Under Construction: Perennial Cider Bar

A new cider bar and “farm kitchen” called Perennial (website, instagram) is under construction in Belfast.

Perennial is a cider bar and farm kitchen in Belfast, Maine. We offer a menu of traditional and heritage hard ciders from Maine and beyond, along with dishes inspired by the products of our local farms, forests, and coastline. By showcasing the variety of expressions of the apple, the landscapes where they grow, and the culinary traditions that inspire us, our goal is to offer a taste of place and time that acknowledges the richness of the past while savoring the moment in front of us. We hope you’ll join us for a meal, a drink, or both when we open in April 2019.

Chef/curator Khristopher Hogg and barkeep Hunter Sunrise intend for Perennial to be not only a cider bar and restaurant but also a location for “tastings, talks, and other events“ that help “our community to meet and connect with the stories behind what we serve and even develop some new skills or interests along the way”.

Perennial is scheduled to hold their grand opening on April 3rd.

Under Construction: Basket & Blanket

A picnic-themed food truck called Basket & Blanket (instagram) is under development with plans to launch this summer.

Co-founders Mike Allen and Avril Williams have launched a $25,000 Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds to purchase the truck and cover other start-up costs of the business. You can read more about their vision for the truck and it’s community service component on the Go Fund Me campaign page.

Under Construction: Other Side Diner

Other Side Delicatessen owners Peter and Jessica Sueltenfuss have announced plans to open Other Side Diner at 500 Washington Ave, the space formerly occupied by Hella Good Tacos and Steve and Renee’s Diner.

The diner will have the same focus on using local product and in-house production as the East Deering and West End Other Side Delicatessens. Other Side will serve traditional breakfast and lunch diner fare with some Greek influences such as baklava and Greek donuts. Jessica Sueltenfuss will be managing the diner. The hope is to open the diner in April.

The launch of diner will not impact the hours or menu at either of two existing Other Side locations.

Under Construction: Magnus on Water

A cocktail bar named Magnus on Water (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) is under construction in Biddeford. Magnus will be headlined by Elda bartender Brian Catapang and the restaurant’s former GM Brittany Saliwanchik, in partnership with Julia Russell and Carmen Harris. Magnus on Water will draw its menu inspiration from locally foraged-ingredients.

The bar will be located in the former Lacava space at 12 Water Street adjacent to Liberty Park, and the team hopes to open the 30-seat establishment sometime this Summer. Seasonal outdoor seating will also be available for private events.

Magnus is named for Albertus Magnus, a 13th Century alchemist and Catholic saint, thought of as one of the “greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages”.

The Magnus team is working with Might & Main on branding and graphic design.

Under Construction: Coals Pizza (Updated)

Coals Pizza (website, instagram, twitter) has leased 114 Preble Street where they plan to open their first location outside of New York. They specialize in grilled pizza. You can see their full menu online.

A 2015 review in the New York Times sums up coals this way,

The atmosphere is as quirky and appealing as the food, with a Catskills-meets-Brooklyn vibe from mounted deer antlers and painted country scenes. Sit there long enough and you’ll become aware of the rhythmic sound of the pizza cutter, a guy who wields a huge half moon of a knife that he rocks across the pies as they come out, dividing them into three- or four-bite squares. It’s a kind of siren call — one that should be heeded by all pizza lovers.

Coals was founded in 2004 in the Bronx. Their first two locations are located in Bronxville and Port Chester. 114 Preble Street has not been used as a restaurant since 2014 since Portland & Rochester closed.

Back Story: Coals owner Billy Etzel was born and raised in NYC, but he’s been visiting Maine since age 3 and always felt connected to the state. Four years ago Etzel’s son began doing some family genealogical research. Etzel himself is adopted, and through the research online they discovered that his biological family was trying to get in contact with him. As it turns out his biological family is from Kittery, just 30 minutes away from where Etzel owns a cabin. It’s as a result of this connection to Maine to Etzel decided to open his latest branch of Coals Pizza here in Portland.

Under Construction: Royale Lunch Bar

Garrett FitzGerald along with business partners Teagan Curry, Joe Farr, and Mike Willett have leased the 855 square foot space at 11 Union Street where they plans to open the Royal Lunch Bar (website, facebook, instagram) a 25-seat serving “lunch daily from 8am-6pm”.

The draft menu (page 121) pastrami sandwiches, reubens, roast chicken sandwiches, burgers, and grilled cheese. Royale’s menu will be available for take-out via online ordering. They also plan to offer catering both from the Royals Lunch and Bar Harbor Lobster menus.

FitzGerald owns the Bar Harbor Lobster Company. His last venture in Portland was the Portland & Rochester on Preble Street.

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.