing efforts.
Solo Cucina Market (website, facebook, instagram) is planning to go ahead and open this Wednesday. Their hours will be 11 am to 4 pm.
The market is a collaboration between the owners of The Farm Stand in South Portland and Solo Italiano. The market will feature a bakery and Solo Cucina will sell fresh pasta and sauces prepared foods to go in addition to the meats, dairy, wine, beer and produce that The Farm Stand has become known for.
At this time of restaurant closings it’s so encouraging to see a new business taking the leap and opening for the first time.