After their plans to move to Larrabee Road fell through this winter, Brea Lu Cafe has now signed a lease on a property on Westbrook’s Main Street where they’ll relocate from Cumberland Street, also in Westbrook, early this summer.

Brea Lu owner Christian DeLuca said his restaurant will be moving to 511 Main St., a 7,800-square-foot space last occupied by rent-to-own store Full House Sales & Lease. The new site gives the restaurant nearly four times as much space as its current home at 9 Cumberland St.

Brea Lu Cafe, in Westbrook, shown in January 2022, is moving from its Cumberland Street location to Main Street in June. Chance Viles / American Journal

“My kitchen there will be bigger than this whole place,” said DeLuca, estimating that the Cumberland Street location is less than 2,000 square feet, with 44 seats.

On Main Street, Brea Lu will be able to seat up to 100 customers, which will particularly help the restaurant on weekends, when the wait for a table can be an hour or more, DeLuca said. The extra space will also allow Brea Lu to offer a retail area for grab-and-go meals, and eventually a bakery section inside as well.

DeLuca said the new location will also feature a full bar, a private dining area to accommodate larger groups and a new line of espresso beverages. He added that he plans to use the space to host events and pop-ups in the evenings, and extend Brea Lu’s closing time from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to put more emphasis on their lunch offerings.

Brea Lu Cafe’s last day of business on Cumberland Street is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, DeLuca said, while he expects the new location will be up and running sometime in June.


“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to us (as a restaurant),” DeLuca said of the planned move to Main Street. “It’s changing everything for us. I think we’re going to finally be the restaurant we want to be.”


The interior of the newly renovated Maps bar, scheduled to reopen for business Thursday. Courtesy of Maps

The Market Street basement bar Maps plans to reopen Thursday, March 30, after several months of renovations.

Maps had closed Jan. 1 for the renovation project. Owner Connor Montello said work included adding a second bathroom, making improvements to the kitchen and bar, and replacing tables.

Montello said workers also pushed back a rear wall about 16 feet, adding 200 square feet of floor space. The larger floor plan will allow Maps to accommodate 42 customers, 10 more seats than before the renovations.

Maps hours after reopening will be 4 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Montello said he also expects to open on Sundays in the near future, adding that later in the season Maps may open on Mondays as well.



Whole animal butcher shop Farmers Gate Market moved this month from Wales to Buckley Farms in Leeds, where its new owners hope to expand its product line and their network of farmer suppliers.

Farmers Gate Market sells only Maine-raised meats: 100 percent grass-fed beef and pasture-based lamb, pork and poultry. Last August, Steve and Seren Sinisi of Old Crow Ranch in Durham teamed with Aaron and Rebecca Buckley of Buckley Farms in Leeds to buy Farmers Gate Market from previous owner Ben Slayton, who was not a farmer.

“We purchased Farmers Gate Market so it would be farmer-owned,” Steve Sinisi explained. At the beginning of March, the ownership team relocated the market to Leeds.

The new ownership team has also opened another Farmers Gate Market location in Durham at the Sinisi’s Old Crow Ranch.

The Sinisis and Buckleys had previously been the primary farmers producing meat for Farmers Gate at its Wales location. Now, Sinisi said, they’ve developed a network of more than a dozen farmers to supply meats for the market, along with a handful of small businesses that provide baked goods, jams and jellies, maple syrup and even art work for sale.


“We’re trying to fill the shelves and the walls,” Sinisi said.


In collaboration with their Diamond Street neighbors, Three of Strong Spirits, Coffee By Design has launched a spirit barrel-aged coffee named for legendary 18th century Portland tavern owner Alice Greele.

The new product, Dame Alice Greele, is the first in Coffee By Design’s “Spirits Alive” series of barrel-aged coffees, a technique that has become popular in recent years among coffee makers nationwide because the former booze barrels lend the coffee beans alluring fragrances and flavors. Three of Strong provided gin barrels in which Coffee By Design aged Honduras Copan Iris Suyapa Alvarado beans for three months.

The barrel-aging process produced coffee with notes of sugar cane, gin botanicals and fig. Before you even brew the coffee, simply sniffing the raw beans produces a lovely, lightly boozy aroma.

According to Revolutionary War lore, Alice Greele bravely stood her ground at Greele’s Tavern – which was located near Eastern Cemetery at the corner of Congress and Hampshire streets, the current site of Portland Food Co-op – during the 1775 bombing of Portland. “She protected the Tavern when many fled, and famously scooped up a hot cannon ball on her doorstep with an iron frying pan to toss it aside,” a release from Coffee By Design stated.

Coffee By Design’s “Spirits Alive” series is intended to celebrate Portland’s history while raising awareness of the Eastern Cemetery. Dame Alice Greele is listed on the Coffee By Design website for $35/12 oz.

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