Owner René Emilio Peña outside Cabana on Middle Street, a Latin American cocktail bar and restaurant that is expected to open Friday. Photo courtesy of Cabana

Cabana, a Latin American cocktail bar and restaurant, is slated to open Friday on Middle Street in Portland in the space formerly occupied by Piccolo.

Located at 111 Middle St., Cabana will have about 20 seats, said owner René Emilio Peña.

Dinner will feature a shareable tapas menu. Dishes on a draft menu ranged in price from $7 to $18, and included items like queso fundido, pork and beef albondigas, ceviche, seasonal tostones and Cubano sliders.

The space has been undergoing renovations for the last six months, including interior design work “to make it a little more modern and up-to-date,” said Peña, who also owns La Bodega Latina on Congress Street.

Cabana will be open Friday through Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations, Peña said.



After a two-year hiatus forced in part by the pandemic, the popular Old Port Irish bar and restaurant Bull Feeney’s reopened last week.

The Fore Street pub had closed in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic, then reopened that August for just three weeks before closing again until last week.

“The reopening in 2020 didn’t go well, and so we lost almost all of our employees,” said owner Doug Fuss, noting that he was able to hire staff to reopen this month “relatively quickly.”

Over the last two years, Fuss has had to negotiate a lease extension, secure funding and make major renovations to the venue before reopening. “The building was flooding during every storm for a year, and that caused significant damage inside the building,” he said.

Bull Feeney’s is now open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. until midnight and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. “We’re open for limited hours right now. We decided to walk before we run,” Fuss said, adding that he expects to expand operating hours in the future.



Readers of Boston.com last week named the legendary Red’s Eats in Wiscasset their favorite spot in New England for a lobster roll.

The famous lobster roll from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset was named the best in New England by readers of Boston.com last week. Photo courtesy of Red’s Eats

The same ranking, which named the readers’ top five lobster rolls in the region, spotlighted another Maine fave, Day’s Crabmeat & Lobster in Yarmouth, which pulled in 4 percent of the total vote to earn third place.

Red’s took 8 percent of the total vote, according to the site. The story describes how Red’s “rolls are piled high with fresh meat, with a whole, split tail to top it off. They come with a side of warm butter and mayonnaise, and you can taste the saltwater on the lobster.”

Red’s and Day’s rose above nearly 160 lobster rolls around New England that Boston.com readers had nominated.


Capitalizing on the nationwide trend of bars that sell books, owners of a new cafe and bar called Novel expect to open on Congress Street in Portland this winter.


Partners Nate Donovan and Joshua Ames hope to open their two-floor venue at 643 Congress St. by January. They said the book bar and cafe will be the first of its kind in Portland.

“We figured it’d be a good opportunity,” Donovan said. “Also, we think that reading – actually holding on to books and reading – is coming back.”

“We’re sourcing books and will have them in our stacks. We’ll have them for sale, and people will be more than welcome to read them while they’re there,” Ames said. “We’re trying to be realistic in our expectations that the book retail probably isn’t going to be a significant source of income for us.”

Donovan said they will roast their own coffee beans, adding that they developed a partnership with a coffee grower in Guatemala who will provide Novel with green coffee beans. Novel also will serve beer, wine and cocktails in the afternoons and evenings.

The first floor of Novel, site of the main book bar, is about 2,000 square feet, the owners said. A lower level of about 1,000 square feet will be used as an event space.

The owners said Novel also will have some outdoor seating. They estimate the space can accommodate as many as 200 customers, though the official capacity has yet to be determined.


The location formerly housed Bomb Diggity Arts, a community support program serving artists with intellectual disabilities.


Bar Futo, the forthcoming Japanese-inspired bar and grill in Portland from the team behind Mr. Tuna and Crispy Gai, is holding a pop-up preview event at Terlingua next week.

Bar Futo grills its skewers over prized binchotan charcoal. Photo courtesy of Bar Futo

Slated for Tuesday from 5-9 p.m., the event is a full takeover of Terlingua on Washington Avenue, which will be closed for the evening. The pop-up will give customers a sneak peak at Bar Futo’s binchotan-fired skewers, cocktails and their extensive sake program.

Originally planned to open this summer, Bar Futo, at 425 Fore St., is now on track to launch this fall, a project spokesperson said.

Bar Futo is the latest brand from the Mr. Tuna and Crispy Gai team, chef-partner Jordan Rubin and partner Marisa Lewiecki. Chef de cuisine Ian Driscoll (formerly of Eventide Oyster Co. and Central Provisions) will head the Bar Futo kitchen.


Reservations aren’t required for the one-night pop-up event, but organizers ask interested parties to RSVP online.


The monthly “Lunch and Learn” series from the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries continues this week with an online discussion on prepping and cooking clams.

Fishermen and veteran clam diggers Leroy Weed of Stonington and Herbie Carter of Deer Isle will lead the one-hour webinar, slated for Friday at 12:30 p.m. Weed and Carter held a talk last year on digging for clams as part of the same series.

In this session, the duo will explain the best ways to purge, shuck, prep and cook clams. Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries Executive Director Mike Thalhauser will join them in the webinar kitchen to talk about how clams are managed in Maine and the work he and his organization do to help oversee the species.

Preregister online for the free event.

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