Bard Coffee at Portland Foreside

Bard Coffee is opening second Portland coffee shop. It will be located in the first floor of the new Sun Life Insurance building currently under construction in the Portland Foreside development in the East End.

The new Bard will have similar range of coffee and food offerings to their original café on Middle Street plus an expanded focus on tea. The space will feature a long bar, a takeout window, window-facing counter seating, tables and possibly a partitionable space for meetings or events. The construction plans for Bard 2.0 are still a little bit in flux but owner Bob Garver hopes to open have it open by mid-year in 2022.

A growing number of restaurants and other food businesses have been opening east of India Street as new buildings have sprouted up in the area. Other new food businesses in the area are Helm, Navis Cafe, Speckled Ax, Evo X, the Bard Coffee food truck and Grippy Tannins. The list will expand quite a bit once the Portland Foreside food hall launches.

Outdoor Dining & Covid Sensory Impact

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a rundown  of some outdoor dining options in Portland, and

Many Portlanders, especially those of us with vulnerable friends and family, are still holding off on dining indoors. For the past ten weeks or so, that’s been easy, but as the leaves begin to fall, our options seem to dwindle by the day. Don’t despair just yet – Greater Portland still offers plenty of local al fresco dining and drinking opportunities. Here are a dozen of my favorites.

a report on how Covid has impacted the sense of taste and smell in the food community.

The same day Diane Hudson’s doctor expressed concern about her cough – a cough Hudson assumed was just a symptom of hay fever – and had her tested for COVID-19, Hudson stopped by the store and bought feta cheese.

That night, she made a beautiful Greek salad and poured a glass of her favorite Greek wine to go with it.

“I sat down to eat it,” the Portland photographer recalled, “and everything tasted like cardboard.” The wine, she added, smelled and tasted “like motor oil.”

Ruby’s in the NY Times

Ruby’s West End is featured in a New York Times article about changing pay practices in the restaurant industry.

So last spring, when the couple opened Ruby’s West End, a cafe in Portland, Maine, they decided that every aspect of their restaurant would diverge from business as usual. Ms. [Corrinna] Stum, 30, spurned pricey subscriptions for reservation and scheduling software, and instead used that money to help pay every member of her small team $12.15 per hour, Maine’s full minimum wage. She also added a 20 percent service charge to every check, to be shared with the kitchen staff, which traditionally doesn’t benefit from tips.

Upcoming Events: Lobster Week, Wine Dinners, Zwanze Day, ColoniAle

This WeekMaine Lobster Week is taking place through Saturday.

Thursday – Wayside Tavern is holding a Sicilian wine dinner.

SaturdayNovare Res is one of a select number of locations worldwide participating in Cantillon Zwanze Day, and the Tate House Museum is holding ColoniAle 2021 with a lecture by Colby professor Ben Lisle entitled “Ale for Invalids: Brewing and Drinking Beer Under the Maine Law in 19th Century Portland.”

September 28thCocktail Mary is holding a wine dinner, tickets go on sale September 21st.

SoPo Seafood Now Open

SoPo Seafood (websitefacebookinstagram) opened their new fish market in South Portland on Wednesday. They’re located at 171 Ocean Street in the space formerly occupied by Uncle Andy’s. In addition to the retail shop the new business also features a raw bar where co-owners Matt Brown, Lucas Myers and Joshua Edgcombe plan to showcase the local Maine seafood that they specialize in.

SoPo Seafood launched in March 2020. In addition to in-person sales at the market, and selling wholesale to restaurants, they also operate a seafood delivery service (order online) serving Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Saco, Biddeford, and Biddeford Pool. The South Portland market will initially be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 7.

SoPo Seafood is located in the evolving restaurant row on Ocean Street that now includes Taco Trio, Solo Cucina Market, Judy Gibson, Ben Reuben’s, and Cafe Louis.

Sarah’s Farmstand Kitchen

A new market cafe and catering business called Sarah’s Farmstand Kitchen (facebook) is under development and owner Rachel Chiasson hopes to launch the business later this month.

For the initial menu Chiasson will be serving a takeout menu of rice bowls. Options will include Autumn Harvest (marinated kale crisp apple, charred root vegetables, nuts, maple dijon) and Three Bean (garlic black beans, fried chickpeas, edamame, roast corn, charred peppers, spicy cilantro sauce). All bowls come with a choice of shredded chicken, sliced beef, chopped shrimp or sticky tofu.

In addition to meals to go Chiasson plans to sell produce from the farms she buys from and in doing so expand the market for locally grown foods. The launch of Sarah’s Farmstand Kitchen is the culmination of Chiasson’s long term ambition to run her own business after working for many years in the hospitality industry.

Sarah’s will be located at the Urban Farm Fermentory in East Bayside. It will be open Thursday through Saturday, 3 to 8 pm.


Brewer of the Year

Allagash was named the 2021 Brewery and Brewer of the Year by the Great American Beer Festival in the 15k – 100k barrels segment of the industry.

In a statement to the Press Herald founder Rob Tod shared his thoughts on the award,

“We love what we do and care deeply about the quality of the beers we make, and we’re honored and humbled to be recognized for that,” Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash, said in a written statement. “It’s been a particularly challenging and enlightening year and a half. But we’ve been able to weather the storm and, from our perspective, come out on the other side even stronger. Being honored at GABF feels like validation for all of the hard work we’ve put in.”

Old Port Flores Now Open

Flores (website, facebook, instagram) opened their new restaurant on Congress Street on Saturday. The newly renovated space is located at 431 Congress Street adjacent to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church at the head of Temple Street. The restaurant seats 30+ people and features a bar and full liquor license.

Flores in the Old Port is open Monday 5 – 11 pm, Thursday and Friday 5 pm – 1 am, Saturday 2 pm – 1 am, and Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. The Flores in Parkside will remain open for takeout.

Here’s a look at the menu.

Restaurant Design, Olfactory Portland

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article on the changing olfactory nature of Portland, and

The smorgasbord of scents Lausier recounted hasn’t existed since the late 1990s, when the J.J. Nissen Bakery on Washington Avenue shut down. Jordan’s Meats, on India Street in the East End, stopped cooking up hot dogs and deli meats in 2005. The B&M Baked Beans plant, where Lausier worked for 42 years, will stop production by the end of this year, the owners announced in late August.

an article about contemporary restaurant design in our city.

The 1920s glam bar at the Time & Temperature will be the latest in a slew of restaurants and bar/lounges in the city that have been amping up their interior design game. The city’s image as a down-to-earth, no-fuss, mostly rustic farm-to-table culinary scene is changing. Some attribute it, at least in part, to the Restaurant City of the Year accolade Bon Appétit magazine bestowed in 2018.