It’s midsummer excitement in the Portland foodie scene! In these last few days Portland has seen a landmark celebration for a beloved food truck, as well as a first birthday bash for a seltzer + cider house that was determined to open even mid pandemic, TWO much anticipated new openings and a taste of what’s to come at an upcoming restaurant.
Here’s a look of what happened in the Portland, Maine food scene from July 10th – 17th, 2022.
1. Twelve Restaurant Opens
As reported back in January, Twelve restaurant would be opening this summer at 115 Thames Street in the developing 58 Fore in Portland Foreside. That time finally arrived this past week when Twelve officially opened their doors for business.
Twelve is Portland’s newest seasonal American restaurant that pays homage to Maine’s best ingredients. Teaming up with Prentice Hospitality (EVO Kitchen + Bar, 58 Culinary, Fore Points Marina, and more), Twelve is brought to us by Chef Colin Wyatt of Eleven Madison Park and Daniel Gorlas of Per Se, (both restaurants located in New York City). Vogue named Twelve as one of “America’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2022”,
They are currently open Tuesday – Saturday 5 PM until 10 PM.
2. Queenie’s Castle Opens in Deering Oaks Park
Grand opening #2! Opening Friday at noon, Queenie’s Castle is Deering Oaks Park’s newest deli and ice cream shop.
After being empty for almost two years (the previous cafe closed in 2020), the castle received news of a new tenant this past June.
Named after Owner Victoria Queenie Thayer, Queenie’s Castle will serve hot and/or iced coffees, muffins and breakfast sandwiches, in addition to beer and wine. Queenie’s Cafe is adjacent to the Portland Farmers’ Market happening Wednesday + Saturdays 7AM -1PM in Deering Oaks Park.
The hours will start as 12pm-8pm Sunday through Friday and 8am-8pm on Saturday. For updates, follow Queenie’s Castle on Instagram here.
3. Mr. Tuna Mobile Food Cart Celebrates 5 Years
Monday, July 11th marked five years since Mr. Tuna first set up their Mobile Sushi Bar on Commercial St. They celebrated on the Eastern Promenade with half off hand rolls.
Specializing in hand rolls, Mr. Tuna has had a successful journey expanding their mobile sushi cart to multiple carts, including a location in Brunswick’s Town Mall, in addition to their sushi bar in Portland’s Public Market House. Chef and Owner Jordan Rubin is also Co-owner of Crispy Gai and will be opening Bar Futo on Fore Street this year. Read more on that here.
You can view more from Mr. Tuna online here. The sushi bar is open for walk-ins Sunday – Thursday 11-8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-9pm. You can find their mobile cart every day on the Eastern Promenade (weather dependent) and at the Brunswick Town Mall Tuesday – Friday (weather dependent).
4. Bar Futo Announces Pop-Up at Oxbow Blending & Bottling
Speaking of Bar Futo, the highly anticipated restaurant announced earlier this July that they would be popping up at Oxbow Blending & Bottling on Washington Avenue while construction on the future restaurant on Fore Street continues. “Binchotan & Beers” will be happening every Tuesday + Wednesday in July starting at 4pm.
Bar Futo will be a Japanese-inspired restaurant. The restaurant will be located at 425 Fore Street, the former home to Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Currently underway and once complete is expected to house a capacity of about 66 people.
You can follow Bar Futo on Instagram here for updates.
5. Après Celebrates One Year with Weekend Long Bash
Après, a craft cider and seltzer house in Portland’s East Bayside, celebrated their first year of business with a weekend long birthday bash which included special frozen seltzer releases, popular Portland food trucks, a drag show, and DJ sets.
In a statement made on their social media:
“Tomorrow, we celebrate the trials and triumphs of a whole year since we first opened our doors– it’s been beautiful and crazy and we are blown away everyday by the support and love of our home community.
We’ll have more to share these next few days, but for now we just can’t help but think back on the progression of this humble space and muse on all the plans we have to fill it in the future. In the meantime, before we kick off the fun this weekend we’d be remiss not to say it again as loudly as we can: thank you, Portland”
6. Top of The East Sneaks Peeks Renovations
Currently undergoing renovations Top of The East gave a sneak peek of new developments via social media.
The cocktail bar and lounge will feature that welcoming, old bar feeling with hardwood floors and leather booths. The final plan will feature a rooftop deck overlooking Portland.
You can follow them on social media here. More news to come on reopening shortly.