Natalie DiBenedetto, aka Figgy of Figgy’s Takeout, has sold her building to Tom Yordprom, owner of Yordprom Coffee Co., who was the tenant in the building at 722 Congress St. in Portland.

DiBenedetto, a Chopped champion, served her last portion of fried chicken at the end of July. I reached out to Tom Yordprom to find out what his plans are for the building – an expanded coffee shop? A new tenant? – but did not hear back from him by deadline.

Bard branches out

The takeout windows at the original Bard Coffee, pictured here in June 2020, were added during the pandemic. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Bob Garver, owner of Bard Coffee at 185 Middle St. in Portland, plans to open a second location in the new Portland Foreside waterfront development.

Garver said the new location will be a lot like the existing coffee shop – it will even have its own walk-up window – but it will be larger, offer more food, and expand the selection of teas. The new shop will face Thames Street, he said.

Garver said he had been thinking about a new location for some time now but was waiting for just the right spot.


“We’re excited for that area,” he said. “Obviously there are lots of areas where development can displace people and become very problematic. This feels very good to us because this was an area that had really been abandoned.”

Construction is slated to begin in March, he said, and he hopes to open the shop next summer.

Japan by way of Scarborough

Japanese restaurant Oishi, located at 285 Route 1 in Scarborough, has opened.

Oishi had its grand opening Sunday and is offering 10 percent off through Saturday to celebrate its first week in business. The menu includes sushi, hibachi dinners and noodle dishes.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.


Bayside American Cafe extends brunch

Thanks to finding a few new staffers, Bayside American Cafe at 98 Portland St. in Portland is extending its weekday brunch hours from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. The cafe is currently closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but may open on Tuesdays as soon as next week. Follow the cafe on social media for updates.

Helm takes a break

Helm Oyster Bar & Bistro is taking a fall break through Oct. 5. The restaurant, at 60 Thames St. in Portland, will be back to its normal schedule Oct. 6.

Goods from the Woods

Oxbow Brewing Co. has scheduled its 10th annual Goods from the Woods event for noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 9.


The event – which features music and art as well as lots of beer – will be held rain or shine at Oxbow’s Farmhouse Brewery in Newcastle, 274 Jones Woods Road, a beautiful spot for drinking beer outdoors. Tickets cost $75 and include three beers, an Oxbow glass, and two bottles of beer to take home. Designated driver tickets cost $20 and include a food voucher.

To buy tickets, go to

We bet even Groucho would join this club

Ada’s Pasta, at 642 Congress St. in Portland, is launching an 11-week pasta club selling recipe kits that include fresh pasta, sauces and garnishes.

The program starts Oct. 6 and runs through Dec. 15. The first pasta box will contain spaghetti, pomodoro sauce and grated parmesan. Each box contains two servings and costs $30, with the option to add wine. The food can be picked up at Ada’s or delivered through CarHop.

Ada’s Kitchen in Rockland is also a part of the program.


To see the full menu or sign up for either location, go to

David Coggins, author of “The Optimist,” will be at Portland Hunt + Alpine Sunday. © Michael Williams

Go fish

David Coggins, author of “The Optimist: A Case for the Fly Fishing Life,” (Simon & Schuster, $26) will hold a book signing and cocktail hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, 75 Market St., Portland. The book shop Print will be selling copies of “The Optimist.”

The book includes a chapter that focuses on Maine, in which Coggins goes fly fishing at the Libby Camps in Ashland with Andrew Volk, co-owner of Hunt + Alpine.

Church chicken

Summer visitor Robert Peppin, who attends the St. Mary Church of Holy Spirit Parish in Wells, is the winner of the 2021 St. Hildegard Food Pantry Recipe Challenge. His winning recipe was “Church Chicken.”

The parish will receive a $1,000 check to support its community food pantry.

Find the winning recipe on the Catholic Charities Maine Facebook page, or email

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