This Week’s Events: Maine Calling, Making It Work, Leeward, India St CBD, Memorial Day Weekend

Monday – this week’s edition of Maine Calling on Maine Public Radio will take a look at how restaurants are reacting to the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Wednesday – Krista Cole from Sure Lie, Andrew Volk from Hunt & Alpine, and Vanessa Santarelli from Your Maine Concierge will be part of a panel discussion on Restaurants in Flux, the India Street Coffee by Design will re-open for takeout, the Maine Juice Company is opening for takeout, and the weekday Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

ThursdayLeeward, the last restaurant to open right before the crisis shut down restaurants, will launch their pre-order takeout service.

FridayCBG is launching their takeout service, It’s the start of the Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer.

Saturday – The weekend Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Restaurant Customer Survey Results

Mainebiz has published the results of a restaurant customer survey conducted by Eat Drink Lucky which asked about their perspectives on eating at home and dining out post-reopening.

In terms of going back to dining in restaurants when restrictions are lifted, 23.2% said they would do so immediately, while 17% said they would wait two months or longer.

Eat Drink Lucky publisher Gillian Britt told Mainebiz that she was surprised by those findings, saying: “Considering how frightening COVID-19 is, we expected that number to be higher. We were encouraged to see that 23% said they would return immediately, and another 42% said they’ll be back within a month.”

C4C and Save Our Shifts

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an article about Cooking for Community, a new organization that’s feeding people and supporting restaurants and farms.

The result has been staggering. In five weeks, Cooking for Community has raised over $215,000 in donations, growing from two restaurants to nine and serving meals to people from eight different social networks. It went from serving 450 meals the first week to 2,215 last week. On Thursday alone, the initiative provided 665 meals from four restaurants.

and the Bangor Daily News has published an article about Save Our Shifts, a new media initiative that enables bartenders with a new way to engage in their profession.

Last week, Pomerleau and a cohort of hospitality industry workers launched a campaign to benefit bartenders statewide who have lost work due to the pandemic. The campaign, called Save Our Shifts, offers a glimpse of the future of the profession during a public health crisis, mounting a platform for barkeeps to present mixology tutorials for people drinking at home.

Craft/Craft Curbside Under Development

A new restaurant called Craft is in the early stage of  development with plans to be located in Windham. In the near term, co-owners Chase Rochon and Dylan Duran Stafford are launching Craft Curbside (instagram) a “hyper locally sourced prepared food and cocktail mixer shop”.

Rochon is  the front of house manager at Liquid Riot where he works with Stafford who is the bar manager. Joining them will be chef Tyler Reinhart who is Johnson & Wales graduate and a Liquid Riot alum.

Craft will be a restaurant with craft cocktails and a catering arm. Rochon is a Certified Cider Professional and plans to work with Maine cider makers on some special house blends.


Growing Interest in CSAs

Maine Public reports an increased interest in CSAs at Maine farms.

With the depletion of certain items on grocery store shelves and the disruption to the supply chain, there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, and that is the importance of locally grown food. In Maine and around the country, small farms in particular are seeing a surge of interest in what they have to offer, and membership sales in community supported agriculture are especially attractive right now.

Hi Bar Bakery Food Truck

Hi Bar Bakery is in the process of building out and launching a food truck. Hi Bar launched in 2018, and is one of the businesses operating out of Fork Food Lab. They hope to have their food truck out on the road in July.

DSO Creative is working on converting a truck to Hi Bar’s needs. The plans include “[n]ew service windows and awnings going in first followed by new interior paneling, new kitchen layout, counters, hood installation and various other new additions.”

Byers & Sons Long Island Bakehouse

Mainebiz reports that new owners have bought the Long Island Store on Long Island and have renamed it Byers & Sons Long Island Bakehouse.

The operation will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from May to October. It will offer breakfast and lunch, daily baked goods, such as hand-cut cinnamon donuts, muffins, scones, whoopee pies and cookies. Take-home meals such as lasagna, chicken pot pie, lobster pot pie and lobster quiche are also in the plan.

The plan is to use as many local suppliers as possible, to install a lobster tank and buy from island lobstermen, and to offer local beer, wine and produce, she said.

Interview with Emily’s Oysters

Femidish has interviewed Emily Selinger about her aquaculture business and oyster CSA, Emily’s Oysters.

Femidish is a new Maine podcast that seeks to “Elevat[e] the stories of women and their unique abilities to nourish themselves and one another. Conversations about food through a feminist lens.”

Emily’s Oysters was founded in 2018 in Freeport. Their oysters are available via a CSA, and at the Wednesday Portland Farmers’ Market.

So What Happens Next?

The Bangor Daily News has taken a look at what’s in store as restaurants begin re-opening their doors for in-house dining over the next few weeks.

In a public health crisis, many restaurant owners are not seeking a path back to normalcy, but they are forging ways to evolve that may bring lasting change. They are wary of a spike of disease. They also fear that missing a vital summer season will destroy their livelihoods.