Sacred Profane Opens in Portland

Sacred Profane Brewing (websiteinstagram) has opened their new tasting room on Thompson’s Point. They’re located in the former Stroudwater Distilling space next to Bissell Brothers.

The menu (see below) includes the full range of pour styles for their light and dark lagers as well as draft pours from other brewers, wines by the bottle and spirits. The food menu offers a small selection of sandwiches and snacks: soft pretzels with lager mustard, warm and cold lobster roll options, kraut dogs, a meat and cheese board and a hummus plate with warm naan, zatar and olive oil.

The space has a long high top tables in the center of the room with booths along the right wall and group seating (see above) on the left side of the room. The Thompson’s Point location will initially be open Friday through Sunday, 11 am – 11 pm.

The Sacred Profane brewery and tankpub in Biddeford opened in September 2022.

Flash’s Barbecue

Chris Wilcox, the chef/owner of the former Judy Gibson, has announced plans to launch Flash’s Barbecue (instagram) this summer. Wilcox will be serving Saint Louis-style barbecue.

Meats are cooked high above slow burning embers very slow giving everything a more grilled and less smokey flavor. Growing up in St.Louis, barbecue has always been a love of mine and I’m excited to cook A LOT of it. I’ll be popping up around Portland cooking my take on St.louis style barbecue while still giving everything the same JG touch we strived for in South Portland. Stay tuned for more details!

Portland Wine Week

Mainebiz has published an interview with Erica Archer about her company Wine Wise and her leadership of Portland Wine Week.

By definition, Portland Wine Week showcases the extensive wine offerings Maine establishments have to offer through engaging tasting events, wine classes and seminars, wine sails, and intimate dinner events at award-winning local restaurants. In reality it is a celebration of the people in our community. It’s your friends and my friends — it’s the Portland restaurant and wine industry coming together and doing what it does best.

Maine Food & Dining News: Ellsworth, N Berwick, Kittery, Old Town, Brunswick, Camden, Gorham

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

  • Provender in Ellsworth is launching Little PKB, a lunchtime sandwich cafe which will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm. For additional information read this article in the Bangor Daily News.
  • Alex d’Emarese opened his new bakery/cafe in Baker Bru (instagram) in North Berwick this past Monday. d’Emarese is channeling his South African and Italian heritage selling a menu that includes breads, croissants, tarts, cookies, and South African meat pies. Baker Bru also has ready to eat sandwiches and prepared meals to go.
  • Toast, a gluten-free sandwich shop in Kittery, has announced they plan to close. April 6th will be their last day in business.
  • A new restaurant called Nanny’s opened Tuesday in Old Town.
  • Down East magazine has published an article about Tao Yuan.
  • The Place Bakery in Camden has launched a $15k crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to add a walk-in refrigerator to their bakery. So far they’ve raised $9,655 towards their goal.
  • The Backwoods Burger Shack is under construction in Gorham.

Backwoods Burger Shack in Gorham

A new business called Backwoods Burger Shack (facebook, instagram) is under construction in the space formerly occupied by Curbside Comforts at 680 Gray Road in Gorham.

Chef/owner Rick Boyd (linkedin) will be serving a menu (see below) of salads, sandwiches, hand cut fries, and burgers along with milkshakes, beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks. Ice cream sandwiches will be available for dessert. The Backwoods menu will be available for takeout or to enjoy on their outdoor seating area.

Boyd hails from East Texas and attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont in the early 1990s. He owned and operated several restaurants first in Idaho and then in the Lake Tahoe area before moving to Maine.

Boyd hopes to launch Backwoods Burger in mid-April, and has plans to expand the patio for next year to include an outdoor bar, fire pits, stage and year round seating.

What’s Missing?

A post on the Portland Reddit board is getting a lot of engagement. It poses the question “What is Portland’s food scene missing?” So far there have been 294 responses.

Korean food, Mexican food, Greek food, a Jewish delicatessen, a fast casual salad cafe, a steakhouse/chophouse have been frequently mentioned as have ideas like Georgian (the country) food, Peruvian food, a Waffle House, Filipino food, Soul Food, Ukrainian and Polish food, Moroccan food, Lebanese food, French food,  and suggestions for a variety of fast casual chains.

The full thread would be great market research for anyone wanting to open a new spot in Portland and who doesn’t have a concept already selected.

Upcoming Events

Monday – The 16th Annual Maine Restaurant Week continues through March 12th. Check the website for a complete list of participating restaurants and events.

SaturdayJean Christophe Rusatira from Umuko Coffee Importers will be giving a talk at Coffee by Design on Diamond Street.

March 10-17Biddeford & Saco Restaurant Week is taking place.

March 13Tap & Taste, a gluten-free tasting event, will be taking place at Orange Bike Brewing in collaboration with Mrs. Gee Free Living and 2Gether.

March 23/24Maine Maple Weekend is taking place. See the Maine Maple Producers Association website to find a sugar house near you to visit.

March 25 – The 3rd Annual ChopTails Competition will be taking place at Batson River.

March 26 – there will be a 5-course sake dinner at Miyake, The Honey Paw will be featuring  Brooklyn Kura Sake with specials on the menu to pair with with 3 Brooklyn Kura sakes, and Chaval is holding a 5-course sake dinner.

March 27Chaval will be holding a Spanish vegan wine dinner.

March 28Ballast will be hosting a murder mystery dinner. Author Lidey Heuck will be at Viand Mercantile for a signing of her new book Cooking in Real Life.

April 3 – The Beard Foundation will release the 2024 list of restaurant and chef awards nominees. There are 10 semifinalists from Maine this year.

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.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

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.

Bam Bam Reopened in Falmouth

Tina Cromwell relaunched her gluten-free business Bam Bam Bakery (websitefacebookintagram) this past Friday. The new Bam Bam is located at 125 Bucknam Road in Falmouth just off of the exit from 295.

Cromwell is selling a wide range of gluten-free baked goods including the chocolate-dipped almond horn and cinnamon roll shown above as well as bagels, breads, needhams, brownies, muffins, macaroons, whoopie pies, cookies and coffee. She expects to add savory options to the menu in the future.

Cromwell hopes to initially be open Fridays and Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm and will be expanding hours as she hires more staff. Stay tuned to the Bam Bam on social media for updates.

Restaurant Real Estate: March 2024

Welcome to the March 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.

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).

Commercial St – the city has put out an RFP for the 77-sq ft gazebo located near the corner of Commercial and India Streets.

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).

441 Congress St – the 2,400 sq ft former Guitar Grave retail space is available for $15/sq ft (MG).

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).

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 $2,800/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 $3,125/month (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 the Stars & Stripes tasting room is for lease; 2,554 sq ft for $17.50/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 $20-26/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

1339 Washington Ave – the 4,150 sq ft former Parker’s Restaurant building in North Deering is for sale for $1,995,000.

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

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).

95 Main St, Unity – the former Unity Kitchen building in Unity is for sale for $279,000. The building includes a cafe and commercial kitchen on the first floor.

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.

Rebel Munchies and Libations Open

Rebel Munchies & Libations (website, instagram) opened for business Friday night. The 46-seat bar and restaurant is located at 649 Congress Street near Longfellow Square in the former Dos Naciones/Local Sprouts space.

Owner Peter Murphy and his team are serving a menu of cheesesteaks (shaved steak or smoked mushrooms), house-made chicken nuggets, salad, slaw, chips and a “dirt cup” dessert. Shown above is the 5″ Rebel OG with pickled jalapenos with a Peached Iced Tea cocktail. Rebel has a selection of draft beer, a house cocktail program and beer/amaro spigots. The Cherry Cola (shown above) cocktail is a mix of bourbon, brandy and Luxardo Amaro Abano.

Murphy originally launched Rebel as a food cart on May 23, 2019. The new Rebel Munchies & Libations will be open Thursday through Monday, 5 pm – 1 am.