Andy Pillsbury is one of a trio of longtime managers who has bought the storied Great Lost Bear bar. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Ownership of The Great Lost Bear, a burgers-and-beer institution on Forest Avenue for more than 40 years, changed hands Monday.

Owner Dave Evans – who launched The Great Lost Bear as The Grizzly Bear in 1979 with his wife, Weslie, and cousin and former partner Chip MacConnell, before changing the name in 1981 – sold the business to longtime managers Michael Dickson, Mary Dickson and Andrew Pillsbury.

“We ran the Bear for 44 years, and I’m getting too old to do anything, so I gave the longtime employees a chance to buy me out, and they did,” said Evans, 76, noting that the new owners have each worked at the venue for more than 30 years themselves.

Evans said he’s happy to be able to keep continuity at The Great Lost Bear, and that he doesn’t expect any changes to the daily operation.

“These guys have essentially been running the place for the last three years,” Evans said. “I’ve just been in the back room hiding. I’m very excited for them, and excited for the Bear to keep going.”



Rose Foods on Forest Avenue plans to reopen its dining room at the end of May, allowing the counter-service restaurant to offer seating space that has been out of use for more than three years.

Rose Foods General Manager Jonah Stella expects the dining room to reopen next Wednesday, noting that the restaurant’s menu – including bagels and bagel sandwiches, matzo ball soup and latkes –will remain unchanged. The relaunched space can seat more than 30 customers, who will receive their food via counter service, while the restaurant will also add about eight more seats to the counter area out front.

Rose Foods closed its dining room to customers, along with the inside retail counter, at the outset of the pandemic in early 2020. The restaurant opened a takeout window that it used until last June, at which point Rose Foods still offered takeout only, though customers could come inside to order.

Stella said the dining room has been shut down until this month because it was serving as a temporary office and storage area while the restaurant completed some internal construction to create more office and production space.

“For the last two years, we’ve had people asking when we were planning on reopening (the dining room),” Stella said. “As a staff, we’re very excited to reopen and see how the energy changes. We’re thrilled to have the community back into the space.”



Grand Central Wine Bar has completed its relocation from Gorham to Sebago, and will open for the season Thursday.

Inside the new Grand Central Wine Bar in Sebago, which relocated from Gorham and opens for the season Thursday. Photo courtesy of Grand Central Wine Bar

The wine bar is located at 256 Sebago Road in a 1,400-square-foot space formerly occupied by Krista’s Four Seasons diner. Owner Karen Nason said the venue – outfitted with a Chickering baby grand piano and a miniature Grand Central Terminal replica clock – seats 25 customers inside and 30 outside.

Grand Central will offer about 20 wines by the glass or bottle, along with a menu of salads, paninis ($16-$18) and charcuterie boards ($28). It also will have prepared foods, cheeses, baguettes and wines for retail sale.

“We have packaged foods,” Nason said. “You could just come in, fill up your basket, get on your boat and have a good day.”

Nason said Grand Central will feature live jazz on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Nason plans to be open seven days a week, from 12-9 p.m., through October.

Originally opened in Gorham in 2019, Grand Central Wine Bar was forced to close in the summer of 2021 for lack of pandemic relief funding.


“It’s been a whirlwind to get back into business again,” Nason said. “We couldn’t have picked a better spot than Sebago Lake. It’s a gorgeous tourist destination that doesn’t have a lot of places to go.”


Congdon’s After Dark in Wells, shown last year, launches its seventh season on May 25. Photo courtesy of Congdon’s After Dark

The Wells food truck park Congdon’s After Dark reopens for its seventh season Thursday, with a rotating lineup of 28 food trucks.

Located outside Congdon’s Doughnuts on Route 1, the park will host from eight to 10 food trucks Thursday through Sunday from 4-8 p.m. until late June, when the park will be open daily into the fall. New food trucks joining Congdon’s After Dark this year include wing-based eatery Bubba Frye’s on the Fly; cheese sandwich specialists Cheese the Day; Empanada Club; fusion taco truck Ironclad Eats; seafood from Pepper’s Landing; The Pink Waffle, a savory and sweet waffle vendor; and fried chicken truck The Rollin’ Rooster.

Organizers said improvements to the venue this year include more seating, better lighting and live music featured most nights.

The park’s weekly fundraisers, Tithing Tuesdays, will start on June 27, this year helping a new group of nonprofit organizations. Congdon’s After Dark will again host free car shows each Monday beginning June 26.

The park’s Beer Garden will continue to offer its “Maine Menu,” featuring dozens of rotating craft beers from Maine breweries, including two made with Congdon’s doughnuts.

“Each year we work on ways to improve the park and the overall guest experience, and we can’t wait to get started again,” said Gary Leech, who owns Congdon’s with his wife, Diane.


Portland Wine Week returns for a seventh year in June at various locations around the city.

Set for June 12-18, Wine Week features 56 wine-based events, including wine tastings; oyster pairings; wine brunches, lunches and dinners; and a series of signature events highlighting “women in wine.”

The week kicks off June 12 at the Falmouth Country Club with a Women in Wine panel, moderated by Joan Szkutak, owner of SAMsARA winery.

Boutique-style wine meals and weeklong wine and food pairings featuring many of Portland’s top chefs will be held at restaurants, including Broken Arrow, Central Provisions, Chaval, Crown Jewel, Evo, Isa, Knotted Apron, Solo Italiano, Sur Lie, The Ugly Duckling, Tipo, Twelve and Union at the Press Hotel.

“It’s exciting to see the growth of Portland Wine Week,” said sommelier Erica Archer, president of Wine Wise, which is hosting the wine week. Archer noted that several events already have sold out.

“To me, this demonstrates our reputation for quality and consistency,” Archer said. “Portland Wine Week is such a great way to kick off summer by experiencing the city and discovering new restaurants, or tasting your favorites in a different way.”

For more details on all of Portland Wine Week’s events, visit


Rococo Ice Cream is moving its scoop shop to 8 Western Ave. in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, with plans to relaunch on June 7.

Lauren Guptill created Rococo’s Carrot Pudding ice cream several years ago, inspired by the old cookbooks collection at Bowdoin College. Her company is opening a new storefront. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Owner Lauren Guptill first opened Rococo in 2012 at 6 Spring St. “I’m thrilled that our new location offers the same Rococo offerings our customers love, in a refreshed space that has the room for new dessert concepts, too,” Guptill said.

Rococo plans to open a dessert bar adjacent to the new scoop shop in mid-July. The bar’s menu will feature ice cream cocktails and ice cream-focused desserts including a variety of floats, milkshakes, affogatos, sundaes and desserts like Baked Alaska, as well as ice cream cakes and pies.

“I think of the dessert bar as the bold next step for the evolution of Rococo and these whimsical ice cream flavors I’ve created,” Guptill said.

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