August 7th, 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary for Portland Food Map. It’s more than a little surreal for me to type those words.
When the site launched, I didn’t give much thought to how long it would be around. I just was enjoying learning more about Portland restaurants and having fun building a site where I tried to organize all the information about the industry. I certainly had no idea that I was taking the first steps in building something that would last a for a decade or which would have develop such a committed readership.
The few of you who remember Portland Food Map in August 2007 will recall it was just the map and list views of the directory. For a few weeks there wasn’t event a homepage much less a daily chronicling of food news. The event calendar, search feature, under construction list, homepage news blog, and several now deprecated features like the unreviewed list, came along later as the site evolved.
Similarly, I’m not sure anyone in 2007—certainly not me—could have imagined the transformation we’ve seen in the restaurant community over the last 10 years. To put things in perspective, when the Under Construction page went line September 4, 2007, I think there were a total of 7 businesses listed (remember Loco Pollo?). At the time, Cafe Uffa still occupied 190 State Street, Novare Res was about a year away from opening, Bresca had just launched in the spring, Emilitsa was still under construction, I don’t think a new brewery in several years, food trucks were still illegal and Jason Loring hadn’t launched a single restaurant. The big news from that fall was that the Village Cafe was closing.
While a lot has changed since those early days, the pleasure I get from playing a role in the food community has not. Indeed as the readership and my ability to make an impact has grown so has the satisfaction I get and my commitment to keep it going. I look forward to seeing what the next few years bring and sharing it with you along the way.