Cocktail Mary Now Open

A new cocktail bar called Cocktail Mary (website, instagram) held a soft opening last night. They’ll be back open tonight at 5 pm. Cocktail Mary is located in the former Ramen Suzukiya space located at 229 Congress Street.

Owner Isaac MacDougal grew up in Portland where his family owned and operated Vaughan Street Variety. MacDougal has worked as a general manager or bartender in a number of restaurants in New York City including at WD-50. In Portland he was the original bartender at Izakaya Minato from 2017 until earlier this year.

Vibrant Food Scene

A new article on Medium explores “Why is the Whitest, Oldest State in the U.S. Home to Such a Vibrant Food Scene?

When I moved to Portland, Maine, I started a list of restaurants I wanted to try. But it’s been harder than I imagined to check off a pho dinner here and a Sunday bagel there. It’s no secret that Portland is a food destination, and I quickly realized I’m competing for a table with hundreds of locavore enthusiasts and hungry tourists.

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.

Twelve 2020 Good Food Awards Finalists from Maine

Congratulations to the 12 Maine food producers that are  finalists in the 2020 Good Food Awards:

The winners will be announced January 17 at a gala in San Francisco.