Room for Improvement on Wharf

Portland bartender Arvid Brown and his business partner Nick Coffin have signed a lease for 41 Wharf Street where they plan to open a new bar called Room for Improvement (instagram).

The cocktail list at Room for Improvement will feature riffs on classic cocktails and some house-designed specialty drinks. The beverage menu will also include local draft beer, and a small and focused by-the-glass wine list, and a selection of temperance cocktails. The owners are hoping to source and reconfigure a Jagermeister shot-chilling machine to set it up as an Allen’s Coffee Brandy dispenser—part of a vision to be a bar that’s serious about cocktails but that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The general concept for Room for Improvement is of a modern dive bar. Renovations have already begun in the former Jaeger/Rogue’s Gallery space and they hope to be open for business by the end of February. Brown and Coffin are positioning Room for improvement as a straight up bar that can be a destination for a pre-dinner drink before a prime time meal in the Old Port and also serve as late night spot that Old Port workers can drop in at after their shifts.

Brown was a co-owner of the Fishin’ Ships food truck when he first moved to Portland. He moved on to work as a bartender at Ebb & Flow, Roustabout before helping open Baharat where his creative use of Middle Eastern ingredients and flavors integrated the bar program with the menu. Brown is currently the bar manager at the popular Exchange Street restaurant and bar Crispy Gai. Coffin is a native of Vermont and has been a partner and manager in bars in Colorado and California prior to moving to Maine.