The governor has announced plans to delay the re-opening of restaurants for indoor dining in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties. The change will still allow for restaurants to begin outdoor dining in those counties as scheduled on June 1st.
The Mills Administration announced today that it is postponing the full reopening of restaurants for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties. Restaurants in these counties were tentatively scheduled to reopen to dine-in services on June 1 (Stage 2) but are now restricted to reopening to outside dining service only beginning on that date in addition to continuing to provide take-away and delivery services. The decision to limit their reopening comes amidst an increase in hospitalizations as well as an increase in case counts in these three counties, both of which are metrics monitored by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC).
A new date for the restart of indoor dining hasn’t been set yet.
Update:As the Press Herald has reported, some restaurants are unhappy with the change in policy, but several restaurants are still moving forward with plans to re-open with just outdoor seating.
For their latest podcast, the founders of Femidish interviewed Nikaline Iacono, the owner of Vessel & Vine in Brunswick.
In this episode Hope and Sandy chat with Nikaline, owner of Vessel and Vine – part bar, part vintage store and so much more, about how quarantine and the ongoing Coronavirus crisis has impacted her business. She shares how she and her all female team have adjusted to keep “the vine” thriving. They discuss the surge of interest in tangible food security and the role restaurants and bars play in building communities.
The Press Herald reports on an effort by the Brewers Guild to move up the date breweries can re-open their tasting rooms.
The Maine Brewers Guild said Tuesday that the current plan puts the breweries and brew pubs in the same category as bars, which aren’t allowed to reopen until July 1. But many of the breweries in Maine offer outdoor seating and are at least as safe as the restaurants, said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the guild.
Eventide is featured in a New York Times article about 12 Restaurants America Loves.
Like fan favorites Maison Premiere in Brooklyn and Petit Marlowe in San Francisco, Eventide pushes all the vintage-oyster-bar buttons, complete with marble counters, tin ceiling and a chalkboard with dozens of shellfish varieties. But it also has an overlay of Japanese flavors and New England tradition that produced its stellar chowders.
Evo Kitchen + Bar is launching a new outdoor eatery. Named Evo X (instagram) the mobile kitchen will be located adjacent the Eastern Prom walking trail near the former Portland Company Complex.
The concept for Evo X is of a waterfront seafood shack serving a menu of on-concept dishes and a few options (e.g. chickpea fries) carried over from the regular Evo menu. There will be outdoor picnic table seating, counter service and drinks will be available from the Fore Points Marina bar which is also currently under development. The menu is a collaboration between chefs Matt Ginn and John Glover.
Planning for the project got underway last year with the goal to launch in the summer of 2019. The owners are aiming to launch Evo X in the second half of June.
This past weekend’s Maine Sunday Telegram included an article about a Maine vegetarian whose commitment to a meat-free diet predated the founding of Maine as a state.
In the March 1899 edition of Food Home and Garden magazine, a short piece titled “The Pioneer Vegetarian” profiled Captain Peter Twitchell of Bethel. Born in 1761 in Sherborn, Massachusetts, the captain performed military honors at President Washington’s funeral, first farmed in Bethel in 1784, joined Bethel’s Congregational Church in 1816 and died in the town in 1855, after he was struck by a horse and carriage while out walking at age 94.
Wild Burritos on Congress Street has permanently closed. Taking its place is a new eatery, Sal de la Tierra (instagram).
Owners Carlos Sanchez and Isai Galvez are in the process of renovating the space at 581 Congress Street. They hope to open their Mexican/Puerto Rican restaurant in the next few weeks.
Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on the stickiness of new curbside beer pick-up and beer delivery services post-pandemic,
Though curbside pick-up and delivery were forced upon brewers by the pandemic, many have discovered how much customers like these services and may keep the systems in place for the foreseeable future. Sullivan surveyed more than 70 breweries about these services and found that 35 percent were interested in keeping some sort of curbside pickup available even after their tasting rooms re-open, while more than 21 percent said they’d be interested in continuing delivery.
and a look at the impact of being a Beard Award nominee during the pandemic.
Desjarlais knows this better than most. Between The Purple House and her much-missed Portland restaurant, Bresca, she has made the semifinal round seven times and the finals twice.
“Every time, it’s great for you personally,” she said. “And it also great for your staff and team, because obviously they’re doing a great job, but it gives them a kick in the pants because the nomination brings a new burst of business and things get can get really busy. But now there’s no chance for that.”
The Kennebec Journal reports restaurants are seeing quite a range of return customer levels since they re-opened earlier this week.
Some Augusta and Gardiner restaurant owners are happy with their level of patrons, while one Hallowell business is wondering where diners are.
And here’s another re-opening report, this one from the Ellsworth American.
LB Kitchen has made the decision not to re-open their West End location on York Street. Here’s part of their announcement on instagram:
More than being devastated that we’re closing LB West, we feel gratitude and optimism. We’d rather use this space to say thank you to the West End community for supporting us. We learned there is a lot of room for us to grow here in Portland, and we have big plans to continue to do that. We have been fortunate to keep our original location on Congress St open and are so grateful for every single person who orders take out every day. For now, we go back to our roots and become just LB Kitchen again. We’re gonna keep doing our thing, making sure you’re all staying healthy, eating real food and trying to make it all a little easier and brighter right now. Thank you west end. Thank you Portland. Thank you Good Medicine. We are totally inspired by you.