The 2022 Year In Review

Here’s a look at the highlights, themes and key moments from the 2022 year in food:

Concept Shift – with the pre-pandemic closure of Five Fifty-Five and the 2022 shuttering of Back Bay Grill and Hugo’s, Portland’s fine dining ranks have thinned quite a bit. Twelve is the new standard bearer for white table cloth dining in Portland. In the meantime, daytime cafes and combination restaurant/markets are increasing in number. Smalls and Friends & Family are a prime examples, and coming online in 2023 are the Bread and Friends bakery/cafe, The Ugly Duckling in the West End, the Night Moves/Lambs collaboration, and the new LB Kitchen.

National Recognition – while none of the nominees came home with the gold in June, the 2022 James Beard Awards season saw Maine honored with 10 semifinalists (just shy of the record 11 set in 2020) and a record 5 finalist nominees—a confirmation of the strength of the Maine restaurant industry and hopefully an indication of what’s to come (watch for the 2023 semifinalists list in February). National recognition came in other forms as well this year: Bon Appetit included Regards on their list of the Best New Restaurants in America, the NY Times identified Leeward and Twelve as two of the “50 places in America we’re most excited about right now,” Food & Wine and CN Traveler shared their love of Biddeford, and Esquire magazine has named Twelve to their 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

Maine Food Map –Biddeford will continue to be a hot spot, and new restaurants are opening in South Portland and the Portland suburbs. However, there’s also been a growing drumbeat of new and interesting food and beverages businesses opening outside the Portland area, and in 2022 that seemed to have gone into a higher gear…here are just a few examples from the past year: Table Bar in Gardiner, Aboslem Cider in Winthrop,  Nomad in Brunswick, Solo Pane in Bath, the new Dennett’s Wharf in Castine, The Alna Store in Alna, Sidereal Brewing in Vassalboro, Wolfpeach in Camden, Sophia in Belfast, Perch in Waldoboro, Hey Sailor in Searsport, and The Rooting Pig in Bristol.

Upcoming in 2023 – For a rundown of new food businesses under development see PFM Under Construction list. Here are some of the more exciting ones in the pipeline:

  • Bread and Friends – an elevated bakery/cafe located on Fore Street.
  • Lambs/Night Moves – Kerry Haines is bringing her bakery to South Portland and her partner Wade Ritchey is opening a bar in the adjoining space.
  • LB Kitchen – Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind are reopening LB Kitchen in an expanded space on the corner of Congress and Smith Streets.
  • Lenora – a taco bar focusing on Mexican-inspired street food from the creators of Lone Star in Boston.
  • Mr. Tuna – a new iteration of Mr. Tuna located on Middle Street is slated to open this summer.
  • Papi – a Puerto Rican-inspired bar and restaurant expected to open early in 2023.
  • Quanto Basta – a brick and mortar version of the popular Neapolitan pizza food truck which will be located in the original LB Kitchen space.
  • Room for Improvement – a modern dive bar being brought to life on Wharf Street by Arvid Brown and  Nick Coffin.
  • The Continental – European pub food meets cocktails and featuring slow pour nitro ales and stouts in the Oakdale neighborhood.
  • The Ugly Duckling – Chaval owners Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti are launching this daytime cafe and bakeshop on Danforth Street in early 2023.
  • Vertical Harvest – a 70,000 square-foot hydroponic vertical greenhouse in Westbrook.

There are also several other exciting new projects that are currently under wraps but will go public soon. Check back later this year for details.

Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Eastern Prom Food Trucks – early report by the Portland Phoenix that the city was considering new rules to manage food trucks on the Eastern Prom (March 30th)
  2. Somebody Feed Phil – debut of the Somebody Feed Phil episode from Maine (April 7th)
  3. Sacred Profane Brewing – first report on Sacred Profane Brewing being under construction in Biddeford (February 21st)
  4. AC Moving to SoPo – first report on A&C Grocery moving to South Portland (March 2nd)
  5. The Danforth – interim report on The Danforth (February 15th)
  6. The Continental – first report on The Continental (April 14th)
  7. Indy’s Sandwich – first report on Indy’s (February 6th)
  8. Paper Tiger – first report on Paper Tiger (January 6th)
  9. Fish & Whistle – first report on Fish & Whistle in Biddeford (February 1st)
  10. Tobi Open – report on the opening of Tobi (June 3rd)

Notable Events of 2022


For an additional perspective on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram Best of 2022 article.

This is the 13th year running that Portland Food Map has published a year in review article. Take a walk down memory lane by checking out these past editions that covered 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Dedalus Wine in Portland

Dedalus Wine (website, facebook, instagram) from Burlington, Vermont has leased a 3,040 sq ft space at 127 Marginal Way where they are expected to open a Portland outpost of their business. They filed as an LLC in Maine in September 2021.

Dedalus was founded by Jason Zuliani in Burlington in 2007 and has since added shops in Stowe and Middlebury. Dedalus acquired Cured in Boulder, Colorado and it became the base for them to expand into Colorado. Dedalus has also reportedly bought a property in Brooklyn in August.

Allspeed Cycle and Snow will be moving into a new building on Brighton Ave that they purchased earlier this year.

Tar Coffee in Monument Square

A new coffee shop called Tar Coffee (website, facebook, instagram) opened this morning in the Public Market House in Monument Square.

They’re serving a full spectrum of brewed and espresso-based beverages, along with a menu (see below) of sandwiches, house-made cinnamon rolls, beignets, and New York-style bagels. The beans for Tar are initially being sourced from Carpe Diem from North Berwick but Tar plans to eventually set up an in-house roastery.

The owners previously operated a coffee shop called Dermody Road in Gorham, New Hampshire.

Mr. Tuna Moving to Middle St

Co-owners Jordan Rubin and Marisa Lewiecki have leased space in the new building under construction at 83 Middle Street where they plan to relocate Mr. Tuna (website, facebook, instagram) from Monument Square.

The new restaurant will serve an updated Mr. Tuna menu with the addition of a full bar program of cocktails, sake, beer, wine. Rubin shared that the new restaurant will bring to life the full vision he had for Mr. Tuna when he first launched the business as a food cart in 2017. The space will have 25 indoor seats (see draft floor plan below) with additional sidewalk seating in season.

Lewiecki and Rubin hope to open the new Mr. Tuna this summer. The current Mr. Tuna location in the Public Market House will continue to serve as a commissary kitchen for the Mr. Tuna food trucks and catering operation, and may also be a pick-up spot for Mr. Tuna takeout.

Rubin launched Mr. Tuna as a food cart in 2017. The Mr. Tuna sushi counter opened in the Public Market House in 2018. Rubin, Lewiecki Sasha Brouillard, and chef Cyle Reynolds launched Crispy Gai in the summer of 2021. Rubin and Lewiecki launched Bar Futo on Fore Street earlier this month.

A Home for Quanto Basta

Quanto Basta (website, instagram) owner Betsy English has leased the original LB Kitchen location where she plans establish a permanent home for her Neapolitan pizzeria.

If you had told me two years ago that the world’s tiniest little food truck would become an actual pizza place, I’d say you were out of your mind. And perhaps I am..a little..but you kind of have to be to do this, right?! This was always the dream, but it really came down to finding the perfect space, & I couldn’t be happier to have landed in #lowermunjoy with Lee & Bryna of LB Kitchen as my neighbors. They have welcomed me with open arms, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to grow next to them in their new space.

English plans to serve a menu inspired by regional Italian cooking with a rotating selection of sourdough pizza along with natural wines from Southern Italy, beer and spritzes, plus some additional small plate “snackies”.  After some renovations (construction starts in February) she hopes to have the new brick and mortar QB open in June. The Quanto Basta food truck will be taking a vacation in 2023 while English puts her energy into launching the restaurant.

Quanto Basta launched as a food truck in August 2021, and has built a strong following for their mobile pizza operation. LB Kitchen is in the final stage of building out a larger restaurant for themselves at the corner of Smith and Congress Streets – just two doors down from their current location. LB Kitchen expect to open their new spot in January.

Room for Improvement

Owners Arvid Brown and Nick Coffin have applied for a liquor license for their new bar Room for Improvement (instagram) providing a first look at the draft menu and cocktail list, and floor plan (see below).

The cocktail menu (see first 3 pages below) is broken up into six categories: From the Freezer, Classics, Wildcards, Escapism, Large Format, and Shots. Additionally, the bar will serve beer and wine.

As previously reported, the concept for Room for Improvement is a 36-seat modern dive bar and will be located at 41 Wharf Street. Coffin and Brown hope to open in March.


Night Moves & Lambs in South Portland

Kerry Hanney the baker/owner of Night Moves, and Wade Ritchey have leased 695 Broadway in South Portland where they plan to launch two businesses.

Hanney will be building out the right (white) side of the building where she’ll relaunch the acclaimed Night Moves Bread (website, facebook, instagram). She focuses on bread and baked goods made with sustainably grown local grains which she mills in-house. In 2020 Food & Wine named Night Moves one of the 10 Most Essential bakeries in the nation.

Can a loaf of sourdough have terroir, just like wine? If yes, Kerry Hanney’s would be Maine in bread form. One of the region’s most forward-thinking bakers, she leans heavily on local grains and mills them herself. And her loaves, packed with fruit and nuts or subtly flavored with maple syrup, are essential breakfast slices—just add some local butter.

In addition to her breads and baked good, Hanney will sell coffee, tea, espresso-based drinks to go, and bottles of wine and cider. Home bakers will also be able to buy bags of fresh house-milled grains.

Ritchey will be renovating the left (blue) side of the building where he’ll be launching a bar called Lambs (instagram). Lambs will serve a full bar program of beer, wine and cocktails with a pop-up oyster bar in warmer months and food collaborations with Night Moves year round.

695 Broadway is located along the waterfront and is an easy walk/bike/drive from Portland and has ample parking. It sits adjacent to South Portland Greenbelt which is connected to the Eastern Trail. Hanney and Ritchey plan to have waterfront outdoor picnic table seating.

Construction has already begun and the hope is to open both businesses this spring. Leslie Benson is the architect for the project and Jim Rodney is the builder. Among other projects Benson was the architect for Oxbow Beer in Oxford Maine and Rodney recently completed the build-out of Bar Futo.

Stay tuned for more information on Ritchey’s and Hanney’s exciting plans as they get closer to an opening date.

Papi & Growing Latin Food Scene

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram has an article about Papi and the growing Latin food scene in Portland.

Papi is the latest addition to the area’s growing and diversifying Latin food scene, a reflection of diners’ appetites for new culinary experiences that also provides the local Latino community the comforting tastes of their culture. While Mexican cuisine has long held significant space in the restaurant scene, here and nationally, representation of other Latin American countries on Maine menus is more recent.

Restaurant Real Estate: December 2022

Welcome to the December 2022 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company—a commercial real estate brokerage that has helped Maine’s restauranteurs buy and lease restaurant spaces since 1975.

This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

156 State St – 1,250 – 7,550 sq ft of space on the first floor of the Portland Club is available for $13.50 – 24/sq ft (NNN).

235 Vaughan St – the 700 sq ft space most recently occupied by Other Side Deli and which had been the longtime home of Vaughan Street Variety is for lease. Call (207) 650-0846 for more information.

Arts District

554 Congress St – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $2,301/month (NNN).

642 Congress St – the former Ada’s space is available to sublet; 2,569 sq ft (MG).

649 Congress St – the 3,000 sq ft former Dos Naciones storefront is available for $22/sq ft (MG).

142 High St – a 543 sq ft retail space in the State Theatre building that faces High Street is available for $35/sq ft (MG).

44 Oak St – 4,347 sq ft of space in a beautiful historic building at the corner of Oak and Free Streets is available for $20/sq ft (NNN).


75 Chestnut St – a 2,100 sq ft ground floor retail space under construction in Bayside is for sale for $649,999.

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $2,500/month.

46 Elm St – this 2,400 sq ft corner space in the parking garage at the corner of Elm Street and Cumberland Ave. It’s available for $13/sq ft (MG).

52 Hanover St – a new building set to open in April 2023. On the first floor will be 1,500 – 4,500 sq ft retail space available for $30/sq ft (NNN).

82 Hanover St – the 3,067 sq ft former Yard space in Bayside is available for $30/sq ft (NNN); the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

178 Kennebec St – 2,644 sq ft of space are available in a newly constructed Bayside building for $30/sq ft (NNN).

127 Marginal Way – 3,040 sq ft of space that’s been the home of Allspeed Cycle & Snow is for lease for $32/ sq ft (NNN).

34 Portland St – the 4,256 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is for sale for $649,000.

65 Portland Street – the beautiful restaurant space that was home to Back Bay Grill for 34 years is available; 2,750 sq ft for $22/sq ft (MG).

24 Preble St – the former Arcadia space is available; 2,835 sq ft for $20/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

Canal Plaza – the former Copper Branch building in Canal Plaza is available for $60/sq ft (NNN).

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is undergoing renovations and is expected to be available in 2023. The 900-2,950 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 1,193 – 4,805 square feet of space in a newly constructed building on Commercial Street is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

441 Congress St – 2,400 sq ft of retail space is available for $15/sq ft (MG).

443 Congress St – 5,280 sq ft of space for lease for $16-20/sq ft (MG). It’s located across Elm Street from the Portland Public Library.

86 Exchange St – the 1,438 sq ft Swiss Time space on upper Exchange Street is for lease for $31/sq ft.

144 Fore St – the former VA building is near the Portland Foreside development and adjacent to several new office buildings off Thames Street. IT has 2,500 – 21,911 sq ft of space available for $24-27.50/sq ft (NNN).

40 Free St – the new building constructed by JB Brown has four storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft for $30/sq ft (NNN).

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).

100 Middle St – a 350 sq ft cafe space on first floor of an Old Port office building is available for $850/month (MG).

157 Middle St – 1,091 – 5,155 sq ft of retail space is available for $27 – 29.95/sq ft (MG).

1 Monument Square – 1,500 sq ft of first floor space for $3,125/month (MG).

25 Pearl St – 1,689 sq ft former Subway space available for $30/sq ft (MG).

66 Pearl St – 5,796 sq ft of space—the former Bull Moose retail shop—is available for $15.75/sq ft (MG).

1 Pleasant St – an 1,800 sq ft restaurant space in the Cinnamon Building available for $25/sq ft (NNN).

15 Temple St – the 2,086 sq ft space formerly occupied by Bubble Maineia is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

110 Thames St – two spots (2,700 and 3,200 sq ft) are now available in the newly constructed building in the Portland Foreside development. Both are listed at $35/sq ft (NNN).

42 Wharf St – this 3,770 sq ft space in the Old Port includes a 2,000 sq ft patio, $45/sq ft (MG).

43 Wharf St – the former 1,350 sq ft Drink Exchange space is for lease for $43/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

100 Fore St – 1,914 sq ft of space that the listing says is “ideally suited for a restaurant use” is available for $30/sq ft.

47 India St – 1,000 sq ft of the former Lois’ Market building is for lease, $3,333/month (NNN).

Forest Ave

945 Forest Ave – the former Photo Market building is for sale for $995,000.

1871 Forest Ave – the former Tortilla Flat building is for sale for $3,800,000.


936 Brighton Ave – 1,995 sq ft of space in an 11k sq ft building that’s the future home of Allspeed Cycle and Snow for $20/sq ft.

1091 Congress St – the former Denny’s building and parking lot are available to lease; 4,901 sq ft at $25.50/sq ft (NNN).

476 Stevens Ave – the Elsmere BBQ building in Deering Center is for sale for $1,599,000; the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

Northgate Shopping Center – 2,200 to 5,700 sq ft of space is available.

Westgate Shopping Center – four spaces are for lease at $18-40/sq ft (NNN).

Biscuits & Co, Biddeford – Biscuits & Co closed on October 16th and the business and equipment is for sale. Contact for more information.

Buxton – the former Buxton Commons restaurant is available for sale or lease. Lease terms are $4,500/month (NNN) for 3,600 sq ft of space.

Longwoods Preserve – the Longwoods Preserve is seeking a partner to operate a restaurant on their 55-acre property in Cumberland. The 3,500 sq ft building is expected to seat 70-80 indoors plus a three season porch. For more information contact Joe Atwood at (207) 899–7373,

18 Ocean St, South Portland – the 4,351 sq ft former Snow Squall is for lease for $15/sq ft (NNN).

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.


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.

LyAnna Sanabria/Papi has published an interview with Papi co-founder LyAnna Sanabria.

LyAnna Sanabria thinks of her Puerto Rican heritage when she creates a new cocktail: The local bartender grew up in New England, but her powerful recollection of relatives cooking and making food serves as inspiration behind the bar. In early January, she will be opening Papi, a Puerto Rican-inspired restaurant and bar in Portland, Maine, which will give her a stage to draw from her culture.