B.good restaurant on 15 Exchange St. in Portland, which sells burgers, sandwiches and salads, is being transformed into a taqueria.
Lupita’s Taqueria serves a variety of tacos; Snacks such as guacamole, chips and salsa and street corn; and drinks like margaritas and micheladas. The planned opening date is June 22nd.
Owner Bill Zolper said low sales during the pandemic forced the change inspired by his wife Alejandra’s Colombian heritage. The couple flew a chef who ran taquerias in London and Medellin to Maine to create a menu for the Old Port restaurant.
Zolper also owns the b.good franchise at 200 Gorham Road in South Portland, which will remain open and continue to serve burgers and fries.
“We are looking forward to the opening (in the old harbor) and to the summer,” said Zolper. “You can feel it getting a little bit alive down here.”
It’s a restaurant, not a cell phone tariff
A restaurant and market called Friends & Family are planned for the former Vinland room at 593 Congress Street in Portland’s Arts District.
Co-owners Cecily Upton and Michael Malyniwsky said in their application for a restaurant license with the city that they want to offer lunch and dinner of “hearty dishes, meat and cheese boards and other tasty snacks” along with a selection of natural wines, local beers and soft drinks. They also plan to include a small market in the space that will offer specialty food products from Maine and elsewhere. The opening times are Thursday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Upton is a co-founder of the national nonprofit FoodCorps. A native of Canada, Malyniwsky is a 26-year veteran of fine dining, casual dining, corporate lunches, and catering.
The planned opening date is July 1st.
Belleville is working on it. Meanwhile …
If you’ve missed Belleville’s pastries and pizza, you are not alone. The bakery at 1 North St. in Portland’s East End is still closed while the owners continue to “revise” the store, which was in “survival mode” during the pandemic, according to its social media. But Belleville has announced that it will be hosting a few scheduled pop-ups this summer to pamper your taste buds. Look for a pop-up on June 28th. Details are not yet known, but the owners promise in an Instagram post that “we will make it worth it.”
A match from Freeport
A popular sushi chef from Portland has teamed up with a craft brewery in East Bayside to buy a Freeport building that they plan to open an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant and brewery tasting room next fall. The owners of Mr. Tuna and Goodfire Brewing Co. recently closed the building at 117 Route 1, the former home of the El Jefe Taco Bar and Conundrum Wine Bistro. Conundrum closed in June 2019 and El Jefe never reopened after closing for the winter.
Jordan Rubin, owner of Mr. Tuna, plans to offer the hand rolls and similar sushi options he serves in the Portland Public Market House, as well as ramen, yakitori, small plates, cocktails, sake and “lots of Goodfire beer.” “The restaurant will have approximately 40 indoor seats, most of the counter seating and at least 30 more in a four-season terrace behind the building.
Rubin said he plans to keep his location in the Public Market House, which will reopen for indoor seating on Thursday.
A closure in East Deering
Je’s Neighborhood Store, a casual sandwich shop on Veranda St. 46 in Portland’s East Deering neighborhood, appears to have closed in less than a year. The company’s Facebook page has been removed and the phone number is out of order. Jamie Brichetto opened Je’s in July 2020.
Pastries shipped from Portland Pottery Cafe
The Portland Pottery Cafe on Washington Ave. 118 in Portland, which can now dine both indoors and outdoors, has hired a pastry chef. Patrick Jones, who specializes in European pastries, will accompany baker Bob Cameron in the café’s bakery. According to a press release, Jones worked with Cameron for years at Aurora Provisions in Portland’s West End. Most recently he was at the Tuscan Table in South Portland.
Summer sampler series
The food business owners using the commercial kitchen space at the Fork Food Lab in Portland will host a series of three outdoor tasting events this summer for customers to sample their food and purchase their products.
Admission to the events taking place in the 72 Parris Street parking lot is $ 10, including a small sample from each provider; a beer, wine or seltzer; and a carrying case. Some vendors offer $ 5 records in addition to samples.
The events take place on three Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – June 23, July 21 and August 18. The dozen or so vendors attending June 23 include The Big Bad Food Truck (barbecue), Niyat Catering (Ethiopian food), Simmer & Bloom (herb-infused shortbread biscuits); the empanada club; and Galactic Hobo Hot Sauce.
Whole Foods donates $ 10 to Fork Food Lab for every ticket sold. To buy a ticket, go to forkfoodlab.com and click on Events.
Feeding hungry children
Full Plates Full Potential, a Maine-based nonprofit that fights child hunger, recently awarded $ 422,907 in grants to support summer child nutrition programs in 64 school districts and community organizations, an increase of $ 20,000 over that Previous year.
This is the first time in the history of the nonprofit that it has been able to fully fund all eligible grant applications for its Summer Meals program. Funds will go towards activities such as opening new types of food and introducing or expanding alternative food service models (such as delivering meals to children at home).
Ramsay rocks it in Maine
A reminder that the Maine episode of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” will air on Sunday at 9:00 pm on the National Geographic Channel. During his visit to the Midcoast, Ramsay spent time harvesting seaweed with Primo cook Melissa Kelly; Catch Lobsters with Heather Thompson and Hilary Oliver aboard the Gold Digger; Harvesting oysters with Adam Campbell on North Haven; and more. To whet your appetite, here are some photos from the show and a video clip:
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