Bissell Brothers Kitchen

Bissell Brothers is in the process of renovating their Thompson’s Point tasting room with plans to relaunch it in late May or early June. As reported back in January, they have leased the adjacent restaurant space (formerly Locally Sauced Burritos) to launch Bissell Brothers Kitchen as part of their growing business.

Benjamin Martinkovic (linkedin) has been hired as the chef for Bissell Brothers. Martinkovic is a graduate of Johnson & Wales and in his 24-year career has been on staff at Central Provisions, Alinea, Benu, Chez Panisse, Atelier Crenn, and several other establishments in both restaurant and hotel settings.

At Bissell Brothers Kitchen Martinkovic will serve a menu of elevated pub fare with a strong Latin American influence but also with a degree of flexibility to explore other cuisines. BBK will be operating a counter service model—customers will place their food and beer orders and pick-up their meals from the kitchen takeout window.

Taco Trio Moving

The Press Herald reports that Taco Trio will be moving from their current location on Ocean Street to the building formerly occupied by Big Babe’s.

The new South Portland location, which she does not expect to open for at least another four weeks, will eventually serve breakfast, Rasmussen said. The old Taco Trio space will be used as a prep kitchen.

Tokyo Sushi Ramen & Bar

A new restaurant called Tokyo Sushi Ramen & Bar has leased the 4,300 sq ft former BRGR Bar space at 11 Brown Street.

The menu taped up in the window has an extensive list of offerings including sushi, ramen, pad thai, tempura, teriyaki, poke bowls and more.

Maine Community Cookbook 2022

The team that produced the Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook are now working on a second volume which will contain more “recipes and stories that will continue the celebration of home cooking and the vibrant cultural tapestry of Maine”. As with their first volume the initiative will also raise money to fight hunger in Maine.

“The feedback we got from the first book was overwhelmingly positive, and at the same time, we heard from many people that they didn’t know we were collecting recipes. They wished that they could submit their family recipe or family food story,” says Karl Schatz, one of the book’s editors. “We know there are more great recipes and stories out there, and this is our chance to be even more inclusive.”

$2 from each book sold will be donated to non-profits with the goal of fighting food insecurity and inequity. The Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook so far has raised and distributed more than $15,000 to 25 different organizations fighting hunger in all corners of the state.

Submit your recipe for Volume 2
Anyone with a connection to Maine can submit a recipe, food story, family photos or scans of recipe cards. A submission portal on the website,, will open on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021 to receive submissions, and the team will continue to collect recipes and stories through Labor Day, 2021. Recipes can also be mailed to Maine Community Cookbook c/o Rabelais Books, 2 Main Street, Suite 18-214, Biddeford, Maine 04005.

The second volume  is expected to be published on April 15, 2022.

Buzz Coffee

A new food cart called Buzz Coffee (instagram) is in the final stages of development.

Owner Corey Koch and his friend Christopher Weiss are pursuing a dream of launching a cafe by taking the first step with a mobile coffee business. Buzz Coffee will be serving cold brew coffee from a hand-built pushcart throughout Portland. Beans for the cold brew are being sourced from Rwanda Bean in Portland and Buzz will be sourcing milks, honey and syrups locally as well.

They hope to launch Buzz Coffee on Saturday, May 15th at the Eastern Promenade open from 8 am to 1 pm.

Nibblesford in Biddeford

A new cheese shop and specialty market called Nibblesford (facebook, instagram, twitter) is under construction in Biddeford. Brothers Travis and Ian Kern hope to open Nibblesford early this summer.

Nibblesford will sell cheeses from a wide variety of Maine producers as well as Maine made culinary equipment and goods such as cutting boards, linens and knives. Nibblesford will be located at 5 Washington Street just on the other side of Shevenell Park next to Palace Diner.

Travis Kern has been working in the restaurant industry for 20+ years—his most recent position was as the chef de cuisine at Local 188. Ian Kern has moved to Maine from New York City where he managed the Mysterious Book Shop.

2021 Food Trucks

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a report on some of the new food trucks set to open this year.

By April, according to Portland city records, 21 food trucks had been licensed or renewed their licenses, with another 11 licenses pending. On top of that, nearly 15 newcomers have announced plans to hit the road this summer, serving tacos, fish and chips, vegan comfort food, lobster rolls, burritos and banh mi. That’s nearly 50 food trucks that will be roaming the Greater Portland area this summer. Why so many?

Rosemont Market & Wine Bar

Rosemont Market has announced plans to open the Rosemont Market & Wine Bar on Thompson’s Point.

With the anticipated opening of the Children’s Museum at the Point, we jumped at the opportunity to put fresh, local food into the hands of more Maine families and those visiting from away.

Our intention for the wine bar space is to create a gathering place for our community to come together and enjoy a glass of wine, some local snacks, and to share the stories of our producers that make Rosemont’s wine program so special.

We look forward to hosting our friends and neighbors, farmers, and suppliers as we all experience and celebrate good food, delicious wine, and our community. We can’t wait to welcome you in.

The new Rosemont location will be located in one half of the space formerly occupied by the Cellardoor Winery tasting room (Rwanda Bean Coffee is already building out a new roastery in the other half of the space).

The market and wine bar is expected to open as soon as this summer.

Friends & Family in the Arts District

A combination bar/cafe and specialty market called Friends & Family (instagram) is under development at 593 Congress Street in the space formerly occupied by Vinland. The 30-seat counter service eatery will serve small plates, cheese and charcuterie as well as wine, beer, and aperitivos. During warmer months Friends & Family is also planning additional seating in Congress Square Park.

Friends & Family situated in the center of the Arts District with the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Stage, Space Gallery, and State Theater all within easy walking distance. Being a go to casual space to gather pre/post a show or visit to a gallery is a key part of the vision for Friends & Family.

Founders Cecily Upton and Michael Malyniwsky hope to open Friends & Family in July.

Upton grew up in Maine. Early in her career she worked at former Portland restaurants Natasha’s and Pepperclub, as well as Space Gallery and the PMA. In New York she was part of the front of house staff at Gabrielle Hamilton’s restaurant Prune. She worked as the youth programs director at Slow Food USA before co-founding FoodCorps. Upton returned to Maine in 2015.

Malyniwsky grew up in Ottawa and moved to the US in 2001. The last 7 years he’s worked in California where most recently he was the founding chef of Cellarmaker House of Pizza in San Francisco.  Malyniwsky was on the opening teams of Birch & Barley in DC, and was the sous chef at CityZen working with Michelin-starred chef Eric Ziebold.

Follow Friends & Family on instagram to stay in the loop as they work towards an opening day this summer.