Double Great Opens Sunday

Double Great Coffee (websiteinstagram) is set to launch Sunday morning at 6:30 am. The new Munjoy Hill coffee shop is at 100 Congress Street in the storefront formerly occupied by Hilltop Coffee (which closed in late 2022).

Double Great will be a multi-roaster coffee shop serving coffee from Verve in Santa Cruz and Passenger from Lancaster, Pennsylvania with a special focus on coffees from Central and South America. Double Great also have a range of green, black and herbal teas including chamomile, herbal chai, star bright peppermint, china breakfast and sencha.

They will be exclusively be sourcing their baked goods from chef Ilma Lopez at Ugly Duckling, providing Hill residents easy access to pastries like their wonderful Pastel de Natas (Portuguese egg custard tarts).

As you can seen, the space has been renovated with a design and build out by Joiya Studios, the same firm that produced several other Portland restaurant interiors including Quanto Basta, Cong Tu Bot, and Maine & Loire. It includes window seating, and banquets in the the center and along the right wall of the room. Also in the corner is a children’s table and play space.

Double Great is being launched by Carolyn and Michael Force (shown below), the co-owners of Portland Dry Goods with Amanda Foreman from Abura Skincare.

The coffee shop will be open 6:30 am – 2 pm seven days a week.

Woodford’s Wine List

Woodford F&B got a shout out in a recent Vinepair article which examines whether restaurants can move their wine lists towards more domestic producers.

Even so, some restaurants have found a compromise that allows them to minimize their environmental impact while also staying on budget. Woodford Food & Beverage in Portland, Maine, opened in 2016 with the goal of embodying the quintessential American brasserie with a sustainable edge. The restaurant’s by-the-glass pours come from around the world, but are sourced from sustainable producers and mindfully transported. Many arrive from Europe in large vats or kegs rather than heavy glass bottles. Additionally, the restaurant’s bottle list is solely domestic, featuring both classic and emerging producers.

Restaurant Burglaries (Updated)

The Press Herald has a report on a series of restaurant break-ins that have taken place at Taco Trio, Buena Vista, LFK and the Coffee by Design on India Street. Taco Trio and Buena Vista have shared surveillance video of the break-ins.

Police are investigating several recent break-ins at food business in Portland and South Portland.

In South Portland, Buena Vista Filipino Market on Main Street and Taco Trio on Ocean Street were burglarized in the past week. The two businesses are about 3 miles apart. And police in Portland are investigating burglaries at Coffee By Design on India Street and LFK, a cocktail bar on State Street, both reported last weekend.

In December the shop Nibblesford in Biddeford was robbed at gunpoint.

UPDATE: Leavitt and Sons in Falmouth was broken into overnight on January 3/4.

Jackrabbit Closing/Transitioning

Owners Bowman and Anna Brown announced this morning that they won’t be reopening Jackrabbit Cafe from their winter break.

After an underperforming year, and after taking some time to rest and reflect, we’ve decided to close Jackrabbit Cafe as we know it.

There are many factors; it isn’t just one thing. But, we’ve appreciated being a part of your lives in a small way. Thank you for your support and patronage over the years!

They’ve also indicated that customers should “[s]tay tuned for where and when our famous cardamom buns will pop up.”

Bom Dia on India Street

A new quick-service acai and coffee shop called Bom Dia Cafe (website, instagram) is under construction at 47 India Street in a space immediately adjacent to Dok Mali on India Street. Owner Fletch Moffett hopes to open Bom Dia in February.

Bom Dia will be serving acai bowls, coffee, smoothies, and bagels. Their signature Bom Dia Bowl will contain an acai blend with gluten free granola, topped with banana, strawberry, blueberry, natural peanut butter, and cacao nibs.

Prior to moving to Portland, Moffett owned and operated the Freshies (instagram) acai food truck in North Conway. He gained initial experience working at Carioca Bowls acai shop in Portland, Oregon.

The 26-seat cafe was designed by Dextrous Creative, an architecture firm that’s also designed the new Tandem on Anderson Street, Dok Mali, Belleville and Rose Foods.

To get caught up on all the new restaurants, bars, breweries, bakeries and other hospitality businesses in development visit the Portland Food Map Under Construction List.

The 2023 Year In Review

Here’s a look back at the 2023 year in food. It’s been a very busy year of events, openings and, sadly, of closings too. Read on for a refresher on the year we just experienced and for a look at the new restaurants, bars, pizzerias, and other business that are in the pipeline.

Closings – Some restaurant close every year whether due to retirement, lack of business success, owners interest in pursuing a new venture or external personal circumstance. However, 2023 has clearly seen much more than its fair share. 2023 has been notable not only for the overall number of business closures, but also for touching established businesses as well as more recent arrivals alike.

To name just a few there was Little Woodfords, Maine Mead Works, the Rosemont wine bar, and Bull Feeney’s in Q1, Blue Spoon (since reopened in Rockport), Tiqa, Full Turn and Timber in Q2 and Vena’s shared plans not to launch their new bar/retail shop, Petite Jacqueline, Rick’s Lobby Cafe, The Danforth, Wolf Peach in Camden in Q3, and the CBD on Congress, the Other Side Deli, Judy Gibson, Radici, The Snug and Cabana in Q4. See this page and the month-by-month recap below for a fuller accounting of the departures.

Hopefully as we head into 2024 we’ll see this peak in these losses to the food and dining community subside.

Maine Food Map – The energy that’s powered the Portland area restaurant scene for the last decade is also now making an impact on communities across the state. New hospitality businesses are launching in small towns like Waterford and Alna as well as in tourist destinations like Rangeley and Eastport. Nowhere has that entrepreneurial activity been more keenly evident than in the Midcoast. However, the last two years have also seen notable establishments opening in locations like Gardiner and Lewiston—cities that weren’t at the top of anyone’s #TheNextBiddeford list. A pandemic influenced in-migration to Maine from other states is one of the contributing factors which has brought experienced professionals to (or back to) Maine and a growing customer base for the businesses they’re creating.

Take a look back the 2023 reporting on the Maine food scene for more details, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Beard Awards: The Quarry in Monson was a Beard Awards winner in the Outstanding Hospitality Category, and Nezinscot Farm in Turner was named a James Beard America’s Classics Award winner
  • Kennebunk: Chefs Nate Norris and Annie Callan opened Bev’s Cafe and Market in Kennebunk
  • Bath/Brunswick: Caballeras, BizziBuns, Oysthers, and The Abbey all opened. A new Holy Donut shop, Reverie Coffee and Linden + Front are under construction. After a long hiatus Tao Yuan reopened.
  • Camden/Rockport: Costa Media opened in the former Wolf Peach building. Additionally,  Albatross, the new bar at The Norumbega, The Place Bakery, Sea Hag Cidery and the relocated Blue Spoon opened. Buttermilk Kitchen is under construction.
  • Thomaston: Honey’s is under construction and Uproot Pie Company just opened.
  • Alna: The Maine Sunday Telegram named The Alna Store their pick for the Best New Restaurant of 2023.
  • Greenville: the Blair Hill Inn hired Max Snyder as their new chef.
  • Belfast: a new wine bar called Pulling Corks, and a taco/cocktail bar called Dos Gatos are under construction.
  • Wiscassett: The “prettiest village in Maine” saw the opening of Jolie Rodger’s and Yonder, and Jodie’s took the place of Sarah’s.
  • Blue Hill Peninsula: Travel and Leisure declared the Blue Hill peninsula “One of the Best Places to Eat in the U.S. Right Now“.
  • Union/Warren: Alsace opened in Union and the Black Goat Test Kitchen opened in Warren.
  • Lewiston: The opening of Bon Vivant brought fine dining back to Lewiston.
  • Waldoboro: The Waldoboro Inn launched Ida’s their fun bar and pop-up collaboration venue.
  • Gardiner: Table Bar launched a dinner service with chef Jimmy Leftis.
  • Buxton: Oak & Ember opened in September.
  • Saco: The Scandinavian bakery Fika opened.
  • Waterford: The launch of Tallulah’s at The Waterford Inne.

Upcoming in 2024 – There remains a strong pipeline of new businesses under development in the Portland area. For a full list see our Under Construction list. Here are just some highlights to look forward to:

There are also several other exciting new projects in the works that we’ll be writing about soon. Check back soon for all the details.

Notable Events of 2023


Top 10 Articles

The most popular articles published on Portland Food Map in the past year.

  1. Salvatore’s Hoagies – first word of the new sandwich takeout business.
  2. Oak & Ember – first word about a new restaurant in Buxton.
  3. 2023 Beard Semifinalists – 11 Maine restaurants and chefs were named as awards semifinalists.
  4. Battery Steele – first word of the brewery’s expansion to Wells.
  5. Bistro Leluco – opening of the restaurant in South Portland.
  6. Wander at Longwoods – first word about the farm-to-table restaurant in Cumberland.
  7. Tacos La Poblanita – first word of their new restaurant in Westbrook.
  8. Thanksgiving List – the 2023 edition of our Thanks giving Resource list.
  9. Lambs – opening announcement for Lambs in South Portland.
  10. Lecha – first word about the new boba tea and ice cream shop in Deering Center.

For an additional perspective on the past year in food see the Maine Sunday Telegram Dine Out Maine: Best of 2023 article, and the Portland Old Port 2023 wrap-up.

This is the 14th year running that Portland Food Map has published a year in review article. Take a walk down memory lane by checking out these past editions that covered 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Upcoming Events

Friday/SaturdayRoma Cafe is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the restaurant with a 5-course dinner with optional wine pairings.

January 8Anoche is holding a family-style Paella Night with the meal prepared by famed Portland chef Rob Evans. Marilou Ranta, the chef/owner of the Beard Award-winning restaurant The Quarry in Monson will be speaking at the Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta.

January 20 – Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Adrian Arvizu from Big Tree Catering. Heritage Seaweed is holding an online Introduction to Seaweed class.

January 24 – Chaval is holding 5-course vegan wine dinner.

January 27 – Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Christian Hayes from The Garrison.

February 10 – The Portland On Tap beer festival is taking place at the Cross Insurance Arena. Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chef Krista Kern Desjarlais from Bresca and The Purple House.

February 18Flanagan’s Farm in Buxton will be holding a Supper Club dinner featuring chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti from Chaval and Devin Finigan from Aragosta.

March 28Ballast will be hosting a murder mystery dinner.

May 11CiderFeast, an “all-inclusive tasting event celebrates craft ciders from some of the top cider makers in New England and beyond” is taking place.

June 10-16Portland Wine Week is taking place.

June 26 – Secret Supper (instagram) is holding a dinner in the Portland area.

June 29 – The 3rd Annual Mast Landing Wavy Days Festival is taking place.

August 30 – September 1Maine Apple Camp is taking place.

Trevin Hutchins

Former Portland bartended Trevin Hutchins graces the cover of the new edition of Imbibe magazine. He’s profiled in their annual Imbibe 75 features which highlights the “people and places shaping the way we drink”.

Hutchins is now the bar manager at Aphotic in San Francisco. which has its own distillation license which enables Hutchins and his team to develop custom spirits, liquors and distillates for the drinks on the Aphotic menu.

Looking Back at 2023 and Forward to 2024

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a look at twelve bars and restaurants that are set to open next year.

But the batch of new restaurants coming in 2024 helps take the sting out of the losses and will enrich a drinking and dining scene that already feels like a treasure trove. We can look forward to big, bold bars going into Thompson’s Point and Bayside; new brewpubs and daytime cafes in Biddeford; old faves like Brea Lu relaunching in new Westbrook digs; fine dining in far-flung locales; and New York-style slices in the Old Port. If all goes according to plans, expect Cambodian express takeout, a chicken sandwich palace and a cheesesteak mecca.

It also includes restaurant critic Andrew Ross’s picks for the Best of 2023.

Yosaku Outdoor Seating

Yosaku (website, facebook, instagram) is building a new outdoor seating structure. When it’s finished Yosaku plans to use the 50-seat post and beam structure to extend their outdoor seating season.

Yosaku was founded in 2003 by Takahiro and Susan Sato. They retired in 2022 and sold the restaurant to Rattanak Tray and Hope MacVane-Tray. Rattanak Tray had been a sushi chef at Yosaku since it opened for business.