The Palace Diner, shown in 2022, was included in Eater’s recent roundup of “29 Great American Diners.” Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

National media outlets continue to give Maine its due respect in the hospitality field, as two local venues recently landed on more “best of” lists.

Mashed released its rundown of the “25 Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.” on Monday, naming Portland Hunt + Alpine Club among its honorees.

“The food menu is as animated as the atmosphere, featuring Finnish meatballs and tinned fish, but the cocktail menu is a character of its own,” the Mashed writeup reads in part. “It includes to-go cocktails for two and features an entire section for ‘Negroni-ish’ drinks for those who fancy something stiff.”

Hunt + Alpine was one of only two New England-based bars to make the cut, along with Drink in Boston.

Earlier this month, Eater compiled its list of “29 Great American Diners.”

“Through deep research and the collective, highly opinionated knowledge of Eater staffers and experts across the country, we’ve compiled a list of not only what we believe to be the best modern American diners, but also those that demonstrate the broadly democratic beauty of a restaurant made for everyone,” writer Brenna Houck explained in the piece’s introduction.


The entry for Palace Diner states that “you don’t need the fog of nostalgia to fall hopelessly in love with Palace’s tuna melt, layered with an inch of crunchy iceberg lettuce on grilled challah, or its pancakes, unbelievably buttery and light.”

Palace was one of only two New England diners featured in the piece, along with The Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont.


The historic Pentagoet Inn & Pub in Castine has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to upgrade the property.

Pentagoet co-owners Matt Powell and George Trinovitch bought the inn in 2022, and applied for the grant in March. Powell said they will use the grant funds to restore an external staircase that was part of the structure when it was first built in 1894, and also to build a Victorian-style courtyard to join the inn with its adjacent Perkins House annex.

Powell said the staircase restoration is largely an aesthetic upgrade, giving the inn a historically authentic “grand entranceway,” while the 40-by-20-foot courtyard will provide seating for about 20 more guests. The courtyard will be particularly helpful for overflow seating during the inn’s popular Jazz on the Porch events on Tuesdays, Powell said.


The Pentagoet was one of 25 venues nationwide to be awarded the grant from the “Backing Small Historic Restaurants” program, which the National Trust executes in partnership with American Express. The program stipulates that the grant money be spent by Dec. 15.

Powell said he expects construction to start on the Pentagoet upgrades as soon as the inn’s season winds down in October, and to be completed by December, ready for guests in the 2025 season.

“George and I are extremely honored to be awarded this grant,” Powell said. “It’s taking us to the next level, and it shows the National Trust believes in what we’ve been doing in our first year.”


New England-based author and editor Mike Urban will be signing copies of his new book, “Unique Eats and Eateries of Maine,” in Kennebunkport and Portland.

On June 29 at 6 p.m., Urban will give a presentation and sign books at the Louis Graves Memorial Library in Kennebunkport. On July 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Urban will sign books at Sherman’s Books at 49 Exchange St. in Portland.


Both events are free and open to the public. “Unique Eats and Eateries of Maine” includes venues and dishes like Le Mu Eats in Bethel, where chef-owner Sa Sengsavang cooks Laotian and Southern cuisine reflecting his southeast Asian and Virginia roots, and Maine’s iconic “red snapper” hot dog as it’s served at Simones’, a 100-year-old hot dog stand in Lewiston.


Scores of Midcoast eateries are participating in a July fundraiser to benefit Maine’s domestic abuse survivor awareness group, Finding Our Voices.

The group says it has signed on 45 restaurants, bakeries, ice cream parlors and food trucks for the effort, called “Into the Light,” including venues in Searsport, Belfast, Lincolnville, Islesboro, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Thomaston, Warren and Bath. Participants are expected to list a special dish or beverage on their menus throughout July featuring a yellow main ingredient, because yellow is the official color of Finding Our Voices.

“Yellow is our color because we have come into the light out of domestic abuse, and are lighting the way for our sisters to join us on the side of safety and freedom,” explained Finding Our Voices founder and President Patrisha McLean.

All proceeds from sales of the special menu items go to Finding Our Voices’ Get Out/Stay Out fund, which provides shelter, food, car and legal expenses to women survivors of domestic abuse in Maine. Participating establishments will also display outreach material featuring the faces and voices of 45 survivors.



Rosemont Market & Bakery’s founder is handing over control of the business’s day-to-day operations to Mark Law, a grocery industry veteran who has been working as a consultant for the Portland-based chain of small, local markets for the past year.

John Naylor, who has led the company since its founding in 2005, will remain involved as president and chairman of the board, while Law serves as chief executive officer. Law, who has more than 20 years experience in the grocery industry, previously served as chief operating officer and president of New Seasons Market in Portland, Ore., and as an adviser to King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vt.

Since Naylor and co-founder Scott Anderson opened the first Rosemont market on Brighton Avenue, the company has grown to include seven retail locations across Cumberland County, plus a production facility, with 170 employees.

Staff writer Vaughn Vial contributed to this column.

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