Opening This Week: Pigeons and Buzz

Two more businesses are launching this week:

Pigeons (website, instagram) the new concept being launched by Peter and Orenda Hale in the space formerly home to Drifters Wife, is opening on Wednesday. The daytime bar and French bistro will be open noon to 6 pm Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations for Pigeons can be made online.

Buzz Coffee (instagram) is launching their new coffee cart this Saturday at the Eastern Promenade 8 am to 1 pm. Corey Koch and Christopher Weiss will be serving cold brew prepared with coffee from Rwanda Bean.

BenReuben’s & Paddy Wagon

Two new businesses are launching this weekend:

BenReuben’s Knishery  (websiteinstagram) will be opening their doors Sunday morning (7 am to 3 pm). Owners Graeme and Caitlin Miller  will be serving a menu of 8 different types of knishes plus sides, cookies, cakes and drinks. BenReuben’s is located at 145 Ocean Street in South Portland.

The Paddy Wagon (instagram) food truck will be at Goodfire Brewing in East Bayside starting at noon on Sunday. Owners Luke Benning and David McGuirk will be serving pub fare like “Fish and Chips, Battered Sausages, Mushy Peas, and Chip Butties.”

Soul Food Paradise Launching Friday

A new takeout restaurant called Soul Food Paradise (website, instagram) is launching this Friday. They’re operating out of Fork Food Lab, the food business incubator and commercial kitchen in Bayside.

Owner Martin Beavers is serving up a menu that includes oxtail, jerk chicken, fried catfish and smothered pork chops.

Our menu pays homage to the comfort foods my mother made for our large family growing up in the Bronx. Now we’re excited to bring these flavors to Maine. We invite you to give us a try and become apart of our extended family.

Online pre-ordering is live for pick-up on Friday and orders can also be placed on May 7th. The Soul Food Paradise menu will also be available for delivery through Doordash or Grubhub.

Cheese Louise Opens Today

Cheese Louise (websitefacebookinstagram) is holding their grand opening today at 11 am. The restaurant is located at 363 Fore Street in the space formerly occupied by Cheevitdee. The menu includes 6 grilled cheese sandwich options which you can order online.

Cheese Louise was founded by  James Gaudreault, Ian Lubkin and Bryce Harrison as a food truck in New Hampshire and have two restaurants in Conway. Hours for the Old Port location will be Sunday through Thursday 11 – 9, and Friday/Saturday 11 – at least midnight.

New Food Trucks

Two new food trucks are set to launch this weekend:

The Pink Waffle (instagram) has its Portland debut at Bellefower Brewing on Sunday, 1-4 where they’ll be serving up a menu of waffle plates, waffle-based sandwiches and waffle snacks.

Snowology (instagram) will be launching on Saturday serving up bowls of flavored ice. The have a menu of 20 flavors and 5 house combos like Acadia Sunrise (cherry, mango, orange dreamsicle). Snowology will be in the Oakdale neighborhood starting around 3 pm.

RAS Wine: Arkadia

RAS Wines (website, instagram) is just about to release their first vintage of Arkadia, a sparkling wine produced from organically raised wild Maine blueberries. RAS is a Maine-based winery that will be focusing on sparkling and aromatized wines produced from organically raised Maine fruit.

The winery was founded by Dan Roche, Joe Appel and Emily Smith. All three are former Rosemont Market staff, and Joe Appel was Rosemont’s wine buyer and a former Press Herald wine columnist.

Arkadia (product sheet) is a spontaneously fermented with native yeasts, produced without added sulfur and with no fining or filtering. A secondary in-bottle fermentation is used to bottle condition the wine. Appel describes Arkadia as “dry, snappy, super bright, with a lot of dark fruit and savory character” which “sits at a new nexus point where artisanal wine, cider and beer intersect.”

In addition to Arkadia RAS is currently developing a vermouth which should come to market later this year—other wild-blueberry-based wines are in the works with plans to also expand into grape-based wines as well.

The first bottles of Arkadia are getting delivered later this week and will begin appearing on the shelves and menus around April 28th.

Look for it on the shelves at Bow Street Beverage, Higgins Beach Market, Leroux Kitchen, Lorne Wine, Maine & Loire, Old Port Wine Merchants, Rosemont Market, Speckled Ax (Thames Street), The Cheese Shop, and Vessel and Vine in Brunswick.

It’s also set to be on the takeout bottle lists and menus at Central Provisions, Chaval, Hunt + Alpine, Magnus on Water and The Honey Paw.

Check in with your favorite bottle shops and restaurants to find out if they’ll also be stocking Arkadia.

Weekend Openings

Two new establishments opened over the weekend:

Onggi Ferments (websiteinstagram) opened their retail shop on Saturday. Located at 93 Washington Ave in the The Black Box shipping container building, Onggi is a market for fermented food, a retail shop for fermentation equipment and a resource through classes and workshops to learn the skills to produce fermented foods at home.

Ruby’s West End (websiteinstagram) opened Sunday morning serving takeout coffee and baked goods. Once they open for onsite dining Ruby’s will serve a full brunch menu.

Jackrabbit Cafe

The highly anticipated opening of Jackrabbit Cafe (instagram) is slated to take place late next month—tentatively on April 21st May 5th. The bakery and cafe from Elda (instagram) chef/owner Bowman Brown will “focus on Scandinavian-inspired breads and pastries as well as seasonal vegetable dishes, sandwiches, and heartier small plates”.

Jackrabbit is located in the first floor of 14 Main Street in Biddeford. The second floor of the newly renovated building will be the future home of Elda when it re-opens.

Brown moved to Maine from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage. He was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011. Additionally, Brown was six time Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest from 2011 to 2016. Elda was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bill Addison at Eater in 2018, and was the feature of a New York Times article in that same year.

Here’s a look at the draft menu for opening day at Jackrabbit:

8 am and on…

  • Triple cream yogurt, maple granola, grapefruit
  • Raw oatmeal, almond milk, chia, blueberry, lavender
  • Rolled omelet, on toasted spelt brioche, onion marmalade
  • Avocado hummus, grilled whole grain flatbread
  • Crispy potatoes, pork green chili, poached egg
  • Sourdough waffle, brown butter syrup, berries, vanilla crème fraiche

10:30 and on…

  • Smoked trout, on danish rye toast, crushed peas, radish
  • Potato soup, hake, celery, wild garlic
  • Warm asparagus salad, toasted seeds, whipped egg yolk
  • Green salad, young lettuce, almond ricotta, snow peas, herb dressing
  • Salmon tartare, sprouted grains, avocado, nori, jalepeno
  • Fried pork sandwich, milk bread, charred cabbage, onion mayo
  • Russian dumplings, beef and smoked beet, sour cream, dill

Belleflower Opens Today

Belleflower Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) is officially opening today. Belleflower has taken over the former Brewery Extrava space on Cove Street in East Bayside. The opening day menu includes:

  • Lost Leaf, a pale lager
  • Magpie, a New England pale ale
  • Scruggsy, a New England IPA
  • 2 versions of Secret Clubhouse, an imperial stout