Bubble Tea Shop Coming to Longfellow Square

A new bubble tea shop called Uncharted Tea (website, facebook, instagram) is under construction at 662 Congress Street in Longfellow Square. Owners Michael Bowser and Emma Vonderheide plan to serve a menu of “inspired bubble tea”.

Uncharted Tea specializes in handcrafted Bubble Tea that is brewed fresh every cup. We use local and premium sourced ingredients and strive to be environmentally friendly. Our shop will welcome customers into a warm, open space with comfortable seating to relax and gather.

Bowser and Vonderheide haven’t set an opening day yet for Uncharted Tea.


Food Hall and a New Evo at 58 Fore

Developers of the 58 Fore (website), the former Portland Company Complex, have announced plans to incorporate a Food Hall featuring up to 30 “local restaurateurs, food entrepreneurs and purveyors offering prepared and specialty foods, produce, meats, seafood and drinks” into their plans for the mixed use complex.

While thriving public markets are becoming common in cities throughout the country, Portland does not currently have a large-scale market focused on the culinary experience. “The market hall will continue the historic function of these buildings as places where Maine people make high quality products. In the 19th and early 20th Centuries it was railroad engines and ship boilers; today it’s great food and drink,” said Kevin Costello, partner in Portland Foreside Development Company.

Joining 58 Fore will be Evo Kitchen + Bar (website, instagram, facebook, twitter) which is slated to move from it’s current location at the corner of Union and Fore to occupy the Pattern Storehouse, the iconic 1895 building (pictured above). The new Evo will double in size to become a 100-seat restaurant.

58 Fore is taking the unusual step of disassembling and then reconstructing the Pattern Storehouse in order to preserve it while moving it to closer to the waterfront.

Evo is owned operated by the Prentice Hospitality Group, and Casey Prentice is a principal in 58 Fore.

This Week’s Events: Staycationland, Chopped, Feast at the Falls, Latte Art Throwdown

Monday – chef Anders Tallberg and bartender Arvid Brown will be serving up tropical fried chicken and rum drinks for their Staycationland Pop-up at the Portland Zoo.

Tuesday – Chef Dave Mallari will be competing on Chopped. The episode is set to air at 9 pm.

Wednesday – chef David Turin will be appearing on the Food TV show Guy’s Grocery Games at 9 pm, there will be a Languedoc wine tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayFeast at the Falls, a sold out five-course meal with beer pairings is taking place at the boardwalk by Saccarappa Falls in downtown Westbrook with chefs from Frog & Turtle, 33 Elmwood, Casa Novello, Lenny’s, and Black Dinah Chocolatiers. Time & Tide in Biddeford will hosting this month’s barista latte art throwdown.

Saturday – Damiain Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez are the featured chefs for a sold out edition of Outstanding in the Field, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Helm Slated for the WEX Building

A new restaurant called Helm (website, instagram, facebook) is under construction in a 3,000 sq ft space located on the first floor of the new WEX building on Thames Street.

The menu at the oyster bar and bistro will be “an ode to the coast. Expect oysters, seafood, meat, and produce all from our local Maine farmers and fishermen” with a bar program that “focuses on natural, biodynamic, and organic wines as well as a rotating Maine brewery draft selection, and classic cocktails”. The restaurant will include a private dining room to host events and a courtyard that will seat up to 30.

Owner Elizabeth Legere and General Manager James Rose hope to open Helm in December. They shared that they’re excited to contribute to the restaurant scene in Portland and see a lot of opportunity in the developing neighborhood where the restaurant is located.

Location, Location, Location: August 2019

Welcome to the August edition of the PFM restaurant and food retail commercial real estate listings. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers 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 listings 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 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, Quiero and Flood’s. As a West End resident myself I’d love to see a business open in this long vacant space.

953 Congress St – the former Rosanna’s at the corner of Saint John and Congress Streets has remained vacant since the ice cream shop closed at the end of February. My understanding is that Dogfish Bar and Grille owner Ted Arcand is the owner of the building.

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 from the owner – see the sign in the window for contact information.

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

114 Center St –this 10,000 sq ft space off Free Street is for lease at $8/sq ft (NNN).

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).

511 Congress St – a 6,100 sq ft first floor space is available in the Ocean Gate Plaza for $18/sq ft (MG).

600 Congress St – The Schwartz Building has been under construction for a many years. 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 – a 1,200 sq ft former market space is available for $2,500/month (MG).

*649 Congress St – This is the former Local Sprouts location. Local Sprouts went out of business in late June. The 3,000 sq ft space is available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

*360 Cumberland Ave – this 1,000 – 2,000 sq ft is currently the home of the Cumberland Ave Shop. It’s available for lease at $21/sq ft (NNN).


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.

82 Hanover St – there are a number of units 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).

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).

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.

266 Commercial St – 6,689 sq ft of new construction retail space will be available for $20-22/sq ft (NNN).

*383 Commercial St – 4 street retail spaces will be available (1,631 – 1,971 sq ft) in a new building under construction at the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets.

*400 Commercial St – owner Chris DiMillo plans to renovate the first floor of this building into a restaurant space for lease.

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.

2 Portland Square – Walter’s closed May 31st and is for sale. The business and equipment are listed for $250k or just the furniture, fixtures and equipment are available for $175k. The current lease which runs through March 2020 is $24.98/sq ft (NNN).

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 are 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).

20 Thames St – a 1,800 sq ft is available for lease just off India Street for $24/sq ft (NNN). Speckled Ax Coffee has leased 1,800 sq ft in this building already.

Forest Ave

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

*449 Forest Ave – a 5,923 sq ft space is available in the Forest Ave Plaza across the street from Rose Foods. It’s listed at $21/sq ft (NNN).

509 Forest Ave – 6,000 sq ft of space near Bow Street Beverage is available for $12.75/sf ft (MG).

1053 Forest Ave – the former Papa John’s on Forest Ave is available, 1,200 sq ft at $18/sq ft (NNN).


*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.

90 Congress St – Lolita will be going out of business on September 2nd. The fixtures are for sale for $275,000 and the lease for 30-seat 877 sq ft restaurant is $2,700 (NNN).

431 Congress St – the Mainely Wraps on Congress Street closed earlier this year. I can’t locate an official property listing but it remains vacant so is likely available for lease.

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).

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

280 Saint John St – 2 spaces are available in the Union Station Plaza. The 4,400 and 2,600 sq ft spaces are available for $8/sq ft (NNN) and $12/sq ft (NNN) respectively.

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.

*75 Washington Ave – a 1,925 sq ft space in the Nissen Bakery building which is also home to Cong Tu Bot, Drifters/Maine & Loire, Maine Mead Works, Oxbow Brewing and Hardshore Distilling. $18/sq ft (NNN). A hood can’t be installed at this address but it can serve as a food retail space.

*199 West Commercial St – the longtime home of Benny’s Fried Clams is for sale for $60,000 after a short season last year opperating under the name Clam Digger.

Confidential Space – a 4,300 sq ft restaurant space in Portland is available. Details require a signed confidentiality agreement with the realtor.


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.

New Restaurant Coming to Dana St

News broke back in early May that Vignola/Cinque Terre would be closing and that the Miranda Restaurant Group was in negotiation to buy the building. Now owner Joshua Miranda has announced he has leased the 3,900 sq ft space where he plans to open a new restaurant and private event space.

Details on the concept are forthcoming. Miranda shared that he has “a different concept that we hope people will respond well to, and the 10 Dana Street property is just too special to pass on. It’s one of the more iconic buildings in the Old Port.”

Miranda opened Blyth and Burrows in June 2017. He hopes to open the new restaurant late fall 2019.

December 6 Update: The restaurant will be named Via Vecchia (instagram).

Ada’s Kitchen Restaurant and Retail on Congress

Construction of the Portland Ada’s Kitchen (instagram) at 640-642 Congress Street near Longfellow Square is currently on track and the owners hope to open in mid September pending the arrival of custom built pasta making equipment from Italy.

The storefront will be divided into two sections: a counter service restaurant serving moderately price Roman pizza and house made pasta, and a retail store selling pasta and pizza as well as a small selection of wines and other Italian food stuffs. The back portion of the retail shop we’ll be set aside for a Fiore olive oil tasting room and retail shop.

The restaurant will seat 12-14 plus a standing bar. It will feature a set chef’s counter seats that face in to an open kitchen, and will have a beer/wine license. Chef Rumma plans to teach pasta and pizza making classes at Ada’s.

Ada’s will be holding a preview of their pasta menu August 21st in a collaboration with their neighbor Sagamore Hill. The menu will feature a 3-course pasta menu with cocktail pairings. Tickets are now on sale on Eventbrite.

The first location of Ada’s Kitchen opened in Rockland in 2017.

Leeward Has Leased Space on Free Street

An Italian restaurant called Leeward (website, instagram) is under construction at 85 Free Street. The name is a nautical term that means “sheltered from the wind” and evokes the sense of hospitality the owners intend for the restaurant. Leeward has also been the name of the series of pop-up dinners the held by owners Jake and Raquel Stevens in 2018 and early 2019 where they have further developed the concept for their restaurant.

The Stevens are planning a 50+ seat restaurant with a full bar and wine program that’s focused on minimal intervention wines. Handmade pasta will be the primary focus of the menu but it will also include vegetable, meat and seafood based entrees. The Stevens hope to open Leeward before the end of the year.

Before moving to Portland the Stevens lived and worked in restaurants on the west coast. Jake Stevens was the former Chef de Cuisine at Beast in Portland, Oregon. He’s currently on staff at Eventide. Raquel has worked in the front of house in restaurants in Oregon and in LA, and is currently on staff at Drifters Wife. Raquel Stevens grew up in New England and its her connection to the region that initially prompted the move east two years ago.

If 85 Free Street rings a bell for you it may be because it was the original location of the Winter Farmers’ Market when it launched in 2010.

Taytene Cafe in SoPo

A new business called Taytene Cafe is under construction at 863 Broadway in South Portland. According to the awning signage, their offerings will include coffee, boba tea, smoothies, house-made bread, banh mi and pho.

This bakery/cafe has been in development since early 2019.