Josh Amergian is launching a new food truck called Papa (website, instagram). He has bought the former Mami food truck and is renovating it to meet the needs of the new business. Amergian plans to launch in late summer 2021 and his long term plans for Papa include opening a brick and mortar restaurant in Gray where he lived as a child.
Amergian has worked in the restaurant industry for most of the past 12 years including a four year stint with Cara Stadler. The concept for Papa is “neighborhood eats”. You can see some examples of what that might mean by taking a look at the Papa instagram account.
The business name is a reference to Amergian’s own father who’s example he credits as his motivation and inspiration who being in the industry. “I loved cooking with him at the stores as a kid and as a teenager…I would like to think that us boys are his legacy so I’m paying it forward and turning his into my own.”
The Amergian family has owned restaurant and shops in Portland for several generations,
[M]y father bought a pizza/sandwich shop [in Gray]. It was called Dry Mills Store. He owned it for 11 years from 1992-2003. He’s owned a few stores around Portland in the 70’s 80’s and early 90’s. He’s a third generation grocer. He owned Amergian’s Market on Danforth street taking over for my grandfather, owned Amergian’s variety on oxford street and then the old port general store on market street which is now Pats Pizza and he also owned a bar/Laundry mat on Milk St called Bubbles and brew.
A new coffee shop called Coveside Coffee (instagram) is under construction in Woodford’s Corner at 28 Vannah Street. The shop is being opened Andy Nesheim and Zara Bohan who live in the neighborhood with their two children. They are planning a shop that is a “welcoming, family-friendly neighborhood gathering spot”.
Coveside will serve 44 North Coffee and light breakfast options including a mix of pastries as well as a limited lunch menu. Coveside will feature a walk-up window with outdoor seating in addition to the interior space.
Andy and Zara have started renovations to the building and hope to open Coveside this spring. They’ll be working with Better Lettered Hand Painted Signs to design a mural for the exterior of the building.
Rover Bagel (website, instagram, facebook) has leased space at 10 West Point Lane and will be once again operating in Biddeford.
Owners Kim and Alec Rutter will be serving a similar menu to Rover 1.0 with wood-fired bagels, sandwiches, Tandem coffee and some expanded pastry offering.
The Rutters hope to open Rover sometime in early next year. Initially service will be through a takeout window.
The previous version of Rover was located on Elm St, and was in business from November 2017 until December 2019.
A new Asian fusion restaurant and bar called Jing Yan is under construction at 90 Congress Street in the space formerly occupied by Lolita. Owners Britt Langford and husband Leo Zhang hope to open Jing Yan in November.
Portland is Langford’s home town and she met Zhang while living in China where the couple ran the Bar 4 Nine cocktail bar. They moved to Portland 3 years ago and have been working in the hospitality industry since then.
Chris Petrillo is coming onboard as the chef for Jing Yan. Langford and Zhang will be updating the interior design to be in keeping with their new concept, but expect the overall layout will remain the same.
Jing Yan will primarily do takeout to start with some limited indoor dining.
The owners of the Independent Ice Company have announced a project to convert Rigby Yard (instagram), their event space on Wharf Street, into a new beer and wine hall.
Rigby Yard will feature an “expanded bar, large socially distanced tables that can accommodate parties of up to 8 people, a private tasting room and comfortable leather seating around a gas fireplace” serving Maine draft beer, wine and a full cocktail program as well as casual food menu.
Rigby Yard is expected to open in October.
The SaltBox Cafe food truck is for sale. Owner Matthew Glatz has posted an announcement on instagram seeking “[s]omeone who has what it takes to bring this tiny house food truck to the next level, whatever that may be.”
Over the past five years, The SaltBox Cafe has been my infant. From the idea’s conception while out to brunch one sunny April Morning to today, a perfect late September afternoon on the Eastern Promenade, this business has been my child…I’ve watched it grow into an accomplished business catering multiple weddings per weekend, employing upwards of five individuals throughout Maine’s busiest summer months.…That being said, I do believe it may be time for this Tiny House to enable someone else with hopes and goals and dreams of being there own employer – someone with their own killer menu items which may take the brunch scene by storm. Someone who has what it takes to bring this tiny house food truck to the next level, whatever that may be. This opportunity isn’t just a listing for a trailer for sale, but an entire operating business which turns significant profits annually. Recipes, contacts, events, menu, tips and tricks of the trade are all included in any transaction which may occur.
See the full text of the announcement on instagram.
Anoche (website, instagram) has launched an exciting new initiative called the Backyard Cider Project. The Washington Ave cider bar will be gathering apple donations from the public, and work with Cornish Cider Company (website, facebook, instagram) to press, ferment and bottle a “unique cider that showcases the terroir of Maine”.
The finished product is expected to be bottled and available this coming spring along with a map that shows where in Maine the fruit for the community cider project was sourced from.
All across our state apple trees abound on public and private property alike. A large portion of these apples go to waste, and we want your help turning those apples into a unique cider that showcases the terroir of Maine.
With the apple harvest being upon us, we are asking any and all who have access to apple trees to bring us your fruit! [B]ring whatever you can: blemished apples, small apples, crabapples, etc. from now through the end of October. Because good cider apples don’t typically taste good to eat—the more bitter and sour, the better! Drop them off at Anoche any day of the week between 2 pm and 8 pm. Leave them by the front door and come to the window to let us know they are there…we will bring them in!
Anoche owner Erika Colby shared, “We thought this project could be a fun way to bring people together at a time when the pandemic is keeping us apart. Pressing and fermenting juice into cider is an expression of hope in a better future—one where we can come together again to taste the fruits of the work we did to make this cider possible.”
Everyone who donate a bushel (40 lbs) or more to the Backyard Cider Project will be entered into a drawing to win an apple tree from a local nursery so “we can keep the tradition going for more years to come.”
Anoche opened late last year on Washington Ave serving a menu of draft and bottled cider and Basque food. During the pandemic Anoche has launched an outdoor seating area and cider takeout window serving draft and bottled cider as well as a cider growler service.
Mainebiz reports that The Holy Donut will be opening a new donut shop in Auburn.
Eight years after opening for business with a single shop in Portland, the popular donut maker and retailer is expanding to Auburn, in a former Tim Horton’s coffee shop that’s been vacant for five years. The new store, at 848 Minot Ave., will be Holy Donut’s first location outside greater Portland.
The new location is expected to open before the end of the year.
D Ajans Supermarket is under construction at 170 Brighton Ave. D Ajans will occupy the 2,173 sq ft former 7-11 building at the intersection with Saint John Street.
Owner Maaz Ullah is also the founder of the Crown Fried Chicken on Forest Ave.
Vertical Harvest and co-founder Nona Yehia have been named by CNN as one of their 10 Champions for Change in 2020. A one hour show will featuring Vertical Harvest will air this Saturday September 19th.
Vertical Harvest announced plans earlier this year to build a 70,000 square foot greenhouse in Westbrook which is expected to open in 2022.