Restaurant Real Estate: April 2024

Welcome to the April 2024 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 resource gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland (and a few in the surrounding area) that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers and 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/Parkside

867 Congress St – the 3,200 sq ft former church that had been slated to be a new home of Vena’s is for sale for $775,000.

Arts District

553 Congress St – the commercial kitchen in the former Five Fifty Five space (now leased by the Core Cannabis Museum) is available to a co-tenant for $2,000/month (MG).

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

594 Congress St – the 2,592 sq ft space in the Upper H. H. Hay Building formerly occupied by Starbucks is available for $35/sq ft (MG).

600 Congress St – for lease signs are in the window of the ground floor space at the corner of High and Congress. The Schwartz Building has been under renovation for a decade. For more info call (207) 773-7100.

25 Forest Ave – Portland Stage is looking for a restaurant partner to co-develop a 2,700 sq ft restaurant space in their Forest Ave building; $19.50/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 $4,000/month (NNN).

Bayside/Inner Washington

73 Cove St – a 5,519 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is listed for $35/sq ft; it’s expected to become available later this year.

46 Elm St – this 385 sq ft corner space in the parking garage at the corner of Elm Street and Cumberland Ave. It’s available for $500/month (MG).

52 Hanover St – On the first floor of a new building will be 1,500 – 4,500 sq ft retail space available for $30/sq ft (NNN). One spot in the building has earmarked for a coffee shop.

178 Kennebec St – 2,644 sq ft of space are available in a newly constructed Bayside building for $25/sq ft (NNN).

52 Washington Ave – the 1,020 sq ft space formerly occupied by Radici (and before that by Terlingua) is for lease for $3,500/month (NNN). Text/call (207) 400-0405 to learn more.

55 Washington Ave – this 7,815 sq ft space is in the Nissen Bakery building right in between Cong Tu Bot and Hardshore Distillery. It’s available for $13,715/month (NNN).

Old Port

1 Canal Plaza – 4,284 – 14,412 sq ft of ground floor retail space will be available as part of upcoming renovations; $30/sq ft (NNN).

185 Commercial St – a new building under construction will include 2,334 sq ft of ground floor retail space that will be available in 2024 for $55/sq ft (NNN).

215 Commercial St – 2,327 sq ft of retail space near the corner of Commercial and Dana Streets is available for $65/sq ft (MG).

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).

201 Federal St – 2 retail spaces will be available in the new 18-story building under construction at the corner of Temple and Federal Streets. The 527 and 2,300 sq ft spaces are listed at $40/sq ft (MG).

420 Fore St – the space formerly occupied by the Old Port Slice Bar is for lease. The 1,100 – 2,600 sq ft space is available for $55/sq ft (MG).

446 Fore St – a 1,600 sq ft space on the corner of Fore and Union Streets is available for $30/sq ft (MG).

477 Fore St – the 1,134 sq ft space formerly occupied by B + B Bakery is available for $25-30/sq ft (MG).

40 Free St – a 1,511 sq ft space in the new building constructed by JB Brown is available for $27.50/sq ft (NNN).

28 Market St – the 850 sq ft space formerly occupied by Lucky Juju is available for lease for $2,250/month (MG).

46 Market St – the 2,100 sq ft space formerly occupied by Petite Jacqueline is for lease for $42/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 $18/sq ft (NNN).

121 Middle St – a 2,482 sq ft retail spot is available for $45/sq ft (MG).

157 Middle St – 1,091 – 5,155 sq ft of retail space is available for $27.95/sq ft (MG).

5 Milk St – this 2,199 sq ft former hair salon is available for $28/sq ft (NNN).

1 Monument Square – 1,500 sq ft of first floor space adjacent to Cera is available for $25/sq ft (MG).

28 Monument Square – with the opening of their new location this year, the Mr. Tuna space in the Public Market House will become available.

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).

24 Preble St – the original Arcadia space is available. The 2,835 sq ft storefront near Dutch’s and Slab is listed for $20/sq ft (NNN).

3 Spring St – the space currently occupied by Stage Cannabis is for lease; 2,000 sq ft for $15.50/sq ft (NNN).

144 State St – 2 retail spaces are available in the former Mercy Hospital building on State Street. The 1,100 and 2,566 sq ft spaces are available for $20-24/sq ft (MG). Chocolate Passions occupies the 3rd commercial space in this new development.

23 Temple St – a 947 sq ft retail space in the Temple Street garage is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

53 Wharf St –a 1,600 sq ft space on the corner of Wharf and Union Streets is available for $30/sq ft (MG).

India Street Area

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 1,560 – 10,620 sq ft of space available for $22-29/sq ft (NNN).

Outer Forest Ave

503 – 509 Forest Ave – the exterior of this building is slated to be restored to its historic design. It has 4,500 – 9,500 sq ft of space available for $10/sq ft (NNN).

634 Forest Ave – this former garage is located at the center of Woodfords Corner near Bayou Kitchen, Woodford Food & Beverage, and Bird & Co. The 1,305 sq ft building has had a change of use to allow for a restaurant use, and comes with room for 8-12 parking spaces. It is available for $2,750/month (NNN).

701 Forest Ave – 3,147 – 6,405 sq ft of space in a former Walgreens building is available for $16/sq ft (NNN). The building has its own parking lot.


164 Veranda St – the 1,000 sq ft former location of Other Side Deli is available for $2,500/month (Gross).

476 Stevens Ave – the Elsmere BBQ building in Deering Center is for sale for $1,395,000; the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

550 Washington Ave – 2,000 – 2,400 sq ft of the former Botto’s bakery is available to lease for $18/sq ft (NNN).

Elsewhere in Portland

Northgate Shopping Center – 2,000 to 3,500 sq ft of space is available.

Westgate Shopping Center – three spaces are for lease at $18-40/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.

Outside of Portland

Trudy Birds, North Yarmouth – The business, land and both building are for sale for $1,925,000.

188 Lincoln St, Lewiston – this 2,371 – 5,554 sq ft former fire station has been renovated for use as a retail/restaurant space. It’s listed at $5-14/sq ft (NNN).

Fuzzy Udder Creamery, Whitefield – the business and property are for sale for $595,000.

60 Mile Rd, Wells – an 8,684 sq ft turnkey restaurant in Wells is for sale for $2,450,000.

Billy’s Chowder House – both the building and business of Billy’s Chowder House in Wells is for sale. The ~200 seat restaurant comes with a 62-car parking lot and sits on Mile Road which connects Route 1 with Wells Beach.


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.

Botanically Curious Now Open

Botanically Curious (websitefacebookinstagram) held their grand opening on Friday. The herbal apothecary and mocktail bar is located at 419 Congress Street in the first floor of the Masonic building.

The mocktail menu (see below) includes a drink called the Hibiscus Rose shown above. It’s made with cranberry infused chia seeds, sparkling hibiscus tea, dandelion tincture and a raspberry garnish served on the rocks. The multi-use space is set-up to host workshops, has a selection of herbal products for sale, and a library seating area.

Botanically Curious will initially be open Thursday through Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm.

Maine Food & Dining News: Thomaston, Houlton, Veazie, Waterford, Biddeford, Ogunquit

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know:

  • Malcolm Bedell launched his new restaurant Honey’s (websiteinstagram) this week. The menu features a variety of fried chicken sandwiches (shown above is the Classic) as well as fries, chicken tenders, snacks and sides. Honey’s is located in Bird Plaza in Thomaston. It will be open Monday through Saturday,  11 am – 7 pm.
  • A new restaurant called Katahdin Kitchen (instagram) is scheduled to open next week in Veazie. The team at Katahdin Kitchen are taking “a fresh approach to Indigenous and American comfort foods with local ingredients.” The menu includes dishes like a wild rice bowl and a Sisters Salad made with roasted corn, beans, squash, beets, herbs and scallions served over greens. Katahdin Kitchen is located at 1492 State Street.
  • Chef Brandon Montes has joined the team at The Waterford Inne. Innkeeper Kember Vanderblue shared that she and Montes “will continue to focus the spotlight we shine on our homegrown produce and that of hyper-local farms, but Brandon brings with him knowledge of sustainable wild foods, and invasive species coming from both the oceans and deep woods of Maine” that will further develop the culinary program. Montes most recently worked with chef Bowman Brown at Elda and Jackrabbit. The inn’s restaurant Tallulah’s (website, instagram) is open seasonally serving pre fixe dinners on Fridays/Saturdays. Vandeblue expect to expand the days open and range of events and menus in the coming year.
  • The Bangor Daily News reports that a new restaurant called A Different Point of Brew Bistro is under construction in downtown Houlton. Owners Shyann Miller and Shelby Fitzpatrick plan to offer coffees, teas and energy teas as well as soup, salads and sandwiches.
  • A team from The Dunn Bar in Biddeford are launching a new Italian restaurant called Vin Santo in the space adjacent on Washington Street.
  • Coastal Wine in Ogunquit is relaunching today as Coastal Alchemist adding cocktails, draft beer, and a new food menu to their existing wine program.

Pizza Joint to Close

Pizza Joint (website, facebook, instagram) has announced plans to close both their Portland and South Portland locations this month.

Hello pizza friends,
It is with great sadness that we have made the tough decision to close Pizza Joint.
Our last day of operation will be Sunday, April 14th. This date is subject to change depending on how much crew we have in the last few days.
Get it while you can, folks.
Thank you all for your loyalty and kindness over 47 great years. We couldn’t have done it without you. ♥
-The Pizza Joint

2024 Beard Awards Nominees from Maine

The list of final nominees for the 2024 James Beard Foundation Awards season has been released. 4 of the 10 chef and restaurant semifinalist announced in January are 2024 nominees. Congratulations to:

  • Outstanding Bakery – ZU Bakery, Portland (Barak Olins, bottom right photo)
  • Outstanding Hospitality – Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland (upper left photo)
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker – Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery in Portland (bottom left photo)
  • Best Chef: Northeast – Jake Stevens, Leeward (upper right photo)

The 2024 award winners will be announced on Monday June 10th in Chicago.

Related information:

Model T Coffee on Congress Street

The owners of the Bru-Thru Coffee Shack (facebook, instagram), a drive through coffee shop in Cumberland, are taking over the former Coffee by Design location on Congress Street where they plan to open a new coffee shop called the Model T Coffee Company (facebook, instagram).

Matthew and Stephanie Morgan and their family will be serving Coffee by Design coffee, donuts from Tony’s Donuts as well as baked goods from some other local producers. The full food menu is still under development. Renovations are underway with plans to give Model T a vintage vibe. The Morgans hope to launch the cafe sometime in April.

Food & Wine: Best Food City, Best Restaurants, Best Bakeries

Food & Wine has released the winners of their Global Tastemakers Awards. Maine is recognized in three of the award categories:

Portland is on the list of the 10 Top US Cities for Food and Drinks.

Aragosta on Deer Isle is on the list of the Top 20 Restaurants in the US.

Portland is on the list of the 10 Top US Cities for Bakeries.

How the award winners are selected:

This year, we asked more than 180 food and travel journalists from across the globe to nominate their favorite restaurants, bars, bakeries, markets, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises around the world. We then entrusted that feedback to an expert panel of judges to rank each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss.

Upcoming Food & Dining Events

Wednesday – The Beard Foundation will release the 2024 list of restaurant and chef awards nominees. There are 10 semifinalists from Maine this year.

Friday – It’s the grand opening of Botanically Curious.

April 9 – The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs is holding a FoodTech Maine Showcase at USM. Jean Christophe Rusatira, founder of Umuko Coffee Importers, will be speaking at Coffee by Design on Diamond Street.

April 16 – Award-winning chef and restaurant owner Marilou Ranta from The Quarry in Monson will be taking part in a Maine Voices Live interview at One Longfellow Square. Tickets are now on sale.

April 17 – Wayside Tavern is holding an Alpine Food & Wine Dinner.

April 19-28 – The 6th annual Maine Seaweed Week is taking place.

April 20 – It’s the first day of the summer session of the Portland Farmers’ Market. The market will be in Deering Oaks Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays (7 am – 1 pm).

April 27Portland Chowderfest is taking place.

April 28 – The Casco Bay Chef’s Association is holding their 2024 annual dinner.

April 29 – The Good Food Awards winners will be announced. Eight Maine food producers are finalists in the 2024 Good Food awards program.

May 11CiderFeast, an “all-inclusive tasting event celebrates craft ciders from some of the top cider makers in New England and beyond” is taking place.

May 18 – The Maine Wild Wine Fest is taking place in Freeport.

May 19 – Fork Food Lab and Mayo Street Arts are collaborating to hold the Taste of Nations Food Festival.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

June 17 – The 3rd Annual ChopTails Competition will be taking place at Batson River.

June 22 – The Great Falls Brewfest is taking place in Lewiston.

June 26 – Secret Supper (instagram) is holding a dinner in the Portland area.

June 29 – The 3rd Annual Mast Landing Wavy Days Festival is taking place.

July 25/26 – The Kneading Conference is taking place in Skowhegan.

August 30September 1Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

September 20-22 – The Common Ground Fair will be taking place.

Vin Santo in Biddeford

Mainebiz reports that the owners of The Dunn Bar in Biddeford have leased the space adjacent to their Washington Street restaurant. In the new space at 12 Washington Street Doug Darby, Ciel Caldwell and Angela Napolitano will be opening an Italian restaurant called Vin Santo.

“Doug is Irish, and his dream was to open an Irish pub,” said ” said Napolitano. “Ciel is Italian, and I am Italian. We just started talking and thought this space would be perfect for branching out and doing Italian. This has been in the works for the past two months. We wanted to expand into the space to have one team and one entity. I can share my staff. We have a joint kitchen, and now it’s just pulling the pieces together to make it all work as one.

12 Washington Street in Biddeford was formerly occupied by Sublime Taco. The taco restaurant recently announced they’re taking over operation of the kitchen at Mick’s Sports Bar in Biddeford.

According to the Mainebiz article, Vin Santo is slated to open in mid to late April.

Maine Food & Dining News: Springvale, Brunswick, Windham, Limerick, New Gloucester, Machias, Biddeford, Westbrook, Damariscotta

New food and dining developments are taking place all across Maine. Here are some recent updates to keep you in the know:

  • Downhill Bagel Company (instagram) opened for business yesterday in Springvale. They’re located at 446 Main Street. Owner Billy Nichols and his team are serving a menu (see below) of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches as well as weekend options like pastrami on rye. Downhill reopens this week on Saturday; they’ll initially be open Thursday/Friday 8 am – 2 pm, and Saturday/Sunday 9 am – 2 pm.
  • Lil Jam Cookies (websiteinstagram) recently opened their new bakery in Brunswick. They’re open Wednesday through Saturday 8 am – 4 pm and Sunday 8 am – 2 pm. Lil Jam is located at 146 Maine Street next to Maine Street Bistro.
  • The owners of Ann’s Book Bistro have opened a second restaurant in Damariscotta. Koko’s Sandwich Bar (website, instagram) is located at 603 Main Street. They serve a menu of pressed sandwiches, soups and salads. You can learn more about Koko’s from this recent article in the The Lincoln County News. Koko’s is open daily 11 am – 3 pm.
  • A new restaurant called Cormier’s Dog House (facebook) is under construction in Windham. They’ll be serving “Chicago style hotdogs and more”.
  • Black Tie has published the schedule for their 2024 Graze dinner series which takes place at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
  • Gneiss Brewing has announced plans to shut down their brewery. Their last day in business is still to be determined, in the meantime their tasting room in Limerick will be open on Saturdays, noon – 6 pm.
  • Mason’s Brewing will be opening a new location in Machias in the former Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant space at 78 Main St.
  • Sublime Taco announced that they’ll be taking over the kitchen and menu at Mick’s in Biddeford. Sublime closed their taco shop in downtown Biddeford late last year.
  • Baker/owner Lesa Beck has announced plans to launch Pine Tree Bakery (websiteinstagram) on April 10th. The bakery is located at 1557 Bridgton Road in Windham.
  • The new Don’s Lunch (facebook) cafe in Westbrook opened on Monday.