The bar at The Danforth, a craft cocktail bar and neighborhood restaurant that opened last week in Portland’s West End. Nicole Wolf photo

After months of excited buzz, The Danforth, a new neighborhood restaurant and craft cocktail bar in Portland’s West End, opened Friday.

Located at 211 Danforth St., in the space previously occupied by Little Giant, The Danforth is the latest offering from Gin & Luck, parent company of spirit world heavyweight Death & Co., which has craft cocktail bars in Manhattan, Los Angeles and Denver.

Devon Tarby, Gin & Luck vice president of food and beverage, said The Danforth’s ownership team, including Gin & Luck partner Alex Day of Portland, tried to make the Danforth Street location different from their other properties.

“We wanted this to be more neighborhood-y and food-focused, the kind of place we’d like to hang out ourselves,” Tarby said at a soft opening for The Danforth last week. “The Danforth food is honest, with really good ingredients that feel comforting and satisfying – simple things, but done really well. We want to lean into this simplicity and show what good ingredients on the plate and in the glass can do.”

“My biggest goal with this is to provide something for the community,” Day said. “A place where people can feel comfortable going regularly, whether it’s for a special occasion, date night or a casual weeknight drink, and everything in between.”

The menu includes a variety of shared plates like fluke crudo with strawberries, fennel and lemon ($16), pigs in a blanket featuring fennel sausage wrapped in puff pastry and served with spicy mustard ($10), as well as mains like half chicken in smoked butter pan sauce ($36), sauteed mushrooms with crispy polenta ($29) and dry-aged ribeye with blistered tomatoes ($54).


Chef Michael Boomhower heads up The Danforth’s kitchen. Originally from Stowe, Vermont, Boomhower previously worked at Central Provisions.

Death & Co. bars are known for their expertly crafted drinks. The Danforth features 10 specialty cocktails on its current menu ($14-$16), along with draft and bottled beers and ciders and wines by the glass and bottle. The beverage program was curated by general manager Lucy Comaskey and is overseen by head bartender Carlo Caroscio, who previously tended bar at Backbar in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The interior can seat about 75 people, including 14 at the bar. Comaskey said an additional 30 seats will be available on The Danforth’s back patio starting in August.

The Danforth is open from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. Wednesday through Monday and is taking reservations.


Bread & Olive, a new eatery featuring fresh-baked breads, small plates and quality wine, is on track to open in mid-August on Congress Street in the Saint John Valley neighborhood, according to owner Sarah Martin.


Martin, who also owns Bar of Chocolate on Wharf Street, said she hopes to be able to open by the second week of August, but is still waiting on deliveries of equipment and small wares. The space, which formerly housed The 5 Spot, has been fully renovated and will have about 35 seats plus some additional outside table seating later this summer.

Bread and Olive on Congress Street. The small-plates eatery is expected to open mid-August. Photo courtesy of Bread & Olive

“We want it to be a neighborhood gathering spot, like all the other great places in that area, like Pizza Villa, Margaritas and Salvage BBQ,” Martin said. “We’re just trying to add to what’s already there. We’re very fond of our little neighborhood.”

Martin said she decided to open Bread & Olive because she saw an unfilled niche in Saint John Valley. “I couldn’t get a serious glass of wine and a cheese plate anywhere around there,” she said. “And usually, I find that when you’re wanting something, probably somebody else wants the same thing, too.”

Martin will bake the venue’s sourdough bread, baguettes and flatbreads. The Bread & Olive menu offers cheese and charcuterie boards for sharing, along with soups, salads, flatbread pizza, panini and grilled cheese sandwiches. The menu will also include daily specials like quiche, and dishes like ceviche and seared scallops to accommodate gluten-free requests.

Martin said she and her husband, Tim, who will run the kitchen, haven’t set the restaurant’s hours yet. But she expects Bread & Olive will be open four days a week to start until they can hire enough staff to open more days.



Portland’s charming German restaurant, Schulte and Herr on Cumberland Avenue, announced on its Facebook page Thursday that it was reopening its dining room for indoor seating after serving takeout orders only since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“Serving only takeout had its challenges, but we made it through. But it was a little bit boring just passing bags to customers,” said co-owner Steffy Davin.

She said ownership had recently been weighing the pros and cons of reopening its indoor seating. Waning COVID cases and the proliferation of Maine restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms to customers this season convinced them to “take the plunge and just do it,” Davin said.

Schulte and Herr ceased its lunch service during the pandemic, and will continue to be open for dinner only from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 5-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Davin said masks are not required for customers in the dining room, which seats about 18 people. She added that she’s looking forward to serving guests their food at tables again.

“It’s much nicer to eat your schnitzel while it’s hot on a plate, than to get it lukewarm out of a box,” she laughed.



Time & Tide Coffee Roaster in Biddeford is hosting a discussion Friday, Aug. 5, with Francois Tuyishime of Yego Coffee in Boston.

Tuyishime is a Rwandan native whose family has been in the coffee business for four generations. He opened Yego in 2019 with the aim of paying his growers fair prices directly, without an intermediary broker.

Time & Tide co-owner Jon Phillips said he will talk with Tuyishime about growing coffee in Rwanda, the challenges of importing coffee during a pandemic, and more.

The free discussion begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Time & Tide Coffee Roaster site in the Pepperell Mill complex at 10 Westpoint Lane, Suite 209.


A new “Breakfast Across America” series of collectible Nutella jars feature the Portland Head Light. Photo courtesy of Nutella

Cape Elizabeth’s iconic Portland Head Light is pictured on new limited-edition “Breakfast Across America” jars from Nutella, the internationally popular chocolate hazelnut spread.

The new collection of picturesque jars from Nutella features 15 other locations, including Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley and Niagara Falls, along with corresponding recipes to popular breakfast dishes in each place. The company’s featured recipe for the Portland jar is Blueberry Pancakes with Nutella.

The limited edition jars are available for purchase at supermarkets and specialty stores in 13- and 26.5-ounce sizes for $4.29 and $7.99, respectively.

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