The Portland Board Launching Thursday

The Portland Board (websitefacebookinstagram) is planning to launch this Thursday. Portland’s newest food truck—a 1979 Volkswagon bus—will be located in the parking lot at Root Wild Kombucha weekly Thursday through Sunday, noon to 7 or 8 pm.

Owner Graham Young will be serving a opening week menu with three options: a traditional board, a spicy version and a vegan board.

The boards include a mix of charcuterie meats and cheeses along with bread, crackers, savory spreads, jams, pickled veggies, dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, fresh veggies. The vegan board include items like cashew ricotta, mushroom pate, cashew hard cheese and beet hummus in place of the meats and cheeses.

Norimoto Open on Stevens Ave

Atsuko Fujimoto opened the new location for Norimoto Bakery (website, instagram) this past Saturday. The bakery is located 469 Stevens Ave in Deering Center.

For the time being she’s keeping to a schedule of taking online pre-orders on Friday for pick-up on Saturdays with some extra baked goods for walk-in sales. As soon as some additional construction is completed Fujimoto anticipates being open Thursday through Saturday for walk-in sales.

Rathskeller on Wharf Now Open

Rathskeller on Wharf (website, facebook, instagram) opened for business on Tuesday. The Rathskeller is located at 51 Wharf Street and is being launched by Tom Minervino, his sister Meg Minervino and their business partner Mike Barton. The Minervinos and Barton also own and operate Legends Rest in Westbrook.

The Rathskeller will be open Tuesday through Thursday 3 – 11 pm, and Friday and Saturday noon – 1 am.

Here’s a look at the opening week’s menu:

Falafel Time Opening Soon

A new Middle Eastern restaurant called Falafel Time (website, instagram) is slated to open October 18th. The restaurant is located at 1053 Forest Ave adjacent to Ginza Town.

Owner Qutaiba Hassoon will be serving a menu that includes falafel-based sandwiches, salads and plates, hamburgers, cheese steak sandwiches, a beef kabob sandwich, fattoush salad and other dishes as well as pizzas and calzones. Check their website on Monday for an online ordering system.

Falafel Time will be open on Monday October 18th, 4-8 pm. Their general hours will be Wednesday through Monday, 11 am – 9 pm.

Friends & Family Opening Thursday

Friends & Family (instagram) is slated to open on Thursday. The new bar/cafe and specialty market is located in the former Vinland space at  593 Congress Street.

The 30-seat counter service eatery will serve wine, beer, and aperitivos along with menu items such as cheese and chacuterie boards and small plates like chicory salad and pork rillettes on toast. A range of sandwiches will be added to the menu in the coming weeks.

Owners Cecily Upton and Michael Malyniwsky situated their restaurant near the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Stage, Space Gallery, and State Theater to be a casual space to gather pre/post a show or visit to a gallery.

Upton grew up in Maine. Early in her career she worked at former Portland restaurants Natasha’s and Pepperclub, as well as Space Gallery and the PMA. In New York she was part of the front of house staff at Gabrielle Hamilton’s restaurant Prune. She worked as the youth programs director at Slow Food USA before co-founding FoodCorps. Upton returned to Maine in 2015.

Malyniwsky grew up in Ottawa and moved to the US in 2001. The last 7 years he’s worked in California where most recently he was the founding chef of Cellarmaker House of Pizza in San Francisco.  Malyniwsky was on the opening teams of Birch & Barley in DC, and was the sous chef at CityZen working with Michelin-starred chef Eric Ziebold.

Hours to start will be 11:30 am to 8 pm Thursday through Sunday. Monday night will be pizza night open for evening service, 4 to 8 pm. 

SoPo Seafood Now Open

SoPo Seafood (websitefacebookinstagram) opened their new fish market in South Portland on Wednesday. They’re located at 171 Ocean Street in the space formerly occupied by Uncle Andy’s. In addition to the retail shop the new business also features a raw bar where co-owners Matt Brown, Lucas Myers and Joshua Edgcombe plan to showcase the local Maine seafood that they specialize in.

SoPo Seafood launched in March 2020. In addition to in-person sales at the market, and selling wholesale to restaurants, they also operate a seafood delivery service (order online) serving Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Saco, Biddeford, and Biddeford Pool. The South Portland market will initially be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 7.

SoPo Seafood is located in the evolving restaurant row on Ocean Street that now includes Taco Trio, Solo Cucina Market, Judy Gibson, Ben Reuben’s, and Cafe Louis.

Old Port Flores Now Open

Flores (website, facebook, instagram) opened their new restaurant on Congress Street on Saturday. The newly renovated space is located at 431 Congress Street adjacent to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church at the head of Temple Street. The restaurant seats 30+ people and features a bar and full liquor license.

Flores in the Old Port is open Monday 5 – 11 pm, Thursday and Friday 5 pm – 1 am, Saturday 2 pm – 1 am, and Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. The Flores in Parkside will remain open for takeout.

Here’s a look at the menu.

Newly Opened: Sushi & Mobile Coffee

Another two food businesses have launched:

Tokyo Sushi Ramen (website, instagram) opened on Monday. They’re located in the former BRGR Bar space at 11 Brown Street. The menu includes an extensive list of offerings including sushi, ramen, pad thai, tempura, teriyaki, poke bowls and more.

A new mobile coffee cart called La Mega (instagram) launched last week. Owner Joe Radano is serving a menu of coffee and espresso based drinks as well as baked goods from Standard Baking. You can find La Mega Friday on Spring Street, in Deering Oaks on Saturday, and in Congress Square Park on Sunday.

Food Trucks: Eat It & Beet It, Clam Bar, Knitting Nook

The new food trucks keep coming. Here’s some information on three more:

The Clam Bar (instagram) is getting ready to open. The business is located at 199 West Commercial St. They will initially be opening with a food truck kitchen while the brick and mortar restaurant is still under development. September 1st is the target open date.

The Knitting Nook (instagram) in South Portland has expanded on the existing cafe offering with a food truck serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

A new food truck called Eat It & Beet It (instagram) is under development. Founder Lea Andrukaitis Verrill plans to serve a menu of gourmet beef and vegan/vegetarian burgers which will feature a beet burger she’s developed. Verrill hopes to open in late 2021 or early 2022. Verrill has worked the last few years as a pastry chef at Botto’s Bakery.

Congolese Takeout from Taste of 243

A Congolese takeout and delivery service called Taste of 243 (instagram) launched this summer in Westbrook. Owner Daniella Mawika offers up a weekly menu that includes chicken, beef, goat, Thomson fish, peanut butter stew, fufu, yellow rice and kwanga, as well as weekly specials. The 243 in the name of the business is a reference to the international calling code for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A recent graduate from USM with a degree in business and it’s Mawika’s dream to one day own a restaurant, and to make Congolese food to available to diners in Maine and beyond. As a next step Mawika is hoping to expand the catering side of the business.

Taste of 243 is open for business on Saturdays and Sundays. You can call or text in your order at (207) 409-5240 and pay either with cash, Venmo or Cash App.