Public Market House

Mr. Tuna is again expanding their first floor space in the Public Market House. This time owner Jordan Rubin is building out the area adjacent to Big Sky as a prep kitchen. This will provide Mr. Tuna with the space needed to breakdown and prepare tuna for use at the Mr. Tuna mobile units and at the Public Market House itself.

Also in the Public Market House, Maine Squeeze has shut down their juice bar. The window front space is now available for lease. A sign indicates that interested parties should reach out to for more information.

Iron Clad Eats

A new food truck called Iron Clad Eats (instagram) is under development with plans to launch the spring. Iron Clad is focused on serving tacos that draw inspiration from street food and regional favorites. They plan to deliver “big loud flavors…to bring fun and unique food to go to the mouths of Maine”.

Chef Joe McCluskey is working to launch the truck along with family members Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort. Joe McCluskey has worked at several restaurants in the Brunswick area, and Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort have experience in the events and tourism industry in New York City.

Follow Iron Clad Eats on instagram to follow along with their progress to an opening day and watch for their kickstarter launch later this month.

Eater: Preble Street’s Food Program

Eater has published an in depth look at the Preble Street food program and the many challenges it’s navigated during the pandemic.

But on March 25 last year, for the first time in its history, Preble Street closed its dining room. Suddenly, the delicate web of social services that Portland’s unhoused community relied on to meet basic needs, a system largely concentrated in Preble’s Bayside neighborhood, began to unravel. This unravelling, which led to a forced dispersal of the city’s homeless population, brought into stark relief the conflicting imperatives of public health, public safety, and emergency services brought on by the pandemic. It became clear that if Preble Street was going to keep feeding people, the model — and maybe even the organization’s entire mission — would need to be rethought.

The article was written by Christian Letourneau with photography by Greta Rybus as part of a collaboration between Eater and the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

For more information on the Preble Street visit

ONGGI Ferments & Foods

Amy Ng, Erin Zobitz, and Marcus Im are leasing a space in The Black Box container building on Washington Ave where they plan to open ONGGI Ferments & Foods (website, instagram) this spring.

Their goal is to make the cultures of fermentation more accessible and approachable. ONGGI will be a market for fermented food, a retail shop for fermentation equipment and a resource through classes and workshops to learn the skills to produce your own fermented foods at home.

Ng, Zobitz and Im describe themselves as having been “obsessed over ferments for years” and are excited to share their passion for the topic and to become part of the broader Portland food community. During 2020 they operated an online initiative called 100 Days of Ferments which featured their “own recipes daily, alongside contributing recipes from people all over the fermentation space”. Additionally, Im has apprenticed with James Beard award-winning author Sarah Owens and has worked for both Tonx Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee.

The team is currently working with architect Jacqueline Zhao to design their space. They will have more to share about their vision for the business in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime follow ONGGI on instagram and visit their website to sign-up for their mailing list.

Beer & Coffee

Mainer has published an article about some of the local beer and coffee collaborations.

Most craft beer drinkers can — and, too often, will — talk ad nauseam about hop varieties and yeast strains. It’s not that they’re wrong about the subtle differences in flavor, it’s just that it’s all been said. So what’s left for a beer geek to nerd out about? Well, how about the various origins, roasts and brewing processes of coffee in beer?

For the Culture

An essay by Carmen Harris, co-owner of Magnus on Water in Biddeford, has been published in the inaugural issue of For the Culture.

The essay is titled I Have No Idea How I Got Here. In it Harris reflects on identity, opportunity and her path to founding a cocktail and restaurant in Biddeford Maine. Here’s a brief excerpt,

Out of the primordial dust of this pandemic, my prayer is that more Black women will be given the chance, access points, space, and self-permission to say yes to the unknown. The spiritual knowing within will guide us. Trust it. Know it. Cultivate it. It is she who longs to be discovered and create within you. She whispers to you, until you know you can do this, and you can do it better than anyone else. Even if, like me, you have never worked one day in a restaurant before the moment you opened your very own. She wraps you in the confidence to say ‘yes’ to the unknown with the knowing you cannot fail. She is with you, always.

For the Culture is a “biannual printed food magazine that celebrates Black women and femmes in food and wine. The stories in For the Culture are about Black women throughout the diaspora, written by Black women and photographed and illustrated by Black women. It is the first magazine of its kind.”

Anthony’s Receives Covid Support Funds

WCYY reports that Anthony’s Italian Kitchen has received support from the Barstool Fund, a $35 Million fund to help restaurants during the pandemic.

The Barstool Fund will cover a number of expenses for Anthony’s until they can open and operate as they did prior to the pandemic. One of the key conditions for receiving assistance from The Barstool Fund was that restaurants had to be keeping a full payroll throughout the pandemic.

Wicked Fresco Food Truck

A new food truck called Wicked Fresco (instagram) is under development with plans to launch this summer operating in Portland and the surrounding area.

Co-owners Camila Sohm and Eric Mendoza plan to tap into their Colombian and Salvadoran food cultures and Maine seasonal ingredients to serve a menu of sweet and savory salads as well as sides and hand-crafted sodas.

Sohm has worked in the food industry since moving to Maine 6 years ago. For both Mendoza and Sohm, they draw inspiration from seeing how the Portlanders supports restaurants from different cultures, and it’s made them want to launch the Wicked Fresco to be part of that community.

Follow Wicked Fresco on instagram to stay in the loop on their development.

Thoroughfare Opening Wednesday

After an especially busy soft opening over the weekend, Thoroughfare (instagram) is launching at their new location on Main Street in Yarmouth this Wednesday. Check the 2nd and 3rd images in this post on instagram for a look at the menu. The new Thoroughfare will be open for breakfast starting at 7 am, and served the rest of their menu 11 am – 7 pm.

Thoroughfare is a takeout service launched by chef Christian Hayes from The Garrison and Dandelion Catering. Hayes leased the former Andy’s Handy storefront in downtown Yarmouth back in November. The move of Thoroughfare to the space is the first step in his use of the location. Later this year Hayes plans to open Dandy’s Handy’s (instagram), a “corner store market in the main building, providing provisions, grocery, and more.”

This Week’s Events: Guest Chefs, Helm, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day

TuesdayMr Tuna is the featured restaurant in the Terlingua guest chef series.

ThursdayHelm is opening for takeout.

FridayBao Bao is offering a regional dumpling menu in celebration of Chinese New Year, and Little Brother Chinese Food (instagram) will start taking orders for their new frozen dumpling business for pick-up starting on the 19th at Fork Food Lab.

SaturdayJudy Gibson is the featured restaurant in the Ramona’s guest chef series.

Sunday – It’s Valentine’s Day—see our list of V-Day specials. The Pink Waffle will be holding a pop-up at Figgy’s.