Khmer Kitchen Now Open

Khmer Kitchen (facebook) opened last week initially serving a selection of Cambodian sandwiches. Shown above is a delicious Pork Belly sandwich from the opening week menu.

The menu has been expanding and starting Tuesday, chef/owner Khanya Mimande will begin serving three different types of Katiew soup (Phonm Penh, Sach Ko, Sach Muon), a beef stew with noodles, and Bah Bor which is a rice porridge dish served with chicken, fried garlic and sprouts.

Khmer Kitchen is located on the 2nd floor of the Public Market House in Monument Square. Their hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm.

The Quarry Wins Beard Award

Congratulations to The Quarry in Monson, Maine on winning the 2023 James Beard Award for Outstanding Hospitality.

Chef/owner Marilou ‘Lulu’ Ranta accepted the award tonight at the awards ceremony in Chicago, “I never dreamed this—never in my wildest that I’d be standing here today. I just have my restaurant in what I call the boonies, and somehow Mr. Beard still found me. Don’t stop believing, please keep working. I want to thank my husband. He told me I have a Sisu in me.” Sisu is a Finnish word that Ranta explained embodies perseverance, moxie and other qualities.

11 Maine chefs and restaurants were semifinalists in 2023. Maine chefs, restaurants and food professionals have won 10 awards since the Beard Awards program began: five in the Best Chef Northeast category, one in the Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer category, one in the Outstanding Hospitality category and three America’s Classics winners. Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine was announced as an America’s Classic award winner earlier this year.

For additional reporting see these reports in the Press Herald and Bangor Daily News.

Upcoming Events

Monday – The James Beard Awards ceremony will take place. Nezinscot Farm will receive an American Classics award and The Quarry in Monson will learn if they have won in the Outstanding Hospitality category.

TuesdayOwl & Elm in Yarmouth is opening.

Friday – Chef Josh Berry and Mast Landing are collaborating on a 4-course beer dinner at The Maker’s Galley.

SundayBig Tree Hospitality is holding a farm to table dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

June 12-18Portland Wine Week is taking place with 56 events and weeklong offerings happening across the city.

June 17 – the annual Ales for Tails event is taking place at the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland.

June 22-24 – The Holy Trinity Church is holding their annual Greek Festival.

June 24Lauren Radel will be the guest chef at a 5-course Peruvian dinner at Nina June in Rockport.

July 6 – Author and cooking teacher Viola Buitoni will be the guest chef at a 5-course Italisn dinner at Nina June in Rockport.

July 15 – Cook, author, and immigrant rights activist Louisa Shafia will be the guest chef for a Persian dinner at Nina June in Rockport. Shafia will also be teaching a pair of cooking classes at Nina July on July 9th and 10th.

July 23Maine Open Farm Day is taking place, and Maine Bakers for a Cause are holding an event at Ugly Duckling.

August 23 – An Outstanding in the Field dinner is taking place at Dandelion Spring Farm with guest chef Neil Zabriskie from Regards.

September 10Maine Cheese Festival.

September 24The Saltyard is holding a cocktail brunch at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

September 30Tender Table is holding their 3rd annual food and art fair in Congress Square Park.

October 8Maine Open Creamery Day is taking place.

November 5Chaval is holding a late harvest dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

Owl & Elm in Yarmouth Opens Tuesday

Owl & Elm (website, facebook, instagram) in Yarmouth has transitioned to a new set of owners and is scheduled to open next week, Tuesday through Saturday, 4 – 9 pm. The restaurant sports a cozy neighborhood restaurant vibe and has outdoor seating along Main Street and on a back deck.

There is a full bar with a set of house designed cocktails like the Hey Jealousy (Barr Hill Gin, Strega, Cynar, Lemon and Honey Syrup, Saline), mocktails, wines by the glass and draft and packaged beer. The menu of apps, salads, entrees and desserts includes a number of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options as well as the option of kids-sized portions for the entrees.

The new team from Scorched Earth Hospitality are Alli Bibaud, Jenna Croteau, Adam Croteau, and Christopher Doughty who bought the restaurant from its founders.

Owl & Elm was founded by Caitlin Henningsen and Keith Johnson in 2016. Henningsen has recently launched Little Bird (instagram) a gluten-free bakehouse in Yarmouth.

Restaurant Real Estate: June 2023

Welcome to the June 2023 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

2 Pine St – the former Treasure Chest space in Longfellow Square is for lease. Call (207) 773-7100 for more details.

235 Vaughan St – the 700 sq ft space most recently occupied by Other Side Deli and which had been the longtime home of Vaughan Street Variety is for lease. Call (207) 650-0846 for more information.

Arts District

549 Congress St – the 1,397 sq ft space currently occupied by the Portland Downtown offices is available to lease for $3,100/month (NNN).

554 Congress St – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $2,301/month (NNN).

25 Forest Ave – Portland Stage is looking for a restaurant partner to co-develop a 2,700 sq ft restaurant space in their Forest Ave building; $19.50/sq ft (MG).

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 $15.50/sq ft (NNN).

Bayside

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 in 2024.

360 Cumberland Ave – an 1,100 sq ft space near Schulte & Herr is available for $22/sq ft (NNN).

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).

65 Hanover St – 1,800 sq ft of space is available for $20/sq ft (NNN).

82 Hanover St – the 3,067 sq ft former Yard space in Bayside is available for $30/sq ft (NNN); the sale includes all FF&E inventory.

178 Kennebec St – 2,644 sq ft of space are available in a newly constructed Bayside building for $25/sq ft (NNN).

34 Portland St – the 3,400 sq ft building that was formerly occupied by Candy’s is for sale for $599,000.

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).

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is undergoing renovations. The 900-2,950 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

185 Commercial St – a new building under construction will include 2,229 sq ft of ground floor retail space that will be available in 2024; $55/sq ft (NNN).

215 Commercial St – 2,189 sq ft of retail space near the corner of Commercial and Dana Streets is available for $65/sq ft (MG).

327 Commercial St – the former Tiqa restaurant is for lease—7,981 sq ft @ $30/sq ft (NNN)—or for sale for $3,500,000.

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).

368 Fore St – the former 5,458 sq ft Old Port Tavern is available for $32/sq ft (NNN).

416 Fore St – the former Mark’s Place is available; 1,100 for $5,500 (NNN).

470 Fore St – the longtime home of Paciarino is now available. The 2,000 sq ft storefront on the corner of Fore and Cross Streets is for lease at $32.50/sq ft (NNN).

40 Free St – the new building constructed by JB Brown has four storefronts ranging in size from 1,473 to 3,024 sq ft for $27.50/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 – 29.95/sq ft (MG).

176 Middle St – the former Starbucks store at the crossroads of the Old Port at the intersection of Middle and Exchange Streets is for lease. The 2,126 sq ft space is for lease for $75 (MG).

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

28 Monument Square – a space on the 2nd floor (143 sq ft with a base rent of $1,185 + utilities and CAM charges—call  413-636-9688 for details).

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).

144 State St – 2 retail spaces will be available in the development in the former Mercy Hospital building on State Street. The 1100 and 2,566 spaces are available for $26/sq ft (MG).

15 Temple St – the 2,086 sq ft space formerly occupied by Bubble Maineia is available for $26/sq ft (MG).

110 Thames St – two spots (2,700 and 3,200 sq ft) are now available in the newly constructed building in the Portland Foreside development. Both are listed at $35/sq ft (NNN).

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 Street

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 $24-29/sq ft (NNN).

Forest Ave

369 Forest Ave – a 5,040 sq ft building on Forest Ave is available for $14.50/sq ft (MG).

671-675 Forest Ave – a retail building in the center of Woodfords Corner is for sale for $675,000.

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).

701 Forest Ave – 3,147 – 6,405 with parking available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

1871 Forest Ave – the former Tortilla Flat building is for sale for $3,100,000.

Deering Center

476 Stevens Ave – the Elsmere BBQ building in Deering Center is for sale for $1,450,000; the sale includes all FF&E inventory. It is also available to lease, 3,000 – 4,091 sq ft for $25 – 30/sq ft (NNN).

Elsewhere in Portland

1091 Congress St – the former Denny’s building and parking lot are available to lease; 4,901 sq ft at $25.50/sq ft (NNN).

43 York St – this 1,800 sq ft space is tucked around the corner from Yosaku on York Street. It’s available for $3,000/month (MG).

Northgate Shopping Center – 2,200 to 5,700 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

Bath – the former  home of Salt Pine Social is available. The 3,535 sq ft building is available for $16/sq ft (NNN).

18 Ocean St, South Portland – the 4,351 sq ft former Snow Squall is for lease for $12/sq ft (NNN).

372 Cottage Rd, South Portland – the former Omi’s Coffee Shop is available for lease. Call Jennifer Davies at (207) 650-9944 for more information.

Glossary

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.

Barrel-Aged Coffe & A Review of Bar Futo

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Bar Futo, and

Chef Ian Driscoll’s menu is made up of classics like bouncy, funky tsukune meatballs and binchotan-grilled vegetables like asparagus (seasoned with very nontraditional horseradish ranch). Everything really does come out when it’s ready (pardon the restaurant cliché) because the grill is set to a steel-warping 1,200 degrees. On the cold side, Driscoll’s rhubarb crisp kakigori mountain is as visually spectacular as it is tasty. Bar manager Bryce Summer’s ice-cold cocktails, especially the hojicha daiquiri, hold up nicely against the inventive menu.

a feature article about barrel-aged coffee collaborations between coffee roasters and Maine’s distillers and brewers.

Normally, coffee beans are ready for sale after roasting. But with barrel-aged coffee, the raw beans spend weeks or months in empty spirits barrels provided by distillers, where they absorb residual liquor flavors along with notes of the barrel’s charred wood interior. Only then are the beans are roasted and bagged for sale.

Eaux, Oxbow & Hardshore

Oxbow Brewing and Hardshore Distilling have leased the former Maine Mead Works space on Washington Ave. The move provides both with an opportunity to expand their production capacity and rework their tasting rooms (see floor plan below).

Hardshore will be moving their bar into the new space and expanding seating in their current service area. Similarly, Oxbow is moving their tasting room to their section of the former meadery with the current Oxbow tasting room will be available for events and for overflow capacity.  Construction of the new Oxbow and Hardshore tasting rooms are already underway and both business hope to open later this summer.

Seasonal outdoor seating will be available at the front of the building along Washington Ave with a food truck from Eaux (website, instagram) center stage in the new development. Owner Evan Richardson will be serving Eaux’s famed chicken and waffles along with a vegetarian Hen of the Woods mushroom and waffles option and other dishes from the former Eaux menu. The food truck will be launching in early June and will be open Thursday though Monday, 4 – 9ish.

Oxbow was an anchor tenant for the former Nissen Bakery building when the brewery launched their Portland location in 2014. Hardshore launched their distillery on Washington Ave in 2016. Eaux was in operation at 90 Exchange Street from 2018 to 2020. Maine Mead Works went out of business in January.

Upcoming Events

MondayWilson County Barbecue is holding a pig roast, and chefs Cara Stadler and Leon Vuong are collaborating on a Memorial Day Brunch at Tao Yuan.

Tuesday – GMRI is leading an Alewife Migration Walk at the Mill Brook Preserve, and Vena’s is leading a Tiki Cocktail Workshop at Liquid Riot.

WednesdayRose Foods is reopening their dining room for indoor dining.

Thursday – A new weekly farmers market is being launched this week by the Friends of Woodfords Corner. The market will be held 3 to 7 pm on Thursdays and will be located at the Woodfords Congregational Church parking lot. 10 to 12 vendors will be in rotation each week. In addition to the vendors there will be games and activities for kids and a “spotlight table” to showcase neighborhood organizations and businesses. The market will be accepting Snap and EBT.

FridayLiquid Riot is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and Full Plates is holding a Haute Lunch event at the Yarmouth High School.

Sunday – the Casco Bay Seafood Festival is taking place in Brunswick.

June 5 – The James Beard Awards ceremony will take place. Nezinscot Farm will receive an American Classics award and The Quarry in Monson will learn if they have won in the Outstanding Hospitality category.

June 9 – Chef Josh Berry and Mast Landing are collaborating on a 4-course beer dinner at The Maker’s Galley.

June 11Big Tree Hospitality is holding a farm to table dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

June 12-18Portland Wine Week is taking place with events at restaurants all over the Portland area.

June 22-24 – The Holy Trinity Church is holding their annual Greek Festival.

June 24Lauren Radel will be the guest chef at a 5-course Peruvian dinner at Nina June in Rockport.

July 6 – Author and cooking teacher Viola Buitoni will be the guest chef at a 5-course Italisn dinner at Nina June in Rockport.

July 15 – Cook, author, and immigrant rights activist Louisa Shafia will be the guest chef for a Persian dinner at Nina June in Rockport. Shafia will also be teaching a pair of cooking classes at Nina July on July 9th and 10th.

July 23Maine Open Farm Day is taking place, and Maine Bakers for a Cause are holding an event at Ugly Duckling.

August 23 – An Outstanding in the Field dinner is taking place at Dandelion Spring Farm with guest chef Neil Zabriskie from Regards.

September 10Maine Cheese Festival.

September 24The Saltyard is holding a cocktail brunch at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

September 30Tender Table is holding their 3rd annual food and art fair in Congress Square Park.

October 8Maine Open Creamery Day is taking place.

November 5Chaval is holding a late harvest dinner at Wolfe’s Neck Center in Freeport.

Soft Serve Ice Cream & Review of Paper Tiger

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Paper Tiger, and

Rattan, neon signs, graphic wallpaper, cozy booths, dark lighting, balanced cocktails and a menu of well-executed, Asian-inspired small plates – what’s not to love? Paper Tiger might have opened just one year ago, but this Fore Street lounge and restaurant already feels like an established hangout for Portland’s cool kids…Paper Tiger is an under-the-radar charmer.

a feature article about soft serve ice cream.

Now, a new era in soft serve has arrived in Maine. A growing number of chef-created, scratch-made soft serve options in worldly flavors with leveled-up toppings are as likely to put a period on your restaurant meal (make that an exclamation point!) as to be seasonal beachside or after-the-game treats.