Jefe Juan’s on Wharf Street

Portland Mash Tun owner Ricky Binet has leased 1160 sq ft of space at 47 Wharf Street where he plans to open a 24-seat Mexican restaurant called Jefe Juan’s. The restaurant is named after Portland Mash Tun chef Juan Cordero and will serve a menu of “a few of Juan’s favorite recipes”.

As part of the liquor license application Binet has provided a draft menu (page 104) that includes burritos (pork, beef or chicken), a cheese plate, chips and salsa, salads, a lobster roll, and a “Mexican Lobster Cocktail”.

Italian Restaurants in Flux

This seems to be the year when the landscape of Italian restaurants seem to be in flux. For those of you trying to keep track, here’s what’s happened so far:

There are still 3 months left in the year so who knows what other news may emerge.

JP’s Bistro Moving to Falmouth

The Press Herald reports that JP’s Bistro is moving to Falmouth.

Chef/owner John Paul Gagnon says he’ll be closing his namesake Portland restaurant on Oct. 12 and hopes to re-open the first week of November at 204 U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth. That’s the former location of Hugs Italian Restaurant. (The Hugs restaurant at Sugarloaf remains open.) Gagnon says the new space will have more room, more and better equipment, and — he hopes — more customers. 

9-Seat Ramen Bar Coming to Washington Ave

A new 9-seat BYOB ramen shop is under development. Named Ishi Ishi Ramen (instagram) it will be located on Washington Ave in The Black Box space that will be vacated when The Cheese Shop moves to larger quarter—filling the gap in the East End line-up of restaurant left when Ramen Suzukiya closed in 2018.

Owners Matthew De Fio and Andrew Doolittle hope to open in November/December when they will serve three different ramens to start with, and offer both gluten-free noodle and CBD options on the menu. Ishi Ishi will also have prepared ramen ready to go. The owners are planning for the shop to be a cellphone-free zone.

De Fio spent 3 years working at Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin Texas and has worked in Maine at Enoteca Athena and Vessel and Vine in Brunswick and running his own fresh pasta enterprise Il Dono. Doolittle is the owner of Pot and Pan Kitchen.

Osteria Radici Moving to Portland

New Jersey Monthly reports that Randy and Ally Forrester are moving their restaurant, Osteria Radici (website, facebook, instagram), from Allentown to Portland, Maine. The 24-seat Osteria Radici has been a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef in the Midatlantic both years they’ve been in business and on the New Jersey Monthly list of the 30 best restaurants in the state.

The Forresters shared that they’ve found “lot to love about Portland” but  what they “look forward to most is getting to engage with guests who are excited to eat” and always eager to learn more. They were taken by the “energy we saw there, every time we ate whether it was Cong Tu Bot, Central provisions, Fore Street, Lio or places like Maine and Loire and Maiz”. Growing their business in that environment is the reason they decided to move their lives and their business to Portland.

Chef Forrester  is focused on “hyper-regional Italian food from the north to the south” to “highlight these regions in a more modern light” that lets Radici “showcase what Italian food is right now, not generations ago.” With Osteria Radici in Portland the couple wants to deliver thoughtful food and drink in an approachable comfortable environment.

The Forresters are currently looking for the right location and hope to open to their new Portland restaurant this coming spring.

Mast Landing Expands in Westbrook

Mast Landing (websitefacebookinstagram) has expanded with a new 20,000 square foot facility located on Saco Street in Westbrook that has begun production this month. The new brewery will more than double their production capacity from 4,500 to 11,000 barrels of beer.

…outfitted with a 30bbl brewhouse and a set of 13 fermentation vessels of varying sizes. Mast Landing’s new production-only location sits on Saco St. in Westbrook, just over a mile away from their HQ on Main Street. The brewery’s original location will continue to house their popular tasting room as well as specialized mixed fermentation and wild ale projects, while the bulk of the brewing and packaging heads down the street.

The new building won’t immediately be open to the public, “but down the road it could open up opportunities for tours, tastings, and other unique experiences.” In addition to the new building, Mast Landing also plans a renovation of the tasting room at their original location on Maine Street in Westbrook in the future.

Location, Location, Location: September 2019

Welcome to the September edition of the PFM restaurant and food retail commercial real estate listings. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business. Finding just the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new restaurant, bar, bakery, coffee shop or food retail business and hopefully this new resource will make it a little bit easier.

The listings are organized by neighborhood, and contains square footage, cost, location, background info on prior usage, whether for lease or sale, and a link to the full listing online where you can see all the details. Storefronts that were formerly a restaurant are indicated in the description and those likely already have a hood and grease traps.

Listings that are new or have been updated since last month are flagged with an red asterisks (*).

Feel free to post a comment below or email me at anestes@portlandfoodmap.com if you know of a good one that may have been overlooked.

West End

785 Congress St – a renovated 1,378 sq ft space near Bramhall Square is available for lease at $17.42 per sq ft (MG). It’s located on the same side of the street as Roma Cafe, Quiero and Flood’s. As a West End resident myself I’d love to see a business open in this long vacant space.

953 Congress St – the former Rosanna’s at the corner of Saint John and Congress Streets has remained vacant since the ice cream shop closed at the end of February. My understanding is that Dogfish Bar and Grille owner Ted Arcand is the owner of the building.

101 York St – a 5,249 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

*11 Brown St – the BRGR Bar location on Brown Street is for lease. The 4,321 turnkey restaurant space is available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

114 Center St –this 10,000 sq ft space off Free Street is for lease at $8-25/sq ft (MG).

480 Congress St – 3,513 – 7,213 sq ft space available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

645 Congress St – a 1,200 sq ft former market space is available for $2,500/month (MG).

649 Congress St – This is the former Local Sprouts location. Local Sprouts went out of business in late June. The 3,000 sq ft space is available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

360 Cumberland Ave – this 1,000 – 2,000 sq ft is currently the home of the Cumberland Ave Shop. It’s available for lease at $21/sq ft (NNN).

Bayside

148 Anderson St – this 9,600 sq ft building in East Bayside is located next to Tandem Coffee. The building is divisible with spaces between 2,000 – 9,600 sq ft available for $15-18/sq ft (NNN). The building has a drive-in door and comes with 15-20 parking spaces.

*105 Fox St – A 1,950 sq ft space immediately adjacent to Rising Tide is available for $19-21/sq ft (NNN).

82 Hanover St – there are a number of units available in the redevelopment of this former Department of Public Works building ranging in size from 1,488 to 7,050 sq ft at $16 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

195 Lancaster St – this 3,008 sq ft building is located at the intersection of Lancaster and Elm Streets. It is available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

132 Marginal Way – this 2,300 sq ft space is located across the street from Trader Joe’s. It’s available for $23/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

5 Commercial St – the former Rosemont Market at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 1,914 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

100 Commercial St – the 1,53 – 3,759 sq ft space formerly occupied by K Colette is available for lease at $24.75 – 37.50/sq ft (MG). It is located in the Thomas Block building which is also home to Solo Italiano.

266 Commercial St – 6,689 sq ft of new construction retail space will be available for $20-22/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 4 street retail spaces will be available (1,631 – 1,971 sq ft) in a new building under construction at the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets.

400 Commercial St – owner Chris DiMillo plans to renovate the first floor of this building into a restaurant space for lease.

55 Market St – this 3,700 sq ft space on Market Street was formerly occupied by the Big Easy. It’s available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

75 Market/157 Middle St – Portland Trading Company has moved around the corner to 83 Market Street which will free up their 2,025 sq ft space for $27.95/sq ft (MG). It’s one of 4 spaces available at this address. In total there’s 1,071 – 6,356 sq ft for lease.

1 Monument Square – The owners of 1 Monument Square have a large first floor space available for a restaurant. 4,385 sq ft for lease at $25/sq ft (NNN). You can see some artist sketches of what a restaurant in this spot could look like in the full listing.

2 Portland Square – Walter’s closed May 31st and is for sale. The business and equipment are listed for $250k or just the furniture, fixtures and equipment are available for $175k. The current lease which runs through March 2020 is $24.98/sq ft (NNN).

1 Union Wharf – a 5,608 sq ft space on the first floor of a new building slated for Commercial Street is available for $20.95/sq ft (NNN).

India Street

100 Fore St – 2 spaces are available in a new building planned for Fore Street. 1,245 and 2,056 sq ft respectively, $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

20 Thames St – a 1,800 sq ft is available for lease just off India Street for $24/sq ft (NNN). Speckled Ax Coffee has leased 1,800 sq ft in this building already.

Forest Ave

449 Forest Ave – a 5,923 sq ft space is available in the Forest Ave Plaza across the street from Rose Foods. It’s listed at $21/sq ft (NNN).

509 Forest Ave – 6,000 sq ft of space near Bow Street Beverage is available for $12.75/sf ft (MG).

1053 Forest Ave – the former Papa John’s on Forest Ave is available, 1,200 sq ft at $18/sq ft (NNN).

*1569 Forest Ave – a former gas station on outer Forest Ave is available for $1-99/sq ft (NNN). The building is $1,352 sq ft in size.

Other

170 Brighton Ave – the former 7-11 building at the corner of Brighton and Saint John Street is for sale for $550,000. The building is 2,173 sq ft in size and comes with onsite parking spaces.

*559 Brighton Ave – with Rosemont Market centralizing their kitchen, warehouse and office space in one building the retail space in their original building on Brighton is now available for lease, 3,648 sq ft at $12/sq ft (NNN).

90 Congress St – Lolita went out of business on September 2nd. The fixtures are for sale for $275,000 and the lease for 30-seat 877 sq ft restaurant is $2,700 (NNN).

431 Congress St – the Mainely Wraps on Congress Street closed earlier this year. The 1,800 sq ft space is now available for $18/sq ft (MG).

280 Saint John St – 3 spaces are available in the Union Station Plaza. The 4,400, 2,600 and 4,004 sq ft spaces are available for $8/sq ft (NNN), $12/sq ft (NNN) and $14/sq ft (NNN) respectively.

46 Veranda St – the 600 sq ft building that currently is home to the East Deering location of Union Bagel is for sale for $500,000.

75 Washington Ave – a 1,925 sq ft space in the Nissen Bakery building which is also home to Cong Tu Bot, Drifters/Maine & Loire, Maine Mead Works, Oxbow Brewing and Hardshore Distilling. $18/sq ft (NNN). A hood can’t be installed at this address but it can serve as a food retail space.

*98 Washington Ave – the Flying Fox juice bar is going out of business on October 19th and the 625 sq ft space is now available for $1,600/month.

Glossary

MG – Modified Gross which indicates that the operating expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.) for the property are included in the lease rate. The tenant would pay its own utilities, which sometimes includes heat.

NNN – Triple Net which indicates that operating expenses are not included in the lease rate, and the tenant will pay them separately. They are often referred to as CAM (Common Area Maintenance) charges and taxes, which are expressed as $/sf. The tenant is also responsible for utilities.

Gross – Gross indicates all expenses including utilities are included in the lease rate. The tenant would be responsible for phone and internet access, as well as interior janitorial.

Maria’s Moving into Espo’s Space

The Press Herald reports that Tony Napolitano Jr. has purchased the Espo’s Trattoria building at 1335 Congress Street where he plans to move his family’s restaurant, Maria’s Ristorante. The Maria’s building at 337 Cumberland Ave was sold to Youth and Family Outreach.

Tony Napolitano Jr., owner of Maria’s, said Saturday that Espo’s will close sometime in mid-October and he will begin “light renovations” at the Congress Street location during the first part of November. Maria’s, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in January, will reopen there sometime in December, Napolitano said.

“We’ll keep a lot of our same old classics (on the menu) and add some new ones,” he said. “We’re going to do some happy hour stuff with small plates at the bar. We’ve got a lot of great ideas for the place.”

Fork Food Lab Looking for New Digs

Mainebiz reports that Fork Food Lab is looking for a new space.

After doubling Fork Food Lab’s membership, Seretta is searching for bigger space as he sets out to raise $150,000 from private donations to cover a loss. He’s looking for a building of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet and ideally on one floor that would be better suited to production.

“This is a neat building,” Seretta says, “but it’s not a manufacturing facility.” Having to walk up and down stairs is a hassle for the producers, on top of a shortage of production space, storage areas and parking spaces, and not even a loading dock.