Brickyard Hollow Brewing

Brickyard Hollow Brewing (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has leased the former Arabica coffee shop at 9 Commercial Street where they plan to open a 60+ seat pizzeria and brew pub with a menu similar to what they offer at their location in Freeport. The room will feature a long bar along the right side of the room, a banquet along the left wall and table seating throughout the rest of the dining room. The 3,000 sq ft space will soon be under renovation and the owners hope to open by mid-summer.

Brickyard plans to keep their main brewing facility in Yarmouth but will likely be producing small batch specialty beers on Commercial Street.

Brickyard Hollow Brewing launched in Yarmouth in 2018 and opened their Freeport location in 2019. This new outpost follows a pattern of other Maine breweries (e.g. Oxbow, Banded Brewing and Batson River) that have opened second locations in the city after founding their business elsewhere in the state.

Beautiful Swimmer Pop-up

Ordering is now live for the Beautiful Swimmer (instagram) pop-up takeout dinner by chef Ben Jackson taking place next week.

Visit to place your order.

The menu for the takeout dinner for two will feature:

  • Fried monkfish and marinated mussels
  • Winter squash stew with chicken and buckwheat

Pick-up for the dinner will be on April 2nd with time slots available from 5 – 7:30 pm. Tandem Coffee is lending out Little Tandem in East Bayside (122 Anderson Street) for Beautiful Swimmer to use as pick-up location for the night.

Beautiful Swimmer is being launched by Ben and Alexis Jackson. Ben is a Beard Award nominated chef. In Brooklyn he worked at Marlow and Sons and Diner before becoming the executive sous chef for Reynard at the Wythe Hotel. He moved to Maine in 2016 to become the chef de cuisine at the now closed Drifters Wife. He received a James Beard award Best Chef nomination in 2020 for his work at Drifters.

Beautiful Swimmer is a new and evolving concept. Follow Beautiful Swimmer on instagram to stay in the loop on future events and milestones in its development.

Belleflower Opens Today

Belleflower Brewing (websitefacebookinstagram) is officially opening today. Belleflower has taken over the former Brewery Extrava space on Cove Street in East Bayside. The opening day menu includes:

  • Lost Leaf, a pale lager
  • Magpie, a New England pale ale
  • Scruggsy, a New England IPA
  • 2 versions of Secret Clubhouse, an imperial stout

2021 Rose Foods Guest Chef Series

Rose Foods is kicking off the 2021 edition of their guest chef series on April 9th. Each week a guest chef will create a signature bagel sandwich that will be featured on the menu Friday – Sunday. Here’s the schedule:

  • April 9 – 11, Mamelah’s
  • April 16 – 18, Mr. Tuna
  • April 23 – 25, Eventide
  • April 30 – May 2, Taj
  • May 7 – 9, Duckfat
  • May 14 – 16, Ramona’s
  • May 21 – 23, Baharat
  • May 28 – 30, Quiero Cafe

New Chef at Sur Lie

Sur Lie has announced the hire Jordan Slocum (instagram) as their new chef de cuisine. Slocum will take the place of Jef Wright.

Native to the Northern Panhandle of Texas, Jordan started his culinary journey in Seattle, Washington. After attending a curated dinner held by his brother Joel he began pursuing a career in the professional kitchen. Attending National Culinary Institute in San Diego, California while simultaneously serving as an apprentice through a classic French tutelage at Penfolds in Temecula, he embraced his new career with fervor and eagerness. Focusing his passion and craft in the Industry for 13 years working in all aspects of service. From craft bartending, private estates & yachts, to running his own events company with Forage & Fir he found himself on the shores of Maine in 2017 and instantly fell in love. The bountiful resources and the romanticism of the seasons only fuels his drive for a focus on international technique through hyper local ingredients. Those diversely abundant treasures of our bountiful coasts, hearty seasonal produce, and mystic forests. With the goal to translate nostalgia and draw lines to cuisine all over the world in his dishes, while still remaining acutely, and respectfully… Maine.

Pugh & Evans: The Early Days

This month’s edition of Mainer News includes a feature on Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh as they made their way through the early days on their Portland careers with Hugo’s and the founding of Duckfat.

When Evans and Pugh bought Hugo’s in the fall of 2000, all they had was trust in each other’s strength and ability. They certainly didn’t have any money, and though Chef Rob went on to earn many accolades, including a James Beard Foundation award in 2009, it took a decade to attain financial security. Only in the past year or two has the couple — who sold Hugo’s to a group of its employees in 2012 — felt that Duckfat Culture had evolved to the point where they can rely on the team to run the perpetually busy restaurant without them being in the building.

The March issue also includes a report on a visit to Panda Market in Buxton and an article about using cocktail bitters with beer.

Wonderbar and Jonesy’s

The Courier reports on two Biddeford restaurants impacted by the pandemic. Jonesy’s Main Street Cafe is closing March 28th, and the 86 year old Wonderbar is for sale.

The popular landmark’s beginnings are familiar to many. Charlie and Archie Droggitis started Charlie’s Cafe in 1935, selling beer and sandwiches in their parent’s former shoe repair shop location on Washington Street, said Charlie’s son Spiros Droggitis. A couple of years later, Archie bought a mahogany bar in Boston, had it shipped to Maine, and another brother, Ted, suggested changing the name to Wonderbar. Soon, four brothers were involved in the business — Jimmy and Alex joining Archie and Charlie.

Restaurant Merchandise and Packaging

The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on the big increase in takeout containers being used during the pandemic,

In my zeal to support local restaurants during the pandemic, I’ve amassed my own takeout container mountain like those Jenkins warned about. I compost the compostable ones, reuse many plastic ones for storage, and repurpose others to parcel out goodies to neighbors I make and bake as part of my job as a recipe developer. Even with these waste stream diversion tactics in place, I still contribute to my town’s waste management problem when I drop the remaining ones in the recycling bin.

and on restaurant’s sale of branded merchandise to augment their income.

As the pandemic has lingered, lots of Maine restaurants have either started selling merchandise with their logos, or beefed up their online stores with new products, in hope that the additional stream of cash can help them keep their heads above water. That stream is uneven, spiking over the holidays or whenever a photo gets posted on Instagram, but all the restaurateurs interviewed for this article say the same thing: Every little bit helps.

Strata to Move/Expand

Strata (websiteinstagram) has leased space at 67 Washington Ave in the former Nissen Bakery Building where they plan to move their specialty culinary knife store in the May/June time frame.

We need more space to fit more amazing products AND we will have a dedicated classroom space for all sorts of informative and hands-on classes starting with knife sharpening and knife skills tutorials, as well as other lessons taught by talented locals…Stay tuned for updates and a boat load of new awesome products from around the world and Maine.

Strata was founded by Evan Atwell in 2018, and was among the first wave of businesses that took up residence in the Black Box container retail spaces on Washington Ave.

Atwell will keep knives at the center of what Strata sells but plans to diversify the product mix to become a more well-rounded kitchen store with cooking utensils, non electrical equipment, cookbooks and more.