Après (website, instagram) a cidery and hard seltzer producer is under construction at 148 Anderson Street in East Bayside. Ian Goering, former head brewer at Tributary Brewing has been hired as the head of production at Après, and the operations manager Sarah Bryan—formerly with Schilling Beer—will manage front of house operations.
Après is being launched by co-owners Ryan Houghton from the Hop Yard and Michael Cardente. Extensive renovations to the industrial building are in full swing with hopes to open the 80-seat tasting room and outdoor seating area sometime this summer.
Après is looking forward to being part of Maine’s burgeoning cider industry, and will be Portland first hard seltzer producer. The production space includes 15-barrel brewing operation and a barrel-ageing room for their cider. A food program for the tasting room is in the early planning stage and will be augmented with appearances by local food trucks.
For people that want the most unique social drinking adventure, Après is redefining the tasting room experience by creating the most unique house-brewed hard seltzer + cider and an unforgettable social environment. We facilitate the simple act of discovery – where people enjoy rare products and connect with others in exciting ways.
Maine has 21 on-market cider producers and now 7 cider producers under construction.
A new restaurant called Stacks Pancake Company (instagram) is under construction at 139 Riverside St. Stacks will serves breakfast and lunch all day, along with bloody marys, mimosas and coffee from Arabica.
The business is being launched by the Papanikoleau family. They previously ran a number of restaurants in New York and New Jersey before moving to Maine. The family is hoping to launch Stacks sometime in May.
Stay tuned for more details on the menu. In the meantime take a look at their instagram-ready breakfast options.
Sullivan House Bakery (facebook, instagram) is under construction in Gorham at 102 Main Street. Owner Nancy Ames hopes to open the 2,400 sq ft bakery at the beginning of August selling a line-up of bread, scones, muffins, biscuits, cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, and other baked goods.
Ames wants Sullivan House to be not only a good local source for baked goods but also a meeting place for Gorham where people can connect over coffee.
The building plan has table, counter and group seating for up to 26 people. Ames has a life long passion for baking and after a career in the insurance industry and a stint as an innkeeper in Vermont.
DiMillo’s has announced plans to launch a food truck this year called DiMillo’s on a Roll. The truck will be serving “lobster rolls, clam chowder and some sweet treats” and will be located in the front of the DiMillo’s lot on Commercial Street. DiMillo’s hope to launch their truck by the end of May.
They are not alone in seeing opportunity in opening a mobile business this year. Vy Banh Mi launched in March and there are at least another 15 new food trucks aiming to operating in the Portland area this year: Boomin Burrito Bus, Cheese the Day, Curbside Comforts, DiMillo’s on a Roll, Hi Bar Brunch Truck, Highroller Lobster Co., Hunt & Alpine, Iron Clad Eats, La Fritanga, Paddy Wagon, Snowology 207, Sok Sabai, The Pink Waffle, The Shuck Wagon, and Wicked Fresco.
So many new food trucks are launching that WGME’s Dustin Bonk has reported on the 2021 Food Truck Surge, and Nick Schroeder from the Bangor Daily News has reported on services that help customers find the food trucks that are in business on any given day.
Two businesses have found a new home:
Eighty8 Donuts (website, facebook, instagram) has leased 225 Federal Street, the longtime location of Federal Spice in the Old Port. Owners Ellen O’Keefe Garrett Champlin hope to open the new donut shop by early June. The new shop won’t mean the retirement of the Eighty8 food truck ‘Rosie’ which will still be at events and on the Eastern Prom on Sundays.
Sugar Giant (website, instagram) is moving into the Clark Street space in the West End formerly occupied by Roll Call. Sugar Giant is a takeout bakery concept launched by Little Giant restaurant during the pandemic.
Zephyr Ice (instagram) has leased 129 Spring Street, the former home of the Maine Juice Co. Owners Julie and Don Martin plan to use the space as a commissary kitchen for their food cart. Early this summer they hope to also open up as a takeout retail location for their shave ice treats.
129 Spring Street was the original location of Miyake before moving to Fore Street and subsequently was home to the Miyake Diner izakaya and Home Catering.
Here are some updates on the 2021 food truck season:
Starting in May Cheese the Day (facebook, instagram) is planning to be at Bunker Brewing on Tuesdays, Battery Steele on Wednesdays, and Foundation Brewing on some Thursdays. They also plan to make a monthly stop on Saturdays at Three of Strong. The concept for Cheese the Day is “grilled cheese for adults made with regionally sourced, seasonal, fresh, quality ingredients, with a bit of indulgence.”
A new food truck called the Meme’s Burrito (instagram) is under construction and the owners hope to launch sometime in May. Here’s a look at their menu.
Another new food truck called The Salty Moose (instagram) is also under construction. Owner Taylor Stanton is the former chef de cuisine at David’s KPT in Kennebunkport and executive chef at Tides Beach Club in Goose Rocks Beach. Stanton plans to be located in Limerick at the Gneiss Brewing Company Friday – Sunday, and hopes to launch in May. The truck menu will include gluten free and vegetarian options.
The Portland Phoenix caught up with owner Joe Fournier about the evolution of A&C Grocery and his search for a new location.
Fournier said he’s not in a rush to find a new home for the business, since his lease won’t expire until next February. But he said he wants the new space to continue to be a “reflection of what Portland is,” which he described as a “melting pot of personalities and weirdness.”
He said he’s keeping an open mind on where the next phase of A&C Grocery, which is named after his two daughters, will be. But he did say he’d prefer to find something closer to downtown rather than staying on Munjoy Hill.
Westbrook-based Mast Landing Brewing will be opening an 11,000 square foot brewery and tasting room in Freeport later this year at Freeport Crossing.
Mast Landing’s two-story home at Freeport Crossing will serve as a year-round destination that showcases small-batch recipes made and offered exclusively at the Freeport location, as well as some of the brewery’s flagship beers. The venue will feature Freeport Crossing’s signature all-glass curtain wall, allowing for tremendous natural light, as well as a spacious outdoor area accessible from a garage door style entrance. The tasting room will prioritize a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and will accommodate guests with high top tables, comfortable lounge seating, and bar service.
Big Tree Hospitality—the restaurant group that includes Eventide, The Honey Paw, XO, and Hugo’s—are the new owners of Higgins Beach Market (webiste, facebook, instagram) in Scarborough. Big Tree intends to operate the seasonal market much like it has been with no plans to convert it to an outpost of their Middle Street restaurants.
It is our hope that Higgins Beach Market continues to be the well-loved local mainstay it has been for many seasons’ past, serving the Higgins Beach community and beyond. In keeping with the market’s previous offerings we will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, as well as grab-and-go options, local produce, beer and wine, fresh flowers, and some sundries.
Higgins Beach Market will be open 7 days a week, 7 am – 8 pm starting on Memorial Day weekend.