This is the second of five parts in our series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Portland’s restaurants.

Andrew Taylor remembers the realities of the pandemic slowly dawning on him in February 2020 as he watched the news from around the country.

Taylor, one of three partners in Big Tree Hospitality, the company that owns Honey Paw, Eventide Oyster and Hugo’s, three remarkably successful adjacent restaurants on Middle Street in Portland, recalls thinking, “Jeez, this could really impact us.” By that, he meant “a slow spring.”

By the second week of March, his anxiety had deepened. There was “a building sense of fear and dread,” he said recently.

On March 12, Maine reported its first case of COVID-19. Still, two days later, a Saturday, Taylor remembers going to sleep with, if not quite optimism, at least determination – a feeling, he said, of “let’s try to ride this out.” By the time he woke up, that sentiment had vanished. He and partners Mike Wiley and Arlin Smith met that afternoon by phone and made the “extraordinarily painful” decision, except for takeout, to shut down their restaurants indefinitely.

By Tuesday, they’d laid off their hourly staff, some 70 people – a furlough, they worded it. On Wednesday, Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order mandating that restaurants and bars close their dining rooms. Within 10 days, the partners put an end to takeout, too, and laid off just about “everybody else,” Taylor said. In little over a week, the company, which includes Eventide Boston and a commissary kitchen in Biddeford, went from 140 employees (in summertime, more than 200) to a group that could be counted on one hand.

Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, right, both James Beard finalists, at Eventide Oyster Co. on Fore Street, April 25, 2016. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Down the block and across the street at East Ender, owner Karl Deuben was dealing with a big, bittersweet change in his business. Bill Leavy, his dear friend and business partner of seven years, was moving on. In 2015, the two had turned their popular food truck, Small Axe, into the bricks-and-mortar restaurant known for its unpretentious, playful food. They’d been talking about the management change for about a year – Leavy was ready for something new; Deuben was excited to make the place his own.

He’d already begun hiring extra staff to build up for the summer crowds, a process that seems to begin earlier each succeeding year, he said, as Portland’s many restaurants vie for employees in a tight labor market.

“We were strategizing for what we were hoping was going to be a good summer,” Deuben said. On March 7, Leavy announced his departure. That was about the last thing that happened as planned.

As the week pressed on, the rumblings of the pandemic grew nearer, louder and more alarming. On his own in the business for the first time, Deuben watched the virus’s rapid, ominous approach and resolved to keep East Ender open through the weekend so he’d at least have enough cash to pay his staff. On Sunday, March 15, he informed his roughly 22 full- and part-timers of his decision to close for the time being.

“I couldn’t stay open,” he said. “I can’t carry payroll and general operational costs if there is no revenue coming in.

“I didn’t see any sunshine.”

Two doors down, Kevin Quiet, chef/owner at Ribollita, was pleased with business during Maine Restaurant Week, an annual event that provides restaurants a boost in a perpetually slow month. Ribollita, an Italian trattoria with a good reputation and a cadre of regulars, had participated every year since the event began.

But the next couple of days were “surreal,” said Quiet, who recalls his last customers, regulars who work in the medical field, offering him reassurance as they got up to leave: “We’ll get through it.” On March 14, he told his staff – “a small staff and they’ve all been here for years and years” – that he was closing.

“Originally, I thought it would be for two weeks,” Quiet said. “Talk about blind!”

A two-minute walk away, the staff at Tomaso’s Canteen had a different celebration on their minds. The bar and grill on Hampshire Street, which empties into Middle Street, was readying for St. Patrick’s Day, stocking up on Guinness and local holiday-themed craft beers.

Anthony Bendle, manager of Tomaso’s Canteen, said some customers were still joking about the pandemic in late February, but that all changed by the middle of March. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Like everybody else, Tomaso’s manager, Anthony Bendle, was watching the pandemic’s approach. In late February, it was still a matter for jest. “I’ll take the Corona, hold the virus,” several customers joked. Bendle remembers the moment on March 12 when that shifted. The TV was on at the bar, tuned to sports, as usual, when the news broke that the NBA was suspending its season. “It was a turning point,” Bendle said.

ON THE BLOCK

Pause to picture the small stretch of Middle Street running from Franklin Street on the west to India Street on the east. The one-block area is a culinary stronghold in a city with a national reputation for food and drink. You can walk the section from end to end in five minutes, passing by Hugo’s, Eventide Oyster, Honey Paw, East Ender and Ribollita. Also Duckfat, the perpetually crowded home to some of the city’s best fries and sandwiches.

Expand its parameters slightly to include Tomaso’s; Miccuci Grocery, a storied purveyor of Italian food since 1949; and two spots that, in the punishing course of 2020, closed for good – the India Street location of Lois’ Natural Marketplace and the tiny modern Italian restaurant Piccolo, just across Franklin Street.

Together, these businesses are a microcosm of an industry that has been roiled by the pandemic. Some have closed permanently, all at least temporarily. They’ve had to reinvent themselves continually, switching to takeout, meal kits and groceries and sending lobster rolls winging around the U.S. They’ve laid off staff and brought them back, or in some cases not; coped with constant uncertainty, positive COVID tests, maddening unemployment applications, and onerous paperwork for loans and grants.

They’ve installed air-filtration systems; secured suddenly tough-to-get items like takeout containers and Blue Rhino propane tanks (“a scramble to get friggin’ everything,” Deuben said); collaborated on pop-ups; and watched with anxiety – and pride – as Black Lives Matter protesters marched by their establishments to the nearby Portland police headquarters. They’ve banded together to close one snaking lane of Middle Street to traffic so they could serve customers on hastily assembled street patios, “a lifeline, an absolute lifeline,” said Quiet.

The owners of several restaurants on the Middle Street block between Franklin and India streets got the city to close one lane to traffic so they could assemble makeshift patios for outdoor dining. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Their businesses have survived – most are hopeful the worst is over – through ingenuity, determination and, as most candidly admit, government assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Maine Economic Recovery Grants.

“It’s crisis management on a daily basis,” said Rob Evans, who owns Duckfat, as well as Duckfat Friteshack on nearby Washington Avenue, with his wife, Nancy Pugh.

“You don’t know what tomorrow is bringing,” Pugh added. “You started sprinting, and you just never stopped.”

DEAD STREET 

Among the most immediate problems the restaurants faced was what to do with the perishable food and drink in their refrigerators and tap lines.

Deuben stored any food he could and gave the rest away to his newly unemployed staff. He also gave them a piece of advice: Unemployment can be a mess. Do not delay. Sign up now. Within two weeks, Maine’s unemployment claims would break records – flat-seated, as Tomaso’s Bendle described it, restaurant argot for when a waiter’s section fills up all at once.

At Eventide, the urgent problem was – no surprise – oysters, some 5,000 with no diners and a shelf life of about a week. “These were very nice oysters,” Taylor said wistfully nearly a year later. The partners made a fast decision; they trucked the bivalves to their facility in Biddeford and smoked them, preserving them for later sale. A win, right? Not so fast.

“You typically wouldn’t smoke such a beautiful product,” Smith said. Smoked, oysters shrink by 50 percent, and when you sell them, Taylor elaborated, “you are barely making your money back.”

Through March and April, Taylor stayed put at Big Tree’s commissary, working alone in the “eerie” humongous kitchen prepping kits of Eventide’s legendary brown butter lobster rolls to sell through Goldbelly, a national online food marketplace, where sales offered a glimmer of hope. It was, Taylor said, “a very sad time, pulling up in front of our restaurants and there was just nothing. Nobody. The streets were empty. Our restaurants were empty.”

(Where was Wiley, partner No. 3? At home with his “8¾-months pregnant” wife, he said. The about-to-be-first-time parents were taking no chances with the highly contagious disease. “While these guys were turning themselves inside out,” Wiley said, “I just felt chained to the house and going stir-crazy and worrying about the business.” Today, mom and 11-month-old Samuel are doing fine.)

Meanwhile, Quiet was, to some extent, quietly savoring the first significant time off he’d had since he’d opened Ribollita 25 years earlier. He visited his mother in Pittsfield. He went fishing with his teenage sons. He ate lunches with his family. The interval was a small silver lining, though all the while he was wrestling with the “wrenching decision” he’d made to lay off his staff.

Owners Lisa and Connor Quiet and sons Mason, 16, second from left, and Connor, 18, at Ribollita on March 30. When the pandemic shut down Portland, Kevin Quiet said he was able to savor the first significant time off he’d had since he’d opened the Italian trattoria 25 years earlier. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“There was no plan at all,” Quiet said. “It was just ‘Yeah, you guys have to go on unemployment.’ I think that was OK?”

At Micucci on nearby India Street – as an essential business, almost the only place open in the neighborhood – the staff was busy learning the new normal: masks, sanitizer, plastic shields, curbside pickup and customer counts. While supermarkets had empty shelves, Micucci managed to stock items that were otherwise nearly impossible to find: Yeast! Flour! Pasta! Their wholesale business selling to restaurants instantly went south, but as the days wore on, Micucci’s retail business held its own, even after the Easter holiday.

Still, it was a peculiar and heartbreaking time for owners Anna and Rick Micucci. Every day, the couple drove in from their home in Falmouth, more or less as normal. But nothing else in their familiar food enclave was normal. Middle Street was “like a dead street,” Anna Micucci recalled. “It was a ghost town.”

TICKING CLOCK

At Duckfat, Pugh and Evans “applied for a PPP (loan) the second it came out,” Pugh said (March 27, 2020). “We’ve applied for everything that has been open to us. It’s definitely been a lifesaver.”

At East Ender, “any sniff of anything, I was out trying to apply for it,” Deuben said, mentioning his banker, Jeanette Garvilles at Bangor Savings Bank, by name. “She was calling me Saturday at 7 at night, Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to make sure we had everything we needed.”

Others praised for helping these restaurants through COVID times include landlords, neighbors, customers, city officials, family and – most of all – staff. Samuel Minervino, a partner in Tomaso’s, will tell you he’s not usually a fan of government, “but I have to say, financially, with this pandemic, they did all the right things.” He, too, secured a loan for Tomaso’s last spring.

Businesses had just eight weeks to spend what turned out to be Round 1 of PPP loans. Deuben experimented, reluctantly, with takeout and heat-and-eat meals but felt they didn’t suit East Ender’s eat-in restaurant brand. He wondered if he could keep a portion of the loan in reserve to spend on reopening. But who could say when that would be, and meanwhile, the clock was ticking.

Tomaso’s dabbled in delivery. Bendle himself delivered the bar’s slimmed-down menu of burgers, wings, red snapper hot dogs and beer.

“I was happy to bring some Tomaso’s to people,” he said. “It was just fun to be out there doing something. I remember a lot of conversations with people through their windows. I’ve never said so many cliches in my life – ‘We’re all in this together.’ ‘One day at a time’ – I’m not usually that type of corny person. It was genuine.”

Manager Anthony Bendle delivered meals from the slimmed-down menu himself when Tomaso’s Canteen dabbled with delivery at the start of the pandemic. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

But the deliveries, Minervino said, echoing others, were merely “a Band-Aid.” As a long-term fix, delivery and takeout were no real solution.

Over at Big Tree Hospitality, a PPP loan had enabled the partners to hire back their entire team. They were scrambling to restore “a little fraction of the business” through takeout, delivery and meal kits, Taylor said, “because if we don’t get things moving, we’re just going to have to lay off our staff again in eight weeks.” The simultaneous “monumental effort” of figuring out safety protocols for a terrifying virus exacerbated the tensions, he said.

One May morning, Pugh and Evans opened the paper to rare welcome news: The city was considering closing several streets to traffic, including their block of Middle Street, to give restaurants extra space to open outdoors. The couple canvassed their neighbors: Nobody knew anything about the proposal, but everybody liked the sound of it.

“This could be one of our saviors,” Smith and his partners instantly grasped. At Ribollita, Kevin Quiet remembered “all the great al fresco (meals) I’d had in Italy. I thought it would work.”

But when Evans and Smith attended a City Council meeting about the closures, they learned, to their distress, that their street was no longer under consideration. The Middle Street restaurateurs quickly worked up their own proposal, then walked the length of the block with city officials, pointing out the possibilities. They were persuasive. By early June, about 180 concrete barriers, each weighing 7,200 pounds and paid for through COVID grants from the state, had reduced Middle Street to one lane of traffic and opened it to on-street patio dining.

Restaurateurs used state COVID grants to help pay for setting up about 180 concrete barriers to close off a lane of Middle Street for on-street patio dining. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Now, after shutdowns of some 2½ months, it was a race to get ready. Restaurants hastened to buy picnic tables, umbrellas and tents (the last only available, Pugh noted, because so many weddings had been canceled). She had been keeping an eye on Craig’s List and had narrowed Duckfat’s table options to a dozen local custom builders. But in the 10 days she’d mulled over her choices, bargaining for the perfect tables, others had snapped them up.

“As I’m dragging my feet,” Pugh said, “the dozen are dropping off like flies. All of a sudden it was ‘I need a goddamn picnic table!’ ”

She managed, somehow, to secure her “dream guy,” a fellow from Wells able to make custom picnic tables quickly. Relieved, she cautiously shared his name, first with Deuben at East Ender, then with Big Tree and Ribollita. In the end, he delivered four dozen picnic tables to Middle Street, in the nick of time.

Deuben had been exploring indoor dining. “We have the space – two floors. It’s ridiculous to pay for all that space and not use any of it,” he said. He’d even walked through East Ender with the city’s health inspector, explaining how he’d keep diners safe. But the minute he heard on-street patios were a go, he dropped his indoor plans.

At Ribollita, Kevin Quiet was readying to reopen with some unconventional staffing. His older son, Connor, a high school senior in search of a summer job, agreed to wash dishes. Quiet next recruited his wife, Lisa, a school secretary, to host, and son Mason, a sophomore, to make salads. With Kevin Quiet doing all the cooking, the family would run Ribollita themselves.

This operating decision meant paring down the menu. The chicken saltimbocca, for instance – normally made to order and requiring three pans – had to go. So did the Tuscan fish stew, or cacciucco, “one of my favorite things to make,” Quiet said. He reduced Ribollita’s hours, opening for dinner, takeout or on the patio on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. “That’s physically all I could. It allowed me to keep it under control” – he paused – “control-ish.”

Gov. Mills had cleared Portland restaurants to open for outdoor dining on June 1. But bars had to wait until July 1, and even that date was not a sure thing. Minervino was tired of waiting. His son, Tom, at the time a partner in the bar, applied to change Tomaso’s license from bar to Class A restaurant, which would allow them to open when restaurants did. At the same time, the adjacent drive-up Bangor Savings Bank closed off an entrance to give Tomaso’s space for picnic tables. (Tom Minervino and his sister Meg would soon pull out of the partnership with their father and uncle. “It had always worked out that my sister and I were on one page, my dad and uncle on another,” Tom Minervino said. The four sat down for an amicable meeting and decided one generation would buy the other out.)

Early June had arrived. After a brutal spring, the restaurants of this Middle Street neighborhood were ready to serve.

SLOW START

Their timing was ill-fated. That week, Black Lives Matter protests got underway around the world, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The restaurants on Middle Street sit directly across Franklin Street from the city’s police headquarters, “ground zero for a lot of it,” Smith said.

Apprehensive about safety – “It looked like anything could happen,” Evans said – and supportive of employees who wanted to join the marches, the Middle Street restaurants curtailed or delayed takeout, delivery and sit-down service for the roughly five days of protests. “We didn’t want to take attention away from what they are doing,” Bendle said. “We wanted to have respect.”

Also ill-fated, the early June release of Wiley, Taylor and Smith’s first cookbook, “Eventide: Recipes for Clambakes, Oysters, Lobster Rolls, and More From a Modern Maine Seafood Shack.” They’d hoped to celebrate with a book tour, guest-chef gigs, and dinners in Boston and Maine. “No such luck,” Wiley said. He’s aware that the loss of book sales and canceled release party plans pale in comparison to the pandemic’s very real tragedies. Still, he said, it was “a bummer.”

By the second week of June, the BLM protests had quieted down, and Middle Street patios opened for business.

It didn’t come.

“It was desolate in town for what June usually would be,” Pugh said. State restrictions on tourists – most required to either have a recent negative coronavirus test or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival – combined with high COVID anxiety, were keeping them away. June melted into July with no improvement.

On July 3, traditionally the start of Maine’s peak tourism season, Gov. Mills loosened restrictions on some visitors. But at Big Tree Hospitality, the partners were facing another crisis. A day earlier, an employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

“That was one of those moments when it was just, ‘Throw the hands up. Let’s just walk away right now,’ ” Taylor said.

They resisted the impulse. With heavy hearts, they closed the just-opened Honey Paw and Eventide (they’d closed Hugo’s, their poshest restaurant, indefinitely when the pandemic began). It was the first of several COVID-related closures they would face over the year. (Everybody has recovered.) For six days, the staff cleaned, tested and reviewed coronavirus protocols. “It was really, really challenging,” Wiley said. “But our staff was just such troupers.”

As July slipped away, business on Middle Street remained slow, “disappointing,” Pugh characterized it. Would even high summer bring no relief?

At last, August ushered in a turnaround. Suddenly, the tourists arrived, and good luck scoring an outdoor table at Duckfat or Eventide without an hourslong wait. Business held steady into fall, helped by the state’s mid-September decision to loosen restrictions on visitors from neighboring Massachusetts.

Server Anna Ayotte brings food to a table under the tent at Duckfat in October 2020. Tents, propane heaters and other equipment, much purchased with the help of federal and state financial aid, helped restaurants extend their outdoor dining seasons. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

All in all, Taylor said, “We were able to salvage something of a summer in Portland.”

Note the qualifier. “The volumes of sales were way down from previous years,” he said, a comment other restaurateurs echoed. He estimated that Eventide revenue was down 35 percent from July to October, Honey Paw 25 percent for the same period. “But it was way better than we expected.”

If revenues were now higher, so were expenses. With social distancing, picnic tables that could seat six sat just two or three. Bargoers normally packed elbow to elbow on summer Friday nights inside Tomaso’s looked more like scattered pool balls after a break shot. Unusual expenses piled up – for tent rentals, sanitizer, masks, gloves, signs explaining coronavirus policies, takeout containers and picnic tables. In a pandemic year, you didn’t bargain for the best deal, either. You took what you could get.

And with winter on the horizon, new expenses for outdoor dining – heat lamps, propane, heated seats – loomed. Also looming, a citizens referendum that, if passed by Portland voters on Nov. 3, would establish the highest minimum wage in the nation.

GETTING THROUGH WINTER 

In late October, as the days grew shorter and colder, Deuben decided to take down his tent. He’d been using heat lamps and propane (the tab for the latter came to some $150 a week), but “I started to think this is stupid,” he said. The time had come, he felt, to reopen the capacious East Ender for dining inside, where he had installed a hospital-grade air-filtration system. November, Deuben determined, would be his litmus test, indicating whether his indoor dining plan could succeed.

Brendan Dolan and Emma Kipp share a laugh behind the Middle Street barrier and under a heater in the outdoor seating area at Tomaso’s Canteen in November 2020. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“November was horrifying,” he said.

Around the corner at Tomaso’s, Minervino said, business “dropped off a cliff.” Over at Duckfat, early December was the indicator. “It was like a light switch had been turned off,” Pugh said. The state’s 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars, which took effect the week before Thanksgiving, didn’t help.

The precipitous drop in customers coincided, not by accident, with a precipitous rise in COVID cases. On Nov. 22, new daily cases in Maine topped 200 for the seventh time in two weeks “as hospitalizations set a new record,” the Portland Press Herald reported grimly. Just a few weeks earlier, Portland voters approved “hazard pay,” hiking minimum wage for frontline workers during an emergency to $18 an hour. For businesses already on life support, it was another blow.

“In terms of civic duty, I totally understand the motivation behind it,” Wiley said. “My sympathies are totally with the people – I’m one of them – who, if you want to keep your livelihood, you have to expose yourself to the COVID virus.” At the same time, “business friendly?” he asked rhetorically. “Absolutely not.” (The referendum has been tied up in court for months, with both sides appealing the latest decision.)

At East Ender, the COVID-19 news hit close to home. A part-time employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Deuben closed the restaurant for two weeks, testing staff, cleaning and waking up at 4 a.m., tense with worry. He’d hoped to keep East Ender going through December, but “it looked worse and worse.” For the umpteenth time, he switched direction, shutting down for eat-in service. Everyone on staff “was making a decision to put themselves at risk,” he said. “I can’t ask these people to do this for not much business – nor can I afford to.”

East Ender owner Karl Deuben, like many other restaurant owners in Portland, struggled with how to restructure the business in order to survive. Deuben, who opened the restaurant in 2015 with business partner Bill Leavy, became the sole owner at the start of the pandemic after Leavy’s planned departure. Derek Davis Buy this Photo

Now that the restaurant was closed, Deuben scheduled a series of weekly collaborative takeout pop-ups. Combined with grant money from the state, he hoped they’d help him stagger a new round of layoffs, allow him to offer his staff severance pay, and use up his food and drink supplies (they did). Then, in late December, when federal pandemic unemployment measures were extended, his anxieties about his employees’ welfare eased to some degree. After a year of often 90-hour workweeks, he was looking forward to figuring out how to make East Ender’s next iteration, whatever it would be, “purposeful and intentional.”

“If we’re going to keep pivoting,” Deuben said, “eventually we are going to have to stop grasping at straws.”

Down the block at Big Tree Hospitality, Wiley, Taylor and Smith were confronted with a similar set of no-win choices.

“The whole how-long-to-stay-open-in-the-winter was an incredibly fraught decision,” Wiley said, “much like every other decision of 2020. I felt like I was spending my days reading the tea leaves: How is (then Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell feeling? How is this going to break? Do we have any chance that there might be some more relief coming?”

They wrestled with small questions, too: If a server gets the sniffles – it was December in Maine after all – would patio customers assume the worst? Could the rented tents take any more winter? The snowblower Wiley had hauled in from home to clear snow from the restaurants’ patio had already conked out.

“We’re losing tons and tons of money in November and December,” Taylor said, “but we are just hoping to get through until that next round of stimulus comes through to allow us to keep our staff through the winter.”

On Jan. 22, two days after President Biden was inaugurated, the loan came through. Big Tree’s staff, down to some 95 nonseasonal employees who’d all been hired back in the spring, were spared more layoffs. The partners had already closed outdoor patio dining. For now, takeout and delivery could continue, through Eventide, Honey Paw and a new ghost kitchen, XO Burger & Wings, operating within Hugo’s.

The entire year, Wiley said in late February as he recounted it month by grueling month, has “felt like one step forward, two steps backward.”

READY AND WAITING

In March, Gov. Mills announced her “Moving Maine Forward” plan, which increased restaurant capacity limits and, beginning in May, will loosen restrictions on tourists. At about the same time, Portland extended outdoor dining on Middle Street through this November (if the city’s emergency proclamation is still in force).

This year, Middle Street is ready. There will be no race to secure picnic tables and no need to prove traffic can be rerouted. Vaccinations are picking up, and restaurant staff and customers are well-versed in safe pandemic behavior. Spring, and hope, are in the air.

In early April, Duckfat, Eventide and Honey Paw reopened outside. Tomaso’s has been up and running for business all winter. At Ribollita, Kevin Quiet, who kept takeout going through the winter, liked the idea of opening to diners at Easter, “starting anew and all that,” he said, but the holiday came and went. He’s now set his sights on opening outside for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start to Maine’s summer tourism season, and inside gradually after that, once his staff is vaccinated; he’ll be relying on his family again, but hiring staff, too.

At East Ender, Deuben wrapped up a successful season of pop-ups and reopened for dining – indoors and out – on April 7. At the end of a long interview in February, Deuben ticked off by name his fellow restaurateurs and restaurants on Middle Street. “It’s a pretty distinguished food street. I really feel fortunate to be in this company.”

Pugh, too, found comfort in community, on her own block and all around town.

“No one was flying solo through this,” she said. “There is a lot of camaraderie between different restaurants, a genuine desire for people to survive and get through. All of us together trying to be creative and share in some of this load is really what set Portland apart.”

Read Part 1: Threatened by coronavirus, Portland’s restaurants turn the tables.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.