Under Construction: Island Lobster Company

Katie and Thom Werner are planning to launch the Island Lobster Company (facebook, instagram) in the space formerly occupied by Peaks Island House. The restaurant has seating for 64 seats. The draft menu (page 69) supplied with the liquor license application can be seen in Monday’s City Council meeting packet.

Island Lobster Company is a trap to table restaurant harvesting from the sea and local farms. A small and simple menu, letting the product speak for itself and the patrons enjoying a traditional Maine meal.

The Werners hope to open in May.

Nonalcoholic Bars

Vena’s was featured in an article on Eater about nonalcoholic bars.

Born out of a love for seltzer, Vena’s Fizz House in Downtown Portland, Maine is made to feel like a old-fashioned soda fountain spot. Bartenders shake up fizzy specialty mixed drinks like “The Pear Drop” (pear purée, pear shrub, lime, rosemary, and bitters) and “The Bangladesh Express” (coconut crème, blood orange, lime, ghost pepper, bitters). Downstairs, there’s a mixology shop, where owners, Johanna and Steve Corman sell homemade bitters and syrups, allowing attendees to make fun for themselves at home, too. The catch? When the bar opened in 2013, all of its drinks were zero proof.

The artcle also shares potential plans for a second Vena’s in Utah,

And while she’s not Mormon herself, she’s also seriously considering opening a second location of Vena’s Fizz House in Utah, because many tourists have come in saying nothing like it exists for the Mormon community there.

Under Construction: Maiz

Maiz (websitefacebookinstagram) owners Martha Leonard and Niky Walter have submitted their liquor license application for their new Woodfords Corner location. Their cover letter indicates they’ll be open 3 – 10 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. They included a draft menu with the materials submitted to the City Council.

The 1,200 square foot restaurant will be located at 621 Forest Ave. Maiz opened their original location in the Public Market House July 2, 2017.

Under Construction: Giant (Updated)

The owners, Andrew & Briana Volk and Ian & Kate Malin, of Little Giant have shared plans to transform their Clark Street market into a wine bar and cafe. The new business will be named Giant.

The first phase of development for Giant will launch March 1st with the addition of banquet seating in place of the current store shelves and additional table which will seat 25. Giant will serve a menu of “breakfast, baked goods, soups, salads and fresh sandwiches daily. There will also be wine, beer, and heat n’ eat meals made daily to-go that will be for sale”. The owners also plan to hold weekly pop-ups with changing themes and menus.

The second phase will take place after the Summer with the build out of a full bar and the launch of a evening wine bar focusing on natural and organic wines, and wines from small producers, and serving “tinned fish and snacks”.

Giant will be open 7 days a week from 8am to 9pm.

Update: Giant plans to serve Stumptown Coffee.

Under Construction: Kuno

A new food truck called Kuno (instagram) is under development. Kuno will be serving Peranakan cuisine which Wikipedia explains is “the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community,” and with some Thai influences. Nick Yee is the owner of Kuno, and Peranakan is his family’s food culture.

Yee has acquired the former Thainy Boda food truck and hopes to launch Kuno sometime in February.

Tandem Construction

Tandem Bakery is undergoing remodel and  kitchen expansion which will add a new walk-in to the side of the building and an additional five feet of depth to the kitchen.

The good news is that the construction will result in even more baking capacity and more baked goods for all of us to consume. The not so good news, is that the bakery will be out of commission for three weeks starting February 18th.

Little Tandem (on Anderson Street) will still be open, and will be stocked with baked goods from a rotating selection of local bakeries.

New Cafe Slated for Aurora Property

West Enders will be happy to read the report in today’s Press Herald that the former Aurora Provisions building has been bought by a developer with plans to “replace the longtime West End eatery with a similar business”.

In an interview Friday, Landry said he was interested in the property because his office is nearby and he wanted to ensure that the property’s new owner would replace Aurora, a West End fixture that opened in 1997, with a similar type of business. Aurora’s gourmet market and café shut down in August, followed by the closure of its catering business in November.

Frog & Turtle Expanding

The American Journal has a report on Frog & Turtle’s plans to expand upward, adding a second floor and deck with water views to their building in Westbrook.

More than a decade after opening the Frog & Turtle Gastro Pub, James Tranchemontagne and his co-owners want to buy the building, build a second floor and expand.

Guy Cote, a partner in Vallee Square Holding, the owner of the restaurant, said the plan is to add an outdoor deck and glassed-in lounge area “so our guests see views of the river.”

Under Construction: Quinn’s Bardega

The new owners of Mellen Street Market are planing to repurpose some of the space within the 79 Mellen Street building to include a dining area, bar and kitchen. Co-owners Tim Ly and Shawn Freeman, are calling the new element of their business Quinn’s  Bardega (facebook). The 44-seat Quinn’s will be serve “cafe style, full course, plated meal service” with a full liquor license.

Ly and Freeman have shared a draft menu (page 134) as part of the materials supplied with their liquor license application. Here’s an excerpt,

Also up before the City Council on Monday for their liquor license applications are Three Dollar Deweys and Luke’s Lobster which have been previously reported on.