A Full House in Site?

Norm Jabar recently launched a set of websites for his three restaurants, Norm’s Bar & Grill, Norm’s East End Grill and the Downtown Lounge.  Additionally, K Horton has just relaunched the site for her cheese shop and market in the Public Market House. These and many other additions continue to flesh out the collective online presence for the restaurants, bars and other food vendors in town. However, some of the businesses that are part of the local food economy don’t have a site yet.
Here’s a partial list:

Plenty of potential customers for some enterprising web designers to work with 2010 . . .

Under Construction: Figa, Sabieng, Katahdin, Velvet

When the City Council meets on Monday they will be voting on 4 liquor license applications for businesses that are under construction, changing names or moving:

  • The long awaited opening of Figa will be one step closer once they have approval for their liquor license. The application includes a sample menu (page 80) and indicates that they “hope to open the second week of December, 2009.”
  • Katahdin is moving from their longtime location at the intersection of Spring and High Streets to the space formerly occupied by Geo’s on Forest Ave.
  • Sabieng will be the new name for the Thai restaurant (currently Nakornping Thai) located next to Portland Stage on Forest Ave.
  • Velvet is a new bar that’s taking over the spot on the corner of Fore and Union Streets next to Pearl.

Coastal Maine Popcorn

Friday’s Press Herald included an article about the Coastal Maine Popcorn shop that’s under construction at 43 Exchange Street.

They have a 6-foot-tall, stainless steel industrial hot air popper, capable of popping 50 pounds of kernels at a time. After the popcorn is popped, it’s flavored. The company offers 30 to 50 flavors at any one time, broken down into sweets (toasted coconut, maple, berry) and savories (salt and vinegar, buffalo wing, garlic).

The plan is to keep popping the popcorn in Boothbay Harbor, supplying the seasonal retail operation there and the year-round operation in Portland.

A Tale of Two Coffee Shops

The French Press Eatery, a new coffee shop and cafe in Westbrook run by James Tranchemontagne from the Frog and Turtle and his brother Andre, is now open for business. In addition to soup, sandwiches and coffee, the menu includes a line-up of fresh donuts. If there anything like the ones at the Frog and Turtle then I’m going to be a regular customer.  The French Press Eatery is located in the former Freaky Bean space at 855 Main Street.
A new coffee shop and Internet cafe, Yordprom Coffee Co, is now under construction at 722 Congress Street in the building that used to serve as the offices for Portland Magazine.

Havana South

Travels with Hilary has published some additional information on the Cuban restaurant going in on Wharf Street.

…Cassady [Pappas] is a long-timer with restaurateur Michael Boland, so it makes sense. Boland, by the way, has a very successful track record with the restaurants he’s opened in Bar Harbor. He’s a savvy businessman. If this version of Havana is anything similar to the original one, it should be a nice addition to Portland’s crowded restaurant scene.

Leasing, Moving, Building


  • Leasing – There’s a “Restaurant for Lease” sign on the exterior of Katahdin. When I checked last week they were still open for business. [According to info supplied in one of the comments on this post Katahdin is moving to 25 Forest Ave.]
  • Moving – According to a report from Portland Food Heads, Loco Pollo is moving to a new location—no details available yet on where they’re moving to.
  • Building – There’s construction taking place at 50-52 Wharf Street where Cake and The Iguana used to be but no word yet on what’s going to be moving in there. [The comment from Portland207 also indicates that the Wharf Street location is slated to be a Cuban restaurant, and a comment from TJ has uncovered that the new spot will be a sister restaurant to Havana in Bar Harbor.]