Neighborhood Restaurant Coming to Cottage Rd

Nosh co-owner Matt Moran will be taking over the Terra Cotta Pasta building at 501 Cottage Road as of the new year where he plans to open a new restaurant.

Moran sees an opportunity to expand the options in that part of South Portland for casual family-friendly dining with a neighborhood restaurant. He hopes to open the as yet unnamed business this spring.

Terra Cotta Pasta itself is moving to a new location just down the street next to Thai Taste.

Batson River Expands to Bayside (Updated)

Brewery and distillery Batson River (website, facebook, instagram) has leased an 8,154 sq ft space at 82 Hanover Street where they plan to open the Batson River Social Club. They’ll be situated in the same building as the The Whiskey Barrel and nearby Bayside Bowl.

Tim Harrington, co-founder of Batson River stated in the press release,

Coming off the heels of our first successful year in Kennebunk, we’re thrilled to be expanding into Portland for 2020. This new space – with thoughtful and remarkable design by Barrett Made – will be double in size from ourcurrent tasting room. It’s an exciting time to be joining the thriving food and beverage industry in Portland, and particularly in 2020 when all eyes are on Maine for the Bicentennial year celebration.

The West Bayside location will be modeled in concept after their popular original tasting room in Kennebunk with “full bar and tasting room with a more robust food menu, plus additional space for indoor games and activities, retail store”.

They hope to be open in time for summer 2020.

Judy Gibson Slated for South Portland

Chris Wilcox, the former Chef de Cuisine at Eventide, has leased 171 Ocean Street in Knightsville, the space formerly occupied by the Teriyaki Exchange, where he plans to open a new restaurant called Judy Gibson (instagram). The restaurant will seat 35 over all including a 10-seat bar.

Judy Gibson—a concatenation of the names of Wilcox’s two grandmothers—will serve a menu of contemporary American cuisine. Wilcox has begun an extensive renovation of the space and hopes to be ready to open in time for Valentine’s Day.

When Wilcox first came to Maine he was the chef at the now closed Velveteen Habit on Ogunquit. While working to launch Judy Gibson he’s on staff at Scratch Baking Co.

207 Bar & Restaurant to Fill Maria’s Space

Antoine Bikamba along with business partners Damas Rugaba, Aime Nijimbere, and Aline Bucyana have leased the former Maria’s space at 337 Cumberland Ave where they plan to open 207 Bar & Restaurant.

You’ll recall that Maria’s announced in September that they had purchased the Espo’s Trattoria building on Congress Street where they plan to move the nearly 60-year-old restaurant in December. The Maria’s building was purchased by Youth and Family Outreach.

The owners of 207 Bar & Restaurant are applying for a full liquor license and plan to serve a menu of “international cusine”. You can see a copy of the draft menu below:

Falafel Mafia to Open a Hummusiya

The owners of Falafel Mafia, Dylan and Cameron Gardner, have leased 1 Monument Way, the space formerly occupied by Foley’s/Scattaloni Bakery where they plan to open Nura (instagram).

Nura will be a 30-seat hummusiya open for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch serving fresh made breads to order with their hummus and a range of Middle Eastern dishes. The menu will also include a selection of falafel pockets that carry over from the Falafel Mafia menu.

The Gardeners launched Falafel Mafia in 2017. They’re aiming to have Nura open by the end of November.

A hummusiya is casual restaurant with a hummus-centered menu. The most notable example in the US is Dizengoff in Philadelphia which was open by Zahav founder/chef Michael Solomonov.

Terlingua Relocating to Former Silly’s

Terlingua (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has leased the former Silly’s restaurant location where they plan to open an expanded version of their four-year-old restaurant this spring.

The new Terlingua will seat 60—nearly double in size the current location at 52 Washington. It will also include a small market selling prepared foods as well as and house-made sauces and rubs, and feature an outdoor beer garden and dining deck.

Owners Pliny and Melanie Reynolds stated, “We love this neighborhood and the restaurant community in Portland. We’ve been humbled by the success we’ve had at the current Terlingua location and for us, the time was right to move into a space that can grow with us. We continue to be thankful for our wonderful employees, suppliers and patrons and only look for that to continue in a larger, more adaptive space, as we move a few doors up the street.”

Terlingua 1.0 will remain open during the renovations of the new space at which point the 52 Washington Ave will be leased for use by a new restaurant.

Ishi Ishi to Collaborate With Local Breweries

Ishi Ishi Ramen (instagram) the 9-seat BYOB ramen shop is under development on Washington Ave has applied for their liquor license. In the cover letter they share that they’ll  be setting up a collaboration with local breweries. Customers who buy beer from partnering breweries will get a discount on their meal at Ishi Ishi.

Here’s a look at their draft menu,


Location, Location, Location: October 2019

Welcome to the October 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 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.

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

11 Brown St – the BRGR Bar location on Brown Street is for lease. The 4,321 turnkey restaurant space is available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

114 Center St –this 10,000 sq ft space off Free Street is for lease at $8-25/sq ft (MG).

480 Congress St – 3,513 – 7,213 sq ft space available for $26/sq ft (NNN).

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 divisible with spaces between 2,000 – 9,600 sq ft available for $15-18/sq ft (NNN). The building has a drive-in door and comes with 15-20 parking spaces.

105 Fox St – A 1,950 sq ft space immediately adjacent to Rising Tide is available for $19-21/sq ft (NNN).

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).

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.

*425 Fore St – This is the current address of the Maine Lobster Shack. The 1,548 sq ft turnkey restaurant space is available to lease for $44.92/sq ft (MG).

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.

*15 Middle St – a 954 sq ft retail space on the first floor of one of the new buildings off of India Street for $27/sq ft (NNN).

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.

*15 Monument Square –Others went out of business on September 25th. The 900 sq ft space is available for $3,800/month (MG).

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).

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).

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

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).

949 Forest Ave – the former Maelily Ryleigh’s is for lease. The 4,185 sq ft restaurant is available at $19/sq ft (NNN).

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

1569 Forest Ave – a former gas station on outer Forest Ave is available for $1-99/sq ft (NNN). The building is $1,352 sq ft in size.


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.

559 Brighton Ave – with Rosemont Market centralizing their kitchen, warehouse and office space in one building the retail space in their original building on Brighton is now available for lease, 3,648 sq ft at $12/sq ft (NNN).

90 Congress St – Lolita went 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. The 1,800 sq ft space is now available for $18/sq ft (MG).

280 Saint John St – 3 spaces are available in the Union Station Plaza. The 4,400, 2,600 and 4,004 sq ft spaces are available for $8/sq ft (NNN), $12/sq ft (NNN) and $14/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.

*1041 Washington Ave – years ago this building was the home of Allspeed Cycling. The 1,800 sq ft space is now available for lease at $12/sq ft (NNN).


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.

Chad Conley Working on a Third Restaurant

Chad Conley and Josh Sobel have leased space at 98 Washington Ave where they plan to open a new eatery next year in the spring. Name and concept for the new venture are forthcoming.

Chad Conley is well known as the co-owner of Palace Diner and founder of Rose Foods. Josh Sobel is a member of the Rose Foods staff. He has worked in NYC at Mile End, Diner, Marlow & Sons, and Court Street Grocers; he was also a co-owner of the Southside Coffee.

98 Washington is currently occupied by the Flying Fox Juice Bar which announced they were going out of business earlier this month. The last day for the juice bar will be October 19th.

Brian Boru Property Purchased by MEMIC

The Press Herald reports that the Brian Boru property was purchased by MEMIC. The purchase completed their ownership of the block between Cotton, Spring, Center and Fore Streets. MEMIC doesn’t have immediate plans to build on the site.

[Former Boru owner Daniel] Steele is sure MEMIC has a long-term plan for the property, but for the moment he expects it will lease the Brian Ború building.

“I would love to see it reopen as a pub so I could visit again,” he said.