Federal Spice, a casual Jamaican restaurant on Federal Street in Portland, has closed after more than 20 years. A typed note that hangs on the door and on a sandwich board out front from chef Eric Martin says that “with deep regret” he closed the restaurant for good on Christmas Eve because he was “unable to reach an amicable lease renewal.”

The note goes on to thank customers for their patronage.

Martin could not be reached for comment, and the Federal Spice website and Facebook page have not been updated to announce the closure. Inside, though, the counter is still set; the decorations, equipment and furniture are set up; and the display cooler is still filled with drinks.

In the summer, Federal Spice, which opened in 1995, often looked like a small island refuge on a bland section of Federal Street across from the downtown post office, with its funky decor, oversized straw umbrellas, tropical shrubs and Jamaican flags. The menu offered an inexpensive mix of Jamaican and Mexican specialties like curried goat, jerk chicken, beef patties, and rice and beans, with a few influences from Asia and Louisiana.

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