Under Construction: 211 Danforth


211 Danforth Street, the current home of Vespucci’s Market, is under contract for sale and hopeful new owner, Keith Hickman has submitted a zoning variance request for a change of use to a restaurant. If approved, Hickman intends on opening a 64-seat restaurant and bar called 211 Danforth. Josh Kaplan will be serving as the chef at 211 Danforth.

Here’s an excerpt from Hickman’s application:

We firmly believe that there is a need and a market available for a quality and affordable neighborhood dining option in this area. Furthermore, we are confident that 211 Danforth Restaurant will be welcome addition to the West End and surrounding neighborhoods.


211 Danforth would add to the growing cluster of restaurants currently anchored by Ruski’s (1982), Ohno Cafe (2004), Outliers (2013) and Omi’s (2013). There are other spaces in the neighborhood that would also lend themselves well to further additions to the food and dining options in the area.

Update: For additional reporting see Maine a la Carte.

5 comments on “Under Construction: 211 Danforth

  1. Exciting, though that leaves that part of town without a mart. I think the closest would be Fresh Approach.

  2. The building plans also show a retail space where Cordell’s is now. So maybe there will be a junior sized neighborhood store there.

    Or someone else could seize on the opportunity and open a store somewhere else in that neighborhood. Spring Street Variety hasn’t been open in years.

  3. Spring Street Variety is a hair salon. (Good, cheap kids’ haircuts.) A store on that side of Spring would be welcome, I’m sure.

  4. What is the 1982 after Ruski’s, that place has been there forever. Is that when ownership changed?

  5. 1985 was when R. Steve Harris and his wife Rosie bought Ruski’s. The 1982 is when I think it opened. I don’t quite remember where I got that date from. I’ll root around in my Portland food history files and see if I can find out where I got that from.

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