Belleville Plans for the Future

Belleville has announced that they are in the process of signing a lease for a production bakery space. The new space will enable them to expand their production capacity and “efficiently operate a sustainable business”. They will also be making some renovations to their Munjoy Hill storefront which will remain the primary retail space for the business.

We’ve severely missed baking for you all but are forever grateful for the time and space we’ve found to reimagine this bakery. Thanks in part to so many of you, we’ve rediscovered our joy and passion and are incredibly inspired to continue living out this dream.

Belleville plans to be closed for the remainder of August but will resume holding periodic pop-ups in September. When they reopen on North Street Belleville will be open 4-5 days a week for breakfast and lunch.

At some point in the future a second retail shop for Belleville may open at their new bakery.

Buzz Coffee on Exchange

Buzz Coffee (instagram), a new coffee food cart that launched this year in mid-May, has leased space at 19 Exchange Street where they plan to open a brick and mortar cafe in the subterranean space formerly occupied by Blake Orchard.

The new space will enable an expanded menu that includes espresso drinks, drip coffee, cold brew, teas, and locally made bagels and cream cheese spreads as well as “a small curated selection of local art and Maine made goods”.

The cafe is expected to open in October. The coffee cart will continue to be in operation throughout the fall and be back on the streets next spring.

$7k Hi-Fidelity Beer Kickstarter

Hi-Fidelity Beer (websitefacebookinstagram) has launched a $7k crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. to help open the doors at their East Bayside low/mid ABV brewery.

Owners PD Wappler and Dante Maderal have leased Unit 6 at 200 Anderson Street where they are planning to launch with a 3 barrel system. The Hi-Fidelity Beer tasting room they will serve their own house beers as well as a variety of liquid refreshment with non-alcoholic options such as coffee, tea, and house-flavored seltzer.

The tagline for Hi-Fidelity is  “our beer, your space”. They envision operating a tasting room that melds a traditional brewery tasting room and a public space that will appeal to the members of the Portland arts community.

Maderal was formerly a brewer at Atlantic Brewing in Bar Harbor, and Wappler is a musician. They hope to open Hi-Fidelity Beer by the end of this summer.

Frying Dutchman

A new business is under construction on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House. The Frying Dutchman (instagram) plans to serve cones of Dutch-style fries with a variety of toppings. Owners Leon Vuong and Cody Leland plan to open in September.

This is a second business for Vuong and Leland who also launched a pop-up business called Seven Seas Food & Co (website, instagram) at the Fork Food Lab back in June. In June and July they sold natural plant-dyed raviolis and cannolis.

Vuong was recently one of 13 chefs participating in the 2021 Great American Seafood Cook-Off which took place last week in New Orleans.

Topolina

A new Italian restaurant called Topolina is under development by chef Michael Bergin.

I started working in restaurants as a dishwasher 23 years ago and have been working feverishly on building my craft ever since. I believe my time has come to tell my story and I am eager to express my passion for Italian cuisine to Portland and beyond. I’m earnest in my belief that what I have to tell through food, and the experience I want to curate, is something unique and considerable. The fundamental lessons I learned as a dishwasher, and eventually working in Michelin-rated restaurants, as well as my memories of sharing meals with my Grandfather have all made me who I am today. I can’t imagine a better way to pay it forward than to share similar feelings of nostalgia, simplicity, and warmth with my neighbors. More than ever, I want this restaurant to bring friends and families back to the dinner table. What is a better facilitator for that than a house-made bowl of pasta? I hope that our humble, sincere Italian restaurant will be this escape for people.

Bergin grew up in Massachusetts where he got introduced to the culinary world while working with his grandfather at the family business Noe & Sons Produce. He’s worked in Washington DC, Boston and New York at a number of highly regarded restaurants including L’Espalier, Del Posto, and Coppa. Prior to moving to Portland he was the executive chef at The Fat Hen and at The Salty Pig in Boston. Bergin is currently part of the team at the Big Tree Hospitality group in Portland.

A launch date for Topolina (which means ‘little mouse’ in Italian) is still TBD. Bergin has set-up a $10k crowdfunding campaign to help defray some of the development costs for the restaurant.

Six Degrees at Back Bay Grill

Back Bay Grill has announced a significant shift in concept and direction. Starting in mid-September Back Bay Grill will be under new leadership operating under the name Six Degrees at Back Bay Grill.

Adrian Stratton, BBG’s well known general manager will be leaving Back Bay Grill at the end of August to pursue a new career direction in the retail wine industry. Under the ongoing ownership of and with oversight and guidance by chef/owner Larry Matthews a new team will be leading the kitchen and overall operation of Six Degrees.

Don Purdy along with Mariah and Matt Dyer will be managing the new business with chef Nick Gratton taking the lead in the kitchen. Gratton has worked in Maine at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, and for chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. He has also had experience working in China, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Back Bay Grill will be serving a 3-course prix fixe menu grounded in their well loved current approach during the remainder of the month on August 6-7, 19-21 and 26-28.

Back Bay Grill was founded in 1988 and has been owned and operated by chef Larry Matthews for the last 19 years. The restaurant has been a James Beard Awards semifinalist for Outstanding Service in 2018 and 2019.

KitNA Brewing

A new brewery producing nonalcoholic beer is under construction in West Bayside. KitNA Brewing (website, instagram) will be Maine’s first brewery dedicated to making nonalcoholic beer. KitNA is a collaboration between Rob Barrett, the owner Barrett Made, and Will Fisher, the cofounder of Austin Street Brewing.

According the press release,

[Barrett and Fisher] aim to provide a premium, high-quality alternative to alcoholic beer, with the goal to master a product that satisfies the discerning palate of beer drinkers and beyond. The duo brought on local experienced brewers, Adrian Beck-Oliver and Simon Burhoe to join KITna as Co-Head Brewers. The two have been working day in and day out to create the brewery’s core beer lineup while simultaneously launching the production side of the brewery. Headquartered in an old workshop-turned-brewery in Barrett’s West Bayside building, KITna will announce the name of its first beer in the coming weeks. All of their offerings will deliver on the founding intent to bring the quality, consistency, and integrity of craft beer without the alcohol.

Their first beers are expected to be available later this year.

A&C Grocery Crowdfunding

A&C Grocery has launch a $25k crowdfunding campaign to help with the expense of moving to their new location on Congress Street.

My vision for A&C has always been a community-based, swashbuckling-owned, neighborhood joint that would benefit the coterie of locals. While the Top of Fox is bustling and profitable, it cannot fund the opening of a new location with it’s current cash flow alone. I am currently paying rent for PART II and there are still permitting and build-out costs I still have yet to tackle. I couldn’t have done Top of Fox without you guys, and again, I can’t do PART II without you either.

Visit their Go Fund Me page to make a contribution.

Neapolitan Pizza Food Truck

A new food truck called Quanto Basta (website, instagram) is expected to launch in the next few weeks. Owner Elizabeth English plans to serve a rotating menu of four to five Neapolitan pizzas as well as Italian pastries and provisions.

English has lived and cooked in Rome at the Rome Sustainable Food Project and in the Campania region. She’s also worked as a baker in Chicago and Portland. Recently, she headed up the prepared foods and baked goods at The Cheese Shop on Washington Ave.

Quanto Basta will be operating out of a retrofitted vintage 1959 Morris Minor Van. English plans to regularly be at the Eastern Prom, as well as various other locations around town.

Eighty 8 Donut Cafe Now Open

The new Eighty 8 Donut Cafe (website, instagram) opened on Wednesday. It is located 225 Federal Street in the Old Port and is the business’s second brick and mortar location. Eighty 8 began life as a food truck 8 years ago and also has a donut cafe at Sugarloaf Mountain.

The Portland donut cafe will be open 7 days a week, 8 am – 5 pm (Monday – Friday), 9 am – 4 pm on Saturday and 9 am – 3 pm on Sunday serving their full menu of made to order mini donuts.

The new location features some window art by Tessa Green O’Brien.