Hugo’s, a well-known and sophisticated fine-dining experience offering ambitious farm-to-table cuisine in Portland, Maine, has announced that they will be permanently closing.
A sister property to Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw, Hugo’s is part of Big Tree Hospitality, a Portland, Maine group founded in 2015 by Arlin Smith, Andrew Taylor, and Mike Wiley. Taylor and Wiley were named finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Northeast three years in a row, until finally winning in 2017.
Hugo’s originally ceased operations in March of 2020 due to COVID, and has remained closed since with no official announcement on the status until now.
The future of the space is unknown, but in the interim, Hugo’s will be accepting bookings for private parties and small events.
In a statement made via social media:
“Portland, you made Hugo’s such a special place to dine and gather since 1988. We will always be grateful for the love and community that these walls have created. While Hugo’s closed over two years ago due to COVID, we are finally ready to announce that Hugo’s will not be reopening in its previous form as a fine dining restaurant.
Hugo’s was where the Big Tree Hospitality story began, and it will always be one of the most important parts of our history. First opened in 1988 as a bistro and piano-lounge by Johnny Robinson as a tribute to his son, Hugo, the restaurant underwent many iterations over the years. Bought in 2000 by Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh, Hugo’s quickly became one of the most avant garde restaurants in the country, earning Rob Evans significant national accolades such as Food and Wine Best New Chef 2005 and James Beard Best Chef Northeast 2008. Big Tree Hospitality founders Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith, and Mike Wiley worked together under their mentors Rob and Nancy for four years prior to purchasing the restaurant in 2012. The Big Tree trio renovated the space in 2015 where it thrived until the COVID closure in March 2020.
Although we can’t say for sure what this space will become next, we are happy to announce we’ll be opening the doors to host private parties and small events in the interim. If you’d like to book an event at Hugo’s, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have an unredeemed gift card for Hugo’s, Big Tree will honor those cards at Portland sister restaurants, Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw.”