A glimpse of the dining room and hand-painted fern mural at Five Fifty-Five North, the new restaurant opening inside The Federal boutique hotel in Brunswick by the owners of the former Five Fifty-Five in Portland. Photo courtesy of Steve and Michelle Corry

One of Portland’s best-known former restaurants, Five Fifty-Five, will enjoy a second life as the owners open a continuation of the original concept this spring inside a 30-room boutique hotel in Brunswick.

The new restaurant, named Five Fifty-Five North, is to open in The Federal at 10 Water St. in Brunswick, formerly the Captain Daniel Stone Inn. Restaurant co-owners Michelle and Steve Corry hope to open by the end of April.

The Brunswick restaurant will have seating for 140, including a private dining room and a large, horseshoe-shaped bar, a substantial increase in capacity from Five Fifty-Five in Portland, which seated about 85, Michelle Corry said. “The space is just gorgeous,” she said, noting that it includes a hand-painted mural of ferns indigenous to the area.

The Corrys have hired chef Michael Greenstreet of Bath, formerly of David’s Restaurant in Portland, to run the kitchen. The menu will feature classics from the former Five Fifty-Five, including pepper-seared scallops, grilled Caesar salad and truffled lobster mac and cheese, along with new dishes that reflect the restaurant’s emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients.

“It’s New England food with a bit of a modern twist,” Corry said. She and her husband also own the restaurant Petit Jacqueline in Portland.

The original Five Fifty-Five closed in April 2020. “We had teenage sons, and found it very difficult not to spend nights and weekends with them,” Michelle Corry said. “We wanted to focus more on family.”


But even as they laid the restaurant they ran for 17 years to rest, the owners knew an eventual resurrection was a possibility. Corry told the Press Herald in 2020 that she and her husband were considering reopening Five Fifty-Five in a new location in the future. “We want to keep our options open,” she said.

We would eat this in a box (but not with a fox)

Brunswick’s Bay Bowls is to open its second location on Washington Avenue in Portland in early April, according to owners Sal and Soraia Matari.

The new Bay Bowls is slated to open April 8 at 93 Washington Ave. in one of The Black Box’s five 320-square-foot shipping containers, which were repurposed to serve as small retail spaces.

“We’re very excited by it. We think there’s nothing around there like it,” Sal Matari said. Bay Bowls sells fruit smoothies and fruit-and-granola bowls that include nutrient-dense fruits like acai berries and pitaya, also known as dragonfruit. Matari said his shop uses whole acai instead of frozen acai puree in its bowls, for better flavor and texture.

Bay Bowls opened in January 2020. “It was a tough time to open, but the reception from the community has been outstanding,” Matari said.


Matari said he’ll be hiring up to 15 staffers for Bay Bowls’ Portland location in the coming weeks. The Washington Avenue store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Ramona’s and Tandem invite you inside

As the COVID threat continues to ebb in Maine, two popular Portland eateries have announced they will provide indoor seating for customers starting Wednesday.

Washington Avenue sandwich spot Ramona’s will offer customers indoor seating for the first time since the store opened in June 2020.

The indoor dining space at Ramona’s sandwich shop in Portland, which is allowing customers inside for dine-in service for the first time since opening in June 2020. Photo by Erin Little

“This is our dining room’s debut. It feels like the right time. Nobody has actually been inside,” said co-owner Chad Conley. Ramona’s has been open only for takeout service throughout the pandemic. Its tiny dining room can host just nine customers or so.

“We’re lucky that our food is takeout-friendly,” Conley said. “But we hope the indoor seating will generate some extra excitement.


“We put a lot of energy and pride into the interior of the dining room,” Conley added. “We wanted to create something that stood out, and do some things that people in Portland haven’t seen.”

Ramona’s dining area, including seven counter seats, was meant to give customers a “vintage Philly” vibe to match the shop’s traditional Philly-style hoagies, according to interior designer Carrie Dessertine, owner of Mey & Co., who styled the space. “We went a little old school,” Dessertine said.

Meanwhile, at 742 Congress St., Tandem Coffee + Bakery welcomes its customers back inside for the first time since March 2020.

“There won’t be a ton of seating, but people can now come inside to order. We’re dipping our toes,” said Tandem co-owner Kathleen Pratt, calling the move “phase one” of returning the store to its pre-pandemic operational model. Tandem has had window service during the pandemic for to-go orders or customers sitting outside.

Inside Tandem, a standing bar can accommodate eight people, with bench seating holding another six or so customers, Pratt said. Tandem’s outdoor seating will remain, she said.

Timber becomes bourbon bar

Portland’s Timber Steakhouse, 106 Exchange St., closed March 26 for renovations and a concept change, with plans to reopen April 5 as Timber Bourbon Bar & Lounge.

The dining room of the eight-year-old Timber will be redesigned as a “cozy and comfy lounge with cushy chairs, couches, rugs and cocktail tables” and an “intimate” vibe, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. Timber’s new menu will offer appetizers, meat and cheese boards, pâté and caviar.

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