Relocating: Roll Call + A&C

Two different eateries have recently announced that they’re needing to find a new home:

In late March Roll Call shared that “for reasons beyond our control, we’re no longer able to sublet 81 Clark Street. We are *so* grateful for our wonderful customers + their patronage thus far and Ian Malin of Little Giant for his support.” Roll Call is currently looking for a new space and has launched their food truck for the season.

A&C Grocery owner Joe Fournier has announced that he’ll need to find a new location when his lease is up in February 2022. “I have some irons in the fire, and fear not my beautiful friends, I’m actively hunting for a new home and hope to have an update sooner rather than later.”

Rosemont & Harbor Fish Team-Up

The Press Herald reports that Rosemont Market and Harbor Fish are collaborating on a new 4,800 sq ft market in Scarborough.

Alfiero said he’ll bring a lot of the same concepts from the Custom House Wharf market to Scarborough, but there will be some changes. The Scarborough Harbor Fish will sell a lot more prepared foods, such as lobster rolls, crab rolls and chowders, he said, and he plans to continue the line of foods the market has been selling during the pandemic, including calamari salads, pates, seafood salads and poke bowls.

The market will be located in a mixed use development at the site of the former Oak Hill police and fire department building.

Citrus in One City Center

Last month when owner Mark Ohlson announced he’d be closing MJ’s Wine Bar he ended his post with “And now, it is time to move on. Not because MJ’s wasn’t a success, but because I have a new idea in my head and it won’t leave me alone unless I bring it to life. See you in May, I hope you like to dance…”

Ohlson is now working on launching a cocktail bar and dance club in the MJ’s space called Citrus (instagram). In his liquor license application to the City Council Ohlson shared,

Citrus is a breath of fresh air away from the dive bars, brew pubs and dark prohibition cocktail bars. Citrus will serve fresh, familiar drinks, in fair portion sizes in an open air environment. Then, starting at 9pm we will offer DJ entertainment for dancing until 1am all the while offering the same menu and items.

American Fizz Crowdfunding

American Fizz (instagram) has launched a $20k crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. Owner Margo Mazur plans to use the funds to pay “legal and licensing fees, insurance costs, my accountant fees, and start up costs, including paint, racks, storage, the point of sale system, etc. It will also help pay for my first big wine purchase from our local wine distributors, allowing me to get these wines on the shelves. ”

There are over 11 thousand wineries in the United States today, and my mission is to support those dedicated wine and cider makers and get the word out about the excellent products coming out of our local communities. American Fizz will be a two-year pop-up, stocking wines and ciders, made with minimal intervention in mind, from the United States, Canada, and South America. There will also be a small local foods producer section. Inventory will focus on range, representation, affordability, education, and joy—joy is an incredibly important piece of my puzzle. It will open this summer, 2021, in Portland, Maine and start with wine classes and a wine club I can’t wait to set up.

The Lost Llama Peruvian Pop-up

A new Peruvian pop-up series called The Lost Llama (instagram) got underway this past weekend when a dish by chef Rafael Zimmerman was featured on the Cong Tu Bot takeout menu. Zimmerman is a member of the CTB staff and is launching The Lost Llama as a solo side project from his work at the popular Vietnamese restaurant.

Zimmerman has worked in Portland for the past 7 years with Guy Frenette at Artemisia as well as at Nura and Cong Tu Bot. Zimmermann was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in Pennsylvania.

Zimmerman is planning a 8-10 dish pop-up at Cong Tu Bot in the coming months to share his “own versions of Peruvian food as well as paying homage to the original dishes” served along with Peruvian ceviche and beverages.

Follow The Lost Llama on instagram to get alerted about their next event.

Brickyard Hollow Brewing

Brickyard Hollow Brewing (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has leased the former Arabica coffee shop at 9 Commercial Street where they plan to open a 60+ seat pizzeria and brew pub with a menu similar to what they offer at their location in Freeport. The room will feature a long bar along the right side of the room, a banquet along the left wall and table seating throughout the rest of the dining room. The 3,000 sq ft space will soon be under renovation and the owners hope to open by mid-summer.

Brickyard plans to keep their main brewing facility in Yarmouth but will likely be producing small batch specialty beers on Commercial Street.

Brickyard Hollow Brewing launched in Yarmouth in 2018 and opened their Freeport location in 2019. This new outpost follows a pattern of other Maine breweries (e.g. Oxbow, Banded Brewing and Batson River) that have opened second locations in the city after founding their business elsewhere in the state.

Strata to Move/Expand

Strata (websiteinstagram) has leased space at 67 Washington Ave in the former Nissen Bakery Building where they plan to move their specialty culinary knife store in the May/June time frame.

We need more space to fit more amazing products AND we will have a dedicated classroom space for all sorts of informative and hands-on classes starting with knife sharpening and knife skills tutorials, as well as other lessons taught by talented locals…Stay tuned for updates and a boat load of new awesome products from around the world and Maine.

Strata was founded by Evan Atwell in 2018, and was among the first wave of businesses that took up residence in the Black Box container retail spaces on Washington Ave.

Atwell will keep knives at the center of what Strata sells but plans to diversify the product mix to become a more well-rounded kitchen store with cooking utensils, non electrical equipment, cookbooks and more.

Cheese Louise

A new restaurant called Cheese Louise (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 363 Fore Street in the space formerly occupied by Cheevitdee. According to a report in the Press Herald,

Cheese Louise, founded by three college students in 2018, began as a food trailer in New Hampshire. James Gaudreault, Ian Lubkin and Bryce Harrison have since expanded the business to include two food trucks and two restaurants, all in the Mount Washington Valley. (The trio also have an ice cream business called Freeze Louise.) They specialize in upscale grilled cheese sandwiches such as The Canadian, made with applewood-smoked bacon, Cabot cheddar, sliced green apples and maple syrup on Tuscan bread. A vegetarian sandwich, No Porkin’ Way, is made with shredded barbecue sweet potato, caramelized onions and Cabot cheddar on house-made honey flax bread.

The article also reports that Pizzaiolo is opening a second location at 865 Forest Ave, and Urban Farm Fermentory is working on a bottle shop in Kittery.

Cera Coming to Monument Square

A new cafe called Cera (website, instagram) is under construction in Monument Square. Cera will be offering a menu of “elevated sandwiches and salads” available 7-days a week from their ground floor space in 1 Monument Square.

The 22-seat 1,300 sq ft cafe will be open 11 am – 8 pm will have available corporate catering options to serve the needs of downtown businesses in addition to on site dining and to go meals for individual customers. During warmer months Cera plans to have a 24-seat patio in the square. Owners Steven Lacount, Jennifer Svendsen and Sean Doherty hope to open Cera in May.

Steven Lacount grew-up in the Waterville area and cites Big G’s in Winslow as one of his points of inspiration for Cera. He began is restaurant career working at Baldacci’s in Portland back in the late 1980s, and most recently worked with B.Good. Lacount has experience in helping restaurant be successful as they scale up, and hopes that Cera in Portland will be the first of what one day could be upwards of 10 locations.

Chef Sean Doherty will be leading the culinary team at Cera. Doherty has worked at Harding Smith’s Rooms restaurants. He also has strong interest in koji and fermentation, and was recently a presenter at the KojiCon online conference. At Cera, koji will be part of the process Dorherty uses to prepare their house-made pastrami.

The menu at Cera will include options like:

The Jaberwocky Sandwich
House roasted beef & our own pastrami, smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, BBQ, red onion, tomato
// choice: multigrain, rye, white

Peaches the Pig Sandwich
House Smoked ham, cheddar, peach-jalapeno chutney & lettuce
// choice: multigrain, rye, white

Super Mushroom Panini
Wood grilled mushrooms, garlic aioli, fontina cheese, spinach, roasted tomatoes
// Panini bread

Mercados Salad
Mixed greens with jicama, tri-colored grape tomatoes, fresh corn, black beans, avocado, cotija cheese, cucumber, red pepper & chili roasted pepitas
Dressing: Tomatillo vinaigrette

The owners are planning to get Cera certified as a B Corporation. In recognition of how central bee pollination is to the food system, Cera will focus some energy  on supporting bees and beekeeping, and are looking for organizations they will contribute to. Beekeepers with ideas should reach out to them with recommendations.