The owner of the former Cafe Miranda in Rockland, shown last July, will launch a new outdoor hot dog and beverage cart business there on weekends this summer. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

The owner of the former Cafe Miranda in Rockland announced Tuesday his plans to operate hot dog and beverage carts on the property this summer.

Kerry Altiero, chef and proprietor of the former Café Miranda and owner of the café property at 15 Oak St., said he will run the two carts Friday through Sunday from Memorial Day until Indigenous Peoples Day in October.

Altiero explained that he bought a hot dog cart, which he has named The Excellent Dog – in honor of his own late dog, Miloh. He aims to serve “interesting hot dogs of character” from the cart, including some topped with slaw or kimchi, Chicago-style dogs and other regional kinds of franks and sausages.

On Sundays, The Excellent Dog will feature “brunch dogs” with toppings like scrambled eggs.

The Vespa cart, which was previously a gelato cart for the former Bella Vespa of Cumberland, will be used to sell beer, wine, cocktails, soda and coffee drinks.

“They’ll be parked out front with umbrellas,” Altiero said of the carts. “It’s going to be so European looking – the brick patio, the street will be closed on Oak Street.”


Pinched by the labor shortage, the short-staffed Café Miranda was forced to close last June after 29 years. Altiero posted a message on the café’s Facebook page Tuesday that read simply, “We’re back! News is coming soon.”

But Altiero explained that he’s not reopening the café, at least not to operate as a full-time restaurant.

“At this point, I’m not going to be doing a traditional Café Miranda, reopening just like we were,” Altiero said. “That was a model that we exercised for 29 years and it was the best.”

Altiero has partly refurbished the property, including adding a new patio canopy, and said he will rent the space out for events and parties.

Still, Café Miranda fans can take heart: Altiero also plans to host some special dinners in the venue on a semi-regular basis, including a six-course dinner on June 9 – what would be the café’s 30th anniversary – with limited seating for 20, and tickets for $250.

“We’re coming back, on a limited basis,” Altiero said.



Portland restaurateur Josh Miranda has taken over the former Bull Feeney’s in Old Port with plans to open a new pub and restaurant called The Henry in the next few months.

Miranda and his company, The Miranda Group, which owns Blyth & Burrows, Via Vecchia and the recently opened Papi, said the opportunity to open a new venue in the massive, storied 375 Fore St. space was too alluring to resist.

“It’s such an iconic location that I know in a year from now I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t do this,” Miranda said. “The space is too special. It’s got such character, and location, location, location.”

The 9,000-square-foot, two-story venue has 250 seats and a total capacity of 450 people. “It’s a big project. It’s going to take a whole army of dedicated people to get this place going,” Miranda said, noting that he expects to have a staff of about 40 for The Henry when it opens in early summer.

The Henry, named for Portland’s own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, will be an “American public house and tavern” serving elevated pub food, Maine classics and a raw bar, Miranda said. He also plans for the venue to feature live music as well as weekend brunches.


Miranda won’t be doing major renovations on the site. “There are too many great qualities about that place that I don’t want to mess with. We’re just going to clean it up a little bit. We want to keep the soul intact,” he said.

Until Bull Feeney’s closed in March, the Fore Street location had hosted the tavern since 2002. Decades earlier, it was the home of the Seamen’s Club restaurant, where Miranda recalls going with his father for ham sandwiches and clam chowder.

“I take being the steward of this space seriously. Being local, I have the best intentions of honoring the history of this location,” Miranda said. “I don’t want to change too much because it’s almost perfect as is. It just needs a little bit of love.”


The owners of the Blue Spoon on Munjoy Hill, who announced this week they’ll be closing the restaurant this month, plan to reopen Blue Spoon closer to their home in Rockport.

In a post on Instagram, owners Liz Koenigsberg and her husband-partner Will Lavey said they plan to close the cozy neighborhood bistro on April 22. Koenigsberg said their five-year lease on the site had ended, and her family had moved to Rockport about two years ago, which led to them to try to relocate the restaurant.


“It’s a small family-owned restaurant, always has been,” Koenigsberg said. “To maintain that name and the quality, we needed to be more active in it. Blue Spoon has been something we’ve taken a lot of pride in, so we want to keep it going.”

Koenigsberg and Lavey, formerly partners in Petit Jacqueline with Michele and Steve Corry and longtime fixtures in Portland’s restaurant scene, have owned the local farm-to-table restaurant since 2018, when they bought Blue Spoon from founder David Iovino.

The couple have rebranded their catering company from Blue Spoon Catering to E. Wales Hospitality since moving to Rockport. Koenigsberg said she doesn’t expect to reopen Blue Spoon on the Midcoast this season, because they’ll be busy with catering, as well as a series of Blue Spoon pop-up dinners through the summer and fall in the Rockport-Camden area.

Koenigsberg said they’ve started looking for potential new locations for the next iteration of Blue Spoon. Meanwhile, she and Lavey intend to build buzz from the pop-ups, to be announced on their social media sites.

“We want to give people a little taste of what’s to come once we find a building up there,” Koenigsberg said.



Public Market House restaurant Pho Huong announced on Instagram that it will close for good at the end of business Friday.

“I’m ready to just take a step back and spend more time with family,” said owner Trinh Le-Tran, who opened Pho Huong in April 2019.

The Vietnamese food stall on the second floor of the Public Market House in Portland had built a loyal following of customers, including many local high school students who ordered lunch there during the school week.

“It’s been very emotional, saying goodbye to my customers,” Le-Tran said. “It’s very bittersweet. I thank everyone who has supported us through the years here, and I’m grateful for the memories and friendships we’ve built.”


Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $250,000 to support regenerative, sustainable and eco-friendly farming operations and education at The Ecology School in Saco.


The donation from Hannaford will boost The Ecology School’s AgroEcology for Resilient Communities (ARC) Project, which provides regenerative agriculture learning opportunities for approximately 3,500 students throughout New England annually.

Hannaford Supermarket is donating $250,000 to The Ecology School in Saco. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

“The Ecology School is redefining agriculture and farming for students throughout New England, and their full-circle approach is the definition of a sustainable system,” said George Parmenter, Hannaford Supermarkets’ brand sustainability lead.

“Teaching kids and adults about ecology through food is something that we’ve been doing at The Ecology School for over 24 years,” said The Ecology School President and CEO Drew Dumsch. “We’re so excited to partner with Hannaford to not only grow more climate-smart food at River Bend Farm but also grow our regenerative food system education programs and increase our community engagement throughout Maine and the Northeast.”

Students at The Ecology School engage in hands-on food systems education in the farm fields, garden plots and greenhouse on the school’s River Bend Farm campus. The goal of the ARC Project is to actively respond to the threat of climate change and the challenges of regional food insecurity by developing innovative, climate-smart food system solutions.


To help kickoff the fifth annual Seaweed Week, Atlantic Sea Farms and the Maine Aquaculture Association have partnered with the Maine Outdoor Film Festival to host a screening of aquaculture-related film shorts on Saturday.


The screening begins at 5 p.m. at Maine Studio Works at 170 Anderson St. Tickets cost $15 in advance, available online, or $20 at the door.

The event features food and beverages served before the screening, including seaweed treats and oysters from Lady Shuckers.

Immediately after the films, Afton Vigue of the Maine Aquaculture Association will moderate a panel discussion on issues concerning the Maine seaweed industry.

Seaweed Week begins Friday and runs through April 30. Partner restaurants, bars, breweries and seaweed farms around the state will help celebrate Maine’s kelp harvest with special dishes and drinks that feature seaweed.

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