Porthole Health Inspection Update

The Press Herald has published an update on the closure of The Porthole and 2 other adjacent businesses by the city health inspector. The article includes scans of the letter that alerted the city to the problem and the health inspector’s hand written report from earlier this week.

[Health snspector Michele] Sturgeon found “rat droppings everywhere” in the businesses’ liquor storage area and on shelves, as well as “rotting, decayed mouse traps,” according to her report. “TONS of flies all over the food” and “lobster and other exposed seafood,” she wrote.

UPDATE: According to the Munjoy Hill News, The Porthole plans to re-open on Sunday.

19 comments on “Porthole Health Inspection Update

  1. If the report is accurate and I believe it is, they should be stripped of their food licenses permanently. There is no excuse for this level of callous disregard for the safety of the public.

  2. There’s a reason we have 200 eateries and I only eat at ten of them. I’m always inspecting and looking at cooks. Go to nosh and look how clean their slicer is. Go
    See the folks at paciarino, crooked mile or grace. Clean place are out there

  3. They’re being very even handed in their inspections so it’s not personal, I.e. Bakery on The Hill was told today it needed screen doors if it was going to keep the inside door open.

    I’m wondering how long before the two Rosemonts on the peninsula are told they need to do the same thing which will be a neat problem for Rosemont Produce!

  4. “Oh, please let’s just find a way to fix the situation, we can’t lose the Porthole!”

    Why in the feathery Jesus would you want to go back there, cleaned up or not? How would you ever clear that memory out of your head when eating? I got flamed months ago for saying I wouldn’t eat there or at GLB with somebody else’s mouth. It’s not that hard to figure out what kitchens are gnarly

    “I’m wondering how long before the two Rosemonts on the peninsula are told they need to do the same thing which will be a neat problem for Rosemont Produce!”

    That would suck for Rosemont. I love being able to just push the stroller in on a nice day. If they are indeed the ones opening an urban grocery store in the Jordan’s Meat Phase II building, I wonder if they’ll keep the produce place too

  5. Nick, places, okay greasy spoons, like the Porthole are very unique to our country’s history and there are people in much of America let alone the world who have never seen this sort of living American history. Those of us who lived it appreciate the nostalgia of little unpretentious gems like the Porthole. Yes, the report sounds disgusting, but why couldn’t it be cleaned up and given the inspector’s seal of approval. Would you have it torn down and replaced by a slick modern espresso bar? Portland is so fortunate to have embraced its history, especially on the Peninsula and I hope as much of it as possible sticks around for a very long time.

  6. Though I agree it would suck, they too should be held to same standards as everyone else is being held to.

    My understanding this is a State of Maine law, not a City of Pirtland law, and the City is just responsible for enforcing it.

    No idea what’s going on with the former Jordan’s Meat property, phase II. or rather there’s too many conflicting rumors right now…

  7. Stephanie, I am not even a foodie or an uppity eater. I have, however, worked in the restaurant business my entire life since I was in middle school.

    I’m sick of going to places or walking by places and seeing disgusting cooks chain smoking butts by the back door or dumpsters. I’m sick of peeking into kitchens and seeing things that are a mess. This goes for dives to places like Fore Street.

    You know how many people smoke at my work now? Zero. You know how many rats or any creatures I’ve seen in twenty years? Zero. I don’t know why people love and accept greasy spoons so much. You should be able to own and operate a no frills eateries and still find a way to keep it clean and your employees looking like they didn’t just crawl out of a dumpster.

    It can be impossible to keep things spotless, I know that. What they did and let happen at the Porthole is not acceptable. I’ve heard about that place from talking to delivery guys for years. One guy who did a job in there said the cooks warned him to be careful of the rats that would be running around. Said there was just filth everywhere in there. You think two days of cleaning is going to fix everything?

    That’s why I think so many places from Kitchen Nightmares are closed. Sure Gordon fixes then up, people start checking it out, then the episode airs and the town people see what used to go on there and say no thanks.

    One last note, I heard that Harding’s new seafood place is going down there where boone’s was or is near. I’m not sure of all the buildings back there. He must be hating this news but he had to know the rat problems before deciding on a spot down there.

  8. I don’t think anybody wants the Porthole torn down or to not reopen. But as far as I am concerned that owner should NOT be allowed to run a restaurant. If the Porthole sells to a responsible new owner, I would love to return. Until then, no way!

  9. Nick – wasn’t Keithly’s banquet hall the old Boone’s? If that’s right, big bummer for Harding. Rats are a problem for restaurants in cities all over the country. And part of a running a restaurant is pest control. There is no excuse for an ongoing infestation, even on the wharf!

  10. Re the open doors at Rosemont. They were told yesterday at Rosemont on The Hill (and Hilltiop Coffee next door as well) to keep the doors closed. No word on if Rosemont Produce got the same message.

  11. I know it’s in the vicinity of where Boone’s was. Not sure exactly what building.
    As far as rats, I always heard horror stories of what the big dig did to the restaurants in the north end. Basically sent them all up to street level and in the places. Proactive is the key down there just like the guys from Port Bean said in the news article. Stop them from ever coming.

    The one place I’m really waiting for to open is In’Finiti on Commercial st. Hopefully classless rats have no interest in craft beer.

  12. Harbour’s Edge Banquet Facility is located at 6 Custom House Wharf which is where Boone’s was. The problem is that mice and rats can get into a building through a whole smaller than the diameter of a quarter. Rodent proofing is costly if done right.

    That said, reading the documentation on these now shut-down faculties shows that this is way beyond a few minor, or even a few major, violations. I’ve eaten in Third World roadside shacks that had far cleaner kitchens than these had!

  13. Okay Nick, opinion suspended for now, you seem to really know your stuff and I am responding emotionally. I hope there is a solution, but if not I’m glad I was there a few times in innocent bliss. I wish political discussions could be this amicable.

  14. Hi Folks,
    Did you say that Harding Smith, of Front Room, etc., is opening a new seafood place on Custom House Wharf?


  15. Somewhere down in that area he is. It was known he was opening a seafood place and I happened to learn the vicinity from a reliable source

    The new novare brewpub/distillery is all that matters now. Goal is to open by end of year. They appear to be working on it 7 days a week. Love all the big windows they’ve put in.

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