Location, Location, Location: April 2019

Welcome to the April edition of the PFM restaurant and food retail commercial real estate listings. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place current and soon to be available spaces in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers 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 retail and restaurant spaces 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 newly 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 and Flood’s, the restaurant Greg Mitchell is developing at The Francis.

207 Danforth St – the former Eco-Laundry space on Danforth Street next to Little Giant has been unoccupied for a couple years and is for lease directly by the business owner.

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

477 Congress St – The first floor mall in the Time & Temperature Building was the longtime home of Whip’s Right Time Cafe. The Cafe closed a few years a go and now this 1,750 sq ft space is available for $13/sq ft (MG).

480 Congress St – 3,513 – 7,213 sq ft space available for $26/sq ft (NNN). This space had been slated be a BBQ restaurant that that project is not moving forward in this space.

482 Congress St – a 1,675 sq ft space near Monument Square is available for $6-16/sq ft (MG).

561 Congress St – the 6,668 square foot former Salt Institute space on Congress Street is available for $11/sq ft (MG).

600 Congress St – The Schwartz Building has been under construction for a while now, and during that time a number of restaurateurs have checked out the space. As one of the best positioned, most visible corners in the city it seems destined to become a restaurant some day. The property owner is Geoffrey Rice.

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

654 Congress St – the former Ocho Burrito in the Lafayette Apartment Building has remained vacant since 2016.

660 Congress St – a potential food retail space is available in the renovated Queen Anne style building in Longfellow Square. The 1,575 sq ft space is for lease at $24/sq ft (MG).

Bayside

148 Anderson St – this 9,600 sq ft building in East Bayside is located next to Tandem Coffee. The building is zoned for light industrial so a brewery or distillery with a tasting room would fit the zoning parameters but a restaurant would not. The building is available for $12/sq ft (NNN). The building has a drive-in door and comes with 15-20 parking spaces.

166 Cumberland Ave – this had been slated to become the reincarnation of Uncle Billy’s Barbecue. The project never came to fruition and the storefront, formerly Bayside Variety, remains in the hands of the business partner of Uncle Billy and my understanding is he’s looking for a new partner to work with on a restaurant in the space.

171 Cumberland Ave – Ten Ten Pié closed earlier this month and their 1,100 sq ft space is now available for lease direct from the owner for $2,000/month (MG).

82 Hanover St – there are a number of spaces 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). A country western bar called The Whiskey Barrel is already slated to be one of the businesses in this building.

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).

191 Marginal Way – 2,206 – 4,406 sq ft of space in this new building at $29.95/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 3,688 sq ft space formerly occupied by K Colette is available for lease at $37.50/sq ft (MG). It is located in the Thomas Block building which is also home to Solo Italiano.

305 Commercial St – a 1,987 sq ft space in the Baxter Place building is available for $25/sq ft (MG). The space is immediately adjacent to the Courtyard Marriott.

229 Congress St – Ramen Suzukiya went out of business in late 2018. the 900 sq ft space is now available for lease at $35/sq ft (MG).

98 Cross St – A 2,000 sq ft on the back side of the building that’s the Free St Arabica Coffee is available to lease for $19.75 per square foot (MG).

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.

47-51 Wharf St – 2 different spaces are available across Wharf Street from the Independent Ice Company, 1,170 and 2,070 sq ft, both for lease at $25-30/sq ft (MG).

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

170 Fore St – 5,000 sq ft of retail space at $24/sq ft (NNN).

1 Hancock St – the first floor of the new WEX building will have a 5,138 sq ft first floor space available for lease at $27/sq ft (NNN).

16-18 Thames St – Two spaces, both 1,800 sq ft, are available for lease just off India Street for $24/sq ft (NNN).

Forest Ave

301 Forest Ave – 4,000 sq ft space adjacent to the Bier Cellar for $15/sq ft (NNN).

*757 Forest Ave – a 2-story 3,450 sq ft building is for sale for $407,000.

*767 Forest Ave – a 1,216 sq ft building is for sale for $204,000.

*785 Forest Ave – a 630 sq ft building is for sale for $364,100.

*865 Forest Ave – this 11,362 sq ft building has had a long history as a restaurant and music venue (who remember’s Raoul’s). The building and .84 acres of land are for sale for $1,210,000.

1207 Forest Ave – the 4,296 sq ft former Wok Inn in Morrill’s Corner is for lease at $16.29/sq ft (NNN). The 1.32 acre property has its own parking.

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.

*439 Congress St – the former home of sandwich shop and a cafe, this 1,000 sq ft space is available for $20/sq ft (MG).

1335 Congress St – the longtime home of Espo’s Trattoria is for sale at $899,000. The 5,500 sq ft building comes with 10 parking spaces.

*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).

*25 Portland St – this 550 sq ft retail space is located down the street from Isa and Back Bay Grill. It’s available for $1,100 (MG).

*34 Portland St – this 3,724 3-story building is adjacent to the Maine Oyster Company. It’s available for $3,500 (NNN). According to the listing, “Currently a glass blowing operation, the building currently has hood systems in place on various levels.”

*100 Portland St – this 500 sq ft retail space is adjacent to Bayside American Cafe. It’s available for $1,200 per month (MG).

377 Saint John St – the former Aunt Dee’s Cafe is for sale. The asking price is $400,000.

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.

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.

Under Construction: White Fox Taverna

Emilitsa chef Niko Regas has leased space in Farmington where he plans to open the White Fox Taverna (instagram) serving a menu of Mediterranean cuisine. The small 12-seat space has additional outdoor patio seating for 40 where White Fox will host live music.

Regas hopes to open White Fox in May, and so it sounds like a Summer road trip to Farmington is in order.

Regas has been with Emilitsa for 10 years. He shared that it’s been a great experience which he will miss even as he’s excited to move forward with the challenge of launching his own restaurant. Regas and his family live on a farm in Farmington which they hope to turn into a working farm and orchard in the coming years.

Rosemont Market HQ on Stevens Ave

Rosemont Market and Bakery has announced that they’ve leased 10,000 sq ft of space at 832 Stevens Ave to consolidate in one place their bakery, food production, offices and warehouse operations.

The 10,000-square-foot space will allow Rosemont to increase efficiency; encourage collaboration among our bakers, cooks, produce specialists and local producer partners; and minimize travel times from production to retail, thereby maximizing freshness and reducing environmental impact.

“This project is the next natural step for Rosemont’s growth,” says Rosemont Director of Operations Erin Lynch. “Rosemont’s products as well as our relationships with local suppliers are the soul of what we do. Our aim is to create a beautiful workspace that can accommodate and nurture our creative work as well as deepen and expand how we work with producers throughout the region.”

Rosemont plans to begin the build-out soon, and hopes to starting using the new facility by the middle of the Summer.

Under Construction: Copper Branch

Mainebiz has published an update on the Copper Branch vegan restaurant under development in Canal Plaza.

Chris and Melissa Hooper, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs who will become the building’s first tenants after signing a lease, told Mainebiz they’re targeting a September opening — possibly sooner — for the business.

Originally from Canada and now living in Cape Elizabeth, the couple will be franchisees for Copper Branch, a fast-growing Montreal-based chain that specializes in “100% plant-based power food” from avocado toast and other all-day breakfast fare to power smoothies and poutine with cremini mushroom sauce, a vegan take on a Quebec classic.

Under Construction: The Cider House

The owner of Good News Coffee and Package, Michael Vassallo, has decided to change the concept of his business from a coffee and retail store to a cider bar.

The Cider House, located at 28 Brackett Street, will serve ciders from Maine and New England as well as from elsewhere in the US and from international producers along with a “compact tapas-style menu with a few larger items”. Vassallo plans to be open evenings as well as midday on the weekends.

New Cafe Slated for Old Aurora Building

Liz Koenigsberg and her husband chef Will Lavey, the couple who bought Blue Spoon last year, have leased the former Aurora Provisions building in the West End where they plan to open Blue Spoon Cafe & Catering.

Blue Spoon Cafe & Catering will be a casual breakfast and lunch cafe with coffee service and foods to go. It will also be a home base to expand Blue Spoon’s catering service.

Koenigsberg and Lavey shared that as former West End residents, they appreciate what role Aurora Provisions played as a community meeting place and want to open a cafe that bring that back to the neighborhood. They hope to open Blue Spoon Cafe & Catering in May.

Aurora Provisions went out of business last year and the property was bought at auction by real estate developer Tom Landry in January.

For additional information Koenigsberg encourages people to email her at  info@bluespoonme.com.

Rebel Cheesesteaks

A new food cart called Rebel Cheesesteaks (instagram) is under development and owner Peter Murphy hopes to be out on the streets of the Old Port sometime in early May.

Rebel will be serving a choice of “local shaved ribeye or smoky north spore mushrooms served on a 10” botto’s hoagie roll with philly cream cheese whiz choice of American, cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack and options to add peppers, onions, mushrooms, bacon and eggs”.

Murphy has spent the past two and a half years working at the Other Side Deli on Veranda Street. He hails from New Jersey near Philadelphia.