The owner of Po’ Boys & Pickles, the popular New Orleans-style sandwich shop on Forest Avenue, plans to open a second location on the Portland peninsula this spring.

Chris Bettera, who has owned Po’ Boys since 2015, would not disclose the exact location of the new place because he hasn’t yet signed the lease. But he said he hopes to open by May 1.

The menu will be smaller to start with, Bettera said, because the tentative location is much smaller than the shop at 1124 Forest Ave., but he hopes to develop work-arounds for some items and add them later.

“We’re streamlining some of the items that take longer,” he said. The fried chicken cutlet sandwich, for example, will not be on the initial menu because the fry time is too long. Neither will the chicken wings, for the same reason. Bettera hopes once he’s familiar with the new kitchen, he’ll be able to find a way to bring them back.

There’s no room for a meat slicer in the new space, so fans of the Reuben, the Ray Nagin (a roast turkey sandwich named after a former mayor of New Orleans) and the Muffaletta won’t be able to order them at the new restaurant. But customers should still be able to enjoy the Peacemaker (an oyster-and-shrimp po’ boy), the Dirty Bird, the Blackened Fish and lots of other choices at the new location. Bettera sees this, like the fry-time issue, as a temporary setback and said he’s hoping eventually to transport sliced meats from the Forest Avenue shop to the new location.

Why open a second location in the same city? Bettera said fans have tried to lure him to Lewiston or Bangor, but he’s more interested in recapturing the downtown Portland customers who stopped coming to the Forest Avenue restaurant after the redevelopment of Woodfords Corner made it harder to get there. He said he knows there’s still interest in his food on the peninsula because his 2DineIn delivery business there is “crazy good.”

“A lot of that food is going right onto the peninsula,” he said. “They want that food, so why not give it to them?”

Bettera said now is the right time to open a second location because “I’ve got some great staff.”

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

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