Zu Bakery Coming to the West End

Zu Bakery (website, instagram) owner Barak Olins has leased space at 81 Clark Street where he plans to open a bakery and retail shop. Olins envisions it as a takeout “traditional neighborhood boulangerie” with baking taking place onsite. He hopes to open the new bakery in the spring.

Zu Bakery will be serving pastries and coffee at the start of the day and with baguettes and other breads going on sale as they get baked during the day. Olins plans to make most of his bakery products with Maine grown grains he mills in-house. In addition to morning pastries and breads Zu Bakery will also sell biscotti, granola, seasonal pastries and a small selection of bottled wine. He plans to evolve the offerings of the shop as he learns the needs of the neighborhood.

Olins launched Zu Baker in 2000. Previously he was a co-founder/chef of the highly regarded Cafe Uffa, which was located in Longfellow Square and opened in 1995. Olins used funds from the sale of Uffa to build the bread oven when launching Zu Baker.

Upcoming Events: Dinner & Pop-ups, Dirty Dove, S’Mores Night, NYE List Started

MondayBissell Brothers is holding a (sold out) 5-course beer dinner, Pasilla is doing another pop-up at the Public Market House, and the Washington Baths are holding the December edition of their Bread Soup Cake series.

WednesdayHelm is serving a 4-course/5-wine Burgundy dinner, and Duckfat and Maine & Loire are collaborating on a 6-course natural wine dinner.

SaturdayDirty Dove is scheduled to open.

December 16Congress Square Park plans to kick-off their S’mores Night, which will take place weekly 4-6 pm.

December 18Belleville will be holding a pop-up 9 am – noon; preorders will go live on December 13th at noon.

December 19 – Fred Eliot from Scales and Michael Stokes from Fore Street will be the guest chefs at the East Ender.

New Year’s Eve – Here’s a small but growing list of options for your New Year’s Eve celebrations. We’ll be adding more as restaurants and bars announce their plans.

  • Broken Arrow – 5-course dinner ($95 per person) at 6 pm, and 7-course dinner ($145 per person) at 9 pm, both with optional pairings.
  • Friends & Family – a Tour d’Alps tasting menu; $48 per person.
  • Judy Gibson – a 6-course tasting menu plus snacks; $100 per person with optional beverage pairing for $45 per person.
  • Mr. Tuna – a range of sushi options for 2 – 10 people.

January 14 – The Good Food Foundation will be announcing the winners of the 2022 awards program; 10 Maine food producers are finalists this year.

Restaurant Real Estate: December 2021

Welcome to the December 2021 edition of the Portland Food Map restaurant real estate listings sponsored by The Boulos Company. This monthly column gathers in one convenient place the spaces available in Portland that could be potential sites for restaurants and food producers/retailers to locate their next business.

Even during the pandemic many people are pursuing their dreams and opening new food businesses. Finding the right spot is one of the crucial early challenges in launching a new business and hopefully this new resource will make that step just a little bit easier.

West End

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.

101 York St – 7,391 sq ft of a 15,000 sq ft sub-dividable space in the new building on the corner of York and High Street is available for $15-20/sq ft (NNN). The space already has a hood vent and grease traps installed.

Arts District

554 Congress St – 1,621 sq ft former Dunkin’ Donuts space with hood for $17.04/sq ft (NNN).

555 Congress St – the former Five Fifty-Five building is for sale for $2,400,000.


170 Anderson St – 2,000 – 3,500 sq ft in East Bayside available for $15/sq ft (NNN).

15 Chestnut St – the 14,000 sq ft building that was the former home of Grace is for sale for $3,730,000.

360 Cumberland Ave – two spaces (900 sq ft on Cumberland Ave and a 1,000 sq ft space in a building set back from the street) are available for $24-25/sq ft (NNN).

31 Diamond St – this 2,800 – 22,034 sq ft industrial space in East Bayside is available for $16/sq ft (NNN).

178 Kennebec St – 4 retail spaces (1,800 – 5,314 sq ft) on the first floor of a new building for $30/sq ft (NNN).

Old Port

1 Commercial St – the original location of Benkay at the corner of Commercial and India Streets is available. The 2,494 sq ft is for lease at $35/sq ft (NNN).

383 Commercial St – 1,639 – 3,487 of retail space on Commercial Street for $28/sq ft (NNN).

30 Danforth St – 3 units (1,800, 1,881, 2,900 sq ft) are for lease at $2,900 – $3,950/month (MG).

446 Fore St – 1,600 – 3,400 sq ft in the former Pearl space with entrances on Wharf and Fore Streets is available for $30-40/sq ft (MG).

40 Free St – A new building is under construction on Free Street by JB Brown. The first floor will have 4/5 storefronts ranging in size from 1,358 to 3,067 sq ft. The construction is expected to be completed in 2021. The rate is $30/sq ft (NNN).

5 India St – 1,250 – 2,500 sq ft for $30/sq ft (NNN) in a new building under construction near the intersection with Commercial St.

38 Market St – a 1,200 subterranean space near the intersection with Milk Street for $1,175/month (MG).

55 Market St – this 3,700 sq ft space on Market Street was formerly occupied by the Big Easy. It’s available for $24/sq ft (NNN).

157 Middle St –1,071 – 6,356 sq ft for $27.95/sq ft (MG).

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

25 Pearl St – 1,689 sq ft former Subway space available for $30/sq ft (MG).

1 Pleasant St – 850 sq ft of space adjacent to Hi Bombay for $4,000/month (NNN).

3 Portland Square – This new building will include 2,500 – 20,000 square feet of retail space for$28.50/sq ft.

3 Spring St – the 2,554 sq ft former Lio space is available at $19/sq ft (NNN).

41 Wharf St – the former Jager space is available; 1,107 sq ft for $43/sq ft (MG).

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/Washington Ave

100 Fore St – 1,914 sq ft of space that the listing says is “ideally suited for a restaurant use” for $27-30/sq ft (NNN).

22 Hancock St – 978 sq ft for $2,300/month (MG).

Forest Ave

333 Forest Ave – a 2,468 retail space is available for $16/sq ft (MG).

701 Forest Ave – this former Rite Aid building is being converted and has 4 retail spaces available for $16-20/sq ft (NNN).

1190 Forest Ave – located right in the center of Morrill’s Corner. 3,000 – 5,082 sq ft at $12 – 20/sq ft (NNN).


170 Brighton Ave – a 2,173 sq ft free-standing building which most recently was home to D Ajan’s Market, includes parking; $22/sq ft.

873 Brighton Ave – the 1,334 sq ft building that formerly housed the Redemption Center is for sale for $465,000.

441 Congress St – The 2,400 sq ft former home of Guitar Grave across the street from 1 Monument Square is available for $20/sq ft.

1020 Congress St – a 3,375 service station that is going to be “redeveloped as part a planned mixed use development”. The finished space will be available for $18/sq ft (NNN).

88 Danforth St – a 1,231 sq ft free-standing building on Danforth Street is for sale for $269,000.

132 Marginal Way – 1,584 sq ft of retail space available for $25/sq ft (NNN).

155 Riverside St – the Season’s Bar & Grille and Banquet Center is for lease. The 23,750 sq ft facility includes parking and all furniture, fixtures and equipment.

240 Saint John St – 1,661 – 10,000 sq ft in Union Station Plaza for $12-14/sq ft (NNN)

Westgate Shopping Center – two spaces are for lease at $17-37/sq ft (NNN).

158 Pickett St, South Portland – the former home of 158 Pickett Street Cafe is for lease. Call (207) 615-2858 for more information.

23 Lincoln St, Biddeford – a 12,600 sq ft space divided equally on two floors, each floor has a kitchen with hoods is available for $11/sq ft (NNN). Contact Tony Delois for more information at anthony@uncommongroups.com.

Gather, Yarmouth – Owner Matthew Chappell has put his Yarmouth restaurant, Gather, up for sale.

Biscuits & Co, Biddeford – Biscuits & Co closed on October 16th and the business and equipment is for sale. Contact Biscuitsandcompany@gmail.com for more information

Other Spaces – some vacated restaurant spaces haven’t yet been formerly listed for by the owner. Check the closing announcements for the latest information.


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.

Hungry Huskies

The USM Free Press has a report on a new University of Southern Maine food truck.

Parked outside of Luther Bonney lies USM’s newest dining service on wheels. The newly acquired food truck currently offers hot meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tadd Stone, General Manager of Sodexo at USM, said that Sodexo was “looking for a dining option that would be available to use even after the new student center/café were complete.” 

Upcoming Events: Meredith Goad, Kitchen Licensing, Winter Farmers’ Market

Monday – retiring Press Herald Meredith Goad will be the featured speaker at a Newsroom Live discussion at 7 pm.

ThursdayMOFGA is teaching a Kitchen Licensing workshop.

Saturday – It’s the first day of the weekly Winter Farmer’ Market. It will be located once again at 631 Stevens Ave, 9 am to 1 pm.

Sunday – Sean Turley (aka The Righteous Russet) will be appearing on this Sunday’s episode of Plate the State (instagram). The weekly Maine food show airs at 11 am on News Center Maine (channels 2 and 6).

December 6Bissell Brothers is holding a (sold out) 5-course beer dinner.

December 8 – Duckfat and Maine & Loire are collaborating on a 6-course natural wine dinner.

December 11Dirty Dove is scheduled to open.

December 16Congress Square Park plans to kick-off their S’mores Night, which will take place weekly 4-6 pm.

December 19 – Fred Eliot from Scales and Michael Stokes from Fore Street will be the guest chefs at the East Ender.

January 14 – The Good Food Foundation will be announcing the winners of the 2022 awards program; 10 Maine food producers are finalists this year.

Interview with Jordan Rubin

Joe Ricchio has interviewed Jordan Rubin (aka Mr. Tuna) for the latest episode of Food Coma Maine.

Why are you sharpening them? Why are you assuming you should drown the fish in the soy sauce? I discuss this, and plenty of other important issues, with Jordan Rubin aka Mr. Tuna. Do you like Mochi? How do you feel about the Mandalorian? Do you really need a $10,000 knife? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Enjoy. 

Union Bagel Construction

Union Bagel had a significant equipment failure earlier this month that damaged their shop and bakery on Cumberland Ave. They’re making use of the need to recover from that damage to execute some additional planned construction.

So, we will be down for a few weeks as we replace the kettle, oven, and floor and follow through with other parts of the renovation plan. I don’t as yet have an exact timeline but as I know more, I will send updates. We recognize that this is an inconvenience and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We are excited to take this time to give our amazing space the love and makeover it needs, and to reopen with our menu and added retail days.

Little Tandem Renovations

Tandem Coffee has kicked-off renovations to their building on Anderson Street—the site of their original roastery and small cafe in East Bayside. The renovated tasting room for their roastery will feature additional counter and table seating including a spot that the architect has labeled “Kathleen’s Cozy Corner”. The coffee bar will be moved from the left side of the building to the center right (see the floor plan below).

Will and Kathleen Pratt launched Tandem Coffee on Anderson Street in 2012, and opened their location on Congress Street in 2014. They hope to open the renovated East Bayside location this coming spring.

Ghee & Cinnamon Girl

The Portland food truck fleet continues to expand:

The Cinnamon Girl (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) food truck launched in mid-October. Owner Melissa Cott serves cinnamon buns and sticky pecan buns. As Cott explains on the Cinnamon Girl website,  her “mission is to provide recognition of and financial support to local Maine non-profit companies and organizations”.

Radhika Shah Patel and Sam Patel launched their fusion Indian street food pop-up Ghee (instagram) earlier this month. They’re regularly in operation at Apres in East Bayside on Fridays and Saturdays. The Patels are now working on a food truck which they hope to launch this spring.