Norimoto Bakery on Stevens Ave

Atsuko Fujimoto has leased 469 Stevens Ave where she plans to relocate Norimoto Bakery (website, instagram) from South Portland. The new location is in the building formerly occupied by Simply Scandinavian Foods in Deering Center which is also home to Quality Shop, Rwanda Bean Coffee, Pat’s Meat Market, The Honey Exchange, Elsmere, and other businesses.

Fujimoto is looking forward to having more space for her growing business and to creating a work space uniquely tuned to her way of working and that provides room for her and a growing team to work.

Fujimoto hopes to be fully moved in and open for business in time for the holidays. She’ll be closing down her current location later this month (September 18-19 are the last takeout days) and then opening the new bakery as soon as the build out is complete. The new Norimoto will have a takeout window inspired by old tabako-ya corner tobacco kiosks in Japan.

Gin & Luck Buys Little Giant

Ian and Kate Malin have announced the sale of Little Giant to the Gin & Luck hospitality group. Gin & Luck is best know for their Death & Co cocktail bars in New York City, Los Angeles and Denver.

“This is the latest example of how Portland has developed a national reputation in the food and beverage world,” said Ian Malin, who started Little Giant with his wife Kate and partners in 2017 .

“COVID was a blow to the entire restaurant industry,” Kate Malin said. “But we changed and adapted—first with paper plates and takeout out cocktails and then with an all-season outdoor space and a vaccine requirement. Our customers responded enthusiastically and 2021 has been our best year ever. We couldn’t be prouder of the team at Little Giant, and we’re very sad to say goodbye.”

Gin & Luck are still working out the details of the unique name and concept (not a Death & Co branded location) for their location in the West End so stay tuned for updates in the next few weeks. Gin & Luck COO and partner Alex P. Day moved to Portland 2 years ago.

The team’s attraction to Portland is a deeply personal one. Gin & Luck partner and COO, Alex Day, has been a resident of Portland for over two years. “Moving to Portland was transformative for me, both personally and professionally,” says Day. “I’ve found myself not only inspired by the beauty of Maine and all it has to offer, but also by a F&B community that has been incredibly welcoming every step of the way. They’ve blown me away by their deep love of hospitality, culinary creativity and enlightened business practices, and I’m thrilled by the chance to contribute in a small way – to create an establishment unique to Portland and a new F&B expression for our company, and above all, to play a meaningful part in what makes this city such an amazing place to live and visit.” The Gin & Luck team plans to release more information about their vision and timeline in the coming weeks.

“The fact that Gin & Luck chose Little Giant and Portland for their next project says a lot about the food scene in our city,” Ian Malin said. “We are excited to see this commitment from such a well-known and well-respected brand.”

Maine Cheese Industry

This week’s Portland Phoenix has a report on the Maine Cheese industry.

Donahue said she is fortunate because her farm now processes all of its milk on-site, meaning it makes cheese and yogurt without having to ship or bottle it.

And unlike many other states, she added, Maine allows farmers to bottle their raw milk and sell it either at the farm or at farmer’s markets or retail stores.

Maine is also unique because of the way it allows cheesemakers to make their cheese, which Donahue said has helped open the door for smaller and new cheesemakers to make higher volumes of cheese to sell.

A Charcuterie Food Truck

A new food truck called The Portland Board (website, facebook, instagram) is set to launch in September by owner Graham Young. The Portland Board will be operating out of a vintage baby blue 1979 Volkswagon bus.

Young plans to offer both medium and larger sized boards for groups as well as smaller “bites” of pairs of chacuterie options. He also hopes to collaborate with local business with one-off menus that expand beyond The Portland Board’s focus on chacuterie.

Young started working in restaurants when he was 11-years-old and “quickly developed a love for the fast pace and hard work which always stayed with me”. He’s worked in the cannabis industry for the last decade in Maine and California. Since he’s moved back to Maine has been inspired by the food community here and the food truck is a way of connecting with it.

Apples & Cheese This Sunday

The Maine Pomological Society is celebrating Maine Apple Sunday this weekend. 17 orchards across the state from Wells to Mercer will be taking part. Check the MPS website for a full list of participating orchards and specials being offered.

The Maine State Pomological Society will hold the 21th annual Maine Apple Sunday on September 12, 2021 with participating orchards around the state. Maine Apple Sunday starts the peak of the apple harvest when summer apples are still available but the main crop is ready for its first pick. Apple orchards from Wells to Caribou will celebrate by offering special activities and free samples of apple products.

The Maine Cheese Guild is holding their Maine Cheese Festival this Sunday in Pittsfield. There are two sessions  11 am – 2 pm and 3  – 6 pm. Tickets are available online.

We are pleased to announce the return of the Maine Cheese Festival, our annual showcase of the best artisan cheeses made in Maine. Manson Park is a large and open park along the Sebasticook River – a beautiful setting for festival attendees to taste the vast array of superb Maine cheeses crafted from cow, goat, water buffalo and sheep milk. This Festival is the largest gathering of Maine cheese makers in the state and a great opportunity to learn about the craft right from the makers.

For those of you who may be wanting to participate in both The Apple Farm in Fairfield is just a few towns over from Pittsfield.

Newly Opened: Sushi & Mobile Coffee

Another two food businesses have launched:

Tokyo Sushi Ramen (website, instagram) opened on Monday. They’re located in the former BRGR Bar space at 11 Brown Street. The menu includes an extensive list of offerings including sushi, ramen, pad thai, tempura, teriyaki, poke bowls and more.

A new mobile coffee cart called La Mega (instagram) launched last week. Owner Joe Radano is serving a menu of coffee and espresso based drinks as well as baked goods from Standard Baking. You can find La Mega Friday on Spring Street, in Deering Oaks on Saturday, and in Congress Square Park on Sunday.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the challenges facing restaurants and an effort to refund the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

At first glance, Maine’s restaurant industry is healthy – a strong tourism season has led to packed patios and dining rooms, long lines for takeout and crowded beer gardens.

But just under the surface, industry insiders worry that a resurgent pandemic fueled by the delta variant, crippling staffing shortages and soaring business costs will hobble a fragile recovery. Lobbyists and restaurant owners are pushing Congress to pump more money into a relief fund that ran dry this summer after grants were awarded to just one-third of applicants nationwide.

Vogue Portland Travel Guide

Vogue has published a guide to Where to Stay, Eat and Play in Portland.

Portland is Maine’s most populous city, perched on a coastline of pure beauty. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the last moments of summer on the beach or simply eager to explore a new seaside scene, Portland provides the best of both worlds. Sandy coves on the rocky shorelines offer secret summer escapes without the crowds, while downtown, the streets are lined with alfresco dining and beer gardens.

The article highlights High Roller, Scales, The Honey Paw, Little Woodfords, Blyth & Burrows, Via Vecchia, Terlingua, Maine Beer Company, Oxbow, the Eastern Prom and the Thompson’s Point.

Restaurant Real Estate: September 2021

Welcome to the September 2021 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business.

Even in these tough times for the hospitality industry some people are pursuing their dreams and opening new food businesses. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this new resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

722 Congress St – the building that’s home to Yordprom Coffee and the now closed Figgy’s is for sale for $650,000.

101 York St – a 15,000 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five building is for sale for $2,400,000.

44 Oak St – 4,347 sq ft on first and basement floors for $30/sq ft (MG).


170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumberland Ave and a 1,000 sq ft space in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 – 22,034 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $16/sq ft (NNN).

25 Portland St – 2 spaces in the Flat Iron Block (600 and 725 sq ft) are available for $1,300 and $1,500/month respectively.

34 Portland St – the 4,256 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is available for $3,500/month.

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

30 Danforth St – 3 units (1,800, 1,881, 2,900 sq ft) are for lease at $2,475 – $3,950/month (MG).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $320,000.

18 Exchange St – 1,800 sq ft of retail space for lease at $6,950/month (MG).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

505 Fore St – The 2,996 sq ft former Pizzarino space is available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street by JB Brown. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in 2021. The rate is $30/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 $24/sq ft (NNN).

111 Middle St – this 1,600 sq ft space has a storied past as the former location of Piccolo and before that Bresca. It’s available for $3,500/month (NNN), the building is also for sale.

1 Monument Square – 1,500 sq ft of first floor space for $3,125/month (MG).

28 Monument Square – the former Coco Cones space in the Public Market House is for lease. Contact the Market manager at (207) 939-0980 for information.

1 Pleasant St – 850 sq ft of space adjacent to Hi Bombay for $4,000/month (NNN).

2 Portland Square – the turnkey former Walter’s is on the market. 3,219 sq ft for $28/sq ft (MG).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 – 3,500 sq ft former Lio space is available at $19/sq ft (NNN).

41 Wharf St – the former Jager space is available; 1,107 sq ft for $43/sq ft (MG).

42 Wharf St – this 3,770 sq ft space in the Old Port includes a 2,000 sq ft patio, $45/sq ft (MG).

India/Washington Ave

47 India St – the former Lois’ Market; 1,000 – 3,300 sq ft for $3,000 – $8,200/month (NNN).

100 Fore St – 3,184 sq ft are available in the new WEX building for $27 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

22 Hancock St – 978 sq ft for $2,300/month (MG).

Forest Ave

333 Forest Ave – a 2,468 retail space is available for $16/sq ft (MG).

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $20-25/sq ft (NNN).

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).

1569 Forest Ave – a 1,400 sq ft “soon to be completed restaurant/retail building” is available on outer Forest Ave.


865 Brighton Ave – a 1,232 sq ft former gas station/quick market is for sale for $400,000.

1041 Brighton Ave – 1,500 -7,000 sq ft of space available in the strip mall that’s the longtime location of Panda Garden. The space is available for $10-13/sq ft (NNN).

441 Congress St – The 2,400 sq ft former home of Guitar Grave across the street from 1 Monument Square is available for $20/sq ft.

155 Riverside St – the Season’s Bar & Grille and Banquet Center is for lease. The 23,750 sq ft facility includes parking and all furniture, fixtures and equipment.

240 Saint John St – 1,600 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for lease at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

158 Pickett St, South Portland – the former home of 158 Pickett Street Cafe is for lease. Call (207) 615-2858 for more information.

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at

Gather, Yarmouth – Owner Matthew Chappell has put his Yarmouth restaurant, Gather, up for sale.

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.


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.