Solo Cucina Market on Ocean Street in South Portland. Photo by Ray Routhier

Solo Cucina Market in South Portland will close its doors early next year.

The small neighborhood market, located on a happening foodie block of Knightville, featured local vegetables, excellent cheeses, a good wine selection, fresh pasta, local meats, espresso and wonderful baked goods – those last from the related Solo Pane e Pasticceria in Bath. The market launched at an excruciating time – March 2020.

The business announced the closure in an Instagram post Wednesday that said this was its first year “seeing tangible growth and progress” and that community enthusiasm had been strong. But it said that the owners – which also run Solo Italiano restaurant in Portland along with the Bath bakery – were “stretched thin” and unable to overcome “legacy liabilities.” It did not explain that further.

Jesse Bania, co-owner of the market, wasn’t immediately available for an interview but said that, while no closing date has yet been set, it will be between Jan. 1 and March 15.

The business, at 161 Ocean St., is for sale. “We aren’t looking to make any return on this deal but rather we would like to find the right person(s), with the right vision and energy, and provide them with a functioning space and a clean slate to make it possible,” the Instagram announcement said. 

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