Under Construction: Public Market House

The Public Mark House main entrance is blocked off while they install an elevator (you can still get in through the temporary entrances on either side). This part of the ongoing construction project to expand the market to the second floor which will be home to a number of small shops and cafes. They hope to have construction completed by mid-July.

Public Market House

Head on over to Portland Fodder to see some nice under construction photos of the 2nd floor space at the Public Market House. According to Fodder, “Spartan Grill will be relocating to the second floor with such possible vendors as, Maine Coffee Roasters, KamaSOUPra, It’s Only Natural…GF, and an unnamed pizza place.”
According to a May 28 article in the Press Herald, the 2nd floor retail spaces will be available by mid-summer.

The Corner Room

Jim Keithly from ABC affiliate WMTW interviewed Harding Lee Smith about his new Italian restaurant The Corner Room (via Portland Psst!). According to the report, Smith plans on opening The Corner Room on June 25. As you can see from this photo I took today, there’s still a lot of work to do to get the space ready.
The WMTW report also includes some footage and information on Smith’s Windham farm where he’s currently raising 350 chickens. The farm to table operation is being expanded with a 48 foot green house that “will eventually produce a variety of herbs, lettuce and other vegetables”.

Under Construction: Figa

Here’s a look inside the construction site for Figa at 249 Congress Street. A bar will be going in on the left side and a banquet along the right. The kitchen will occupy the back end of the space. Figa is the creation of Chef/Owner Lee Farington. According to the restaurant’s website, Farrington is a 1998 graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and worked at a number of restaurants in NYC before moving to Portland where she has cooked at Fore Street and Uffa.

Grace in Profile

There’s a feature article in today’s Press Herald about Grace—the restaurant located in the historic Chestnut Street Church that is slated to open later this month. Owner Anne Verrill is quoted describing the menu as “It’s going to be affordable food – a little higher-end experience, I think, but really affordable . . . We’re going to offer a lot of appetizers and small plates, and maybe a dessert menu, just to capture that Merrill Auditorium crowd.”

When the massive red doors open, patrons of Grace will be able to choose from a seasonal menu prepared by New York Chef Eric Simeon, a wine list that includes about 20 wines by the glass, and a selection of beers and specialty cocktails. In a nod to the building’s origins, one of the nonalcoholic offerings will be Holy Tea, a specialty infusion from Homegrown Herb and Tea that includes the herb holy basil.