An early look at the interior of Linden + Front, a new restaurant opening in Bath in February. Courtesy of Linden + Front

The owners of a Bailey Island seafood shack plan to open a new restaurant in downtown Bath in the coming weeks.

Khristine and Zac Leeman said they hope to open Linden + Front at 244 Front St. sometime in mid-February. The location was formerly Relish, which closed in 2022, and Salt Pine Social before that, which closed in 2020.

The building offers about 2,500 square feet of restaurant space, accommodating nearly 80 customers inside with another 20 outdoor seats available in season. The Leemans opened the seasonal Sundrenched on Bailey Island in 2022.

Zac Leeman said Linden + Front will offer “a modern spin on classic comfort foods.” The menu will feature small plates ($10-$17) like bone-in barbecue bacon short ribs – where the pork belly is still attached to the rib bone – served with handmade gnocchi, as well as “beans and toast,” featuring harissa-stewed chickpeas, whipped feta and grilled focaccia.

The menu’s entrees ($23 and up) include a steakhouse section with items like pork porterhouse, two-pound cowboy ribeye, filet mignon, bistro steak and rack of lamb. The restaurant will also have a full bar and cocktail program.

“We’re hoping to have a price range that will include something for everyone,” Khristine Leeman said, noting that Linden + Front will also have plenty of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.


“We want it to be a daily restaurant just as much as we want it to be the occasion spot,” Zac Leeman said. The Leemans added a wood-fired oven to the kitchen so they can produce flat bread dishes and small plates like fire-roasted vegetables.

Linden + Front will be open Thursday through Monday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to start; Khristine Leeman said they hope eventually to add lunch and brunch services.

The bagels at Maples had a huge fan base. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer


Less than a year after it opened, Maples bakeshop and cafe in New Gloucester has closed, the owner has announced.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, owner Robin Ray wrote in part that “it’s time to move on from the daily grind of owning Maples. We are closed because it’s what I need to do for myself.”

Ray could not immediately be reached for comment.


Maples had been beloved for its fresh-baked bagels, coffee drinks and breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Ray closed her original Maples location in Yarmouth last March – the month before her new shop opened in New Gloucester – after 10 years in business there. Lines regularly stretched out the door at the Yarmouth location, and the cafe made regular appearances on the Press Herald’s Best of food lists.

“I intended to keep two locations open,” Ray wrote on social media at the time, “but as the reality of New Gloucester opening came closer I realized that I could not physically and emotionally keep up with the demands that they both would require.”


Back Cove fresh juice and smoothie shop Blake Orchard aims to open two new locations, in Brunswick and Scarborough, later this year.

Blake Orchard owner Alexandra Messenger started her business about 10 years ago on Exchange Street before moving to her current location at 561 Forest Ave. Messenger said her Scarborough location is now under construction in Dunstan Village on Route 1, and she expects it will be ready to launch in the fall. The Brunswick shop, on the corner of Station Avenue and Maine Street – which formerly hosted Edible Arrangements – will likely open in April or May.

“Both towns don’t have anything like that right now,” Messenger said. “So I think we’re going to be a really good addition to the communities and a welcoming space to come hang out where people can also consume food and drinks that are good for them and make them feel good.”


While it’s a relatively big scale-up from one to three shops in a short period, Messenger said the expansion has actually been a long time coming. “I’ve spent the last 10 years just really learning my business, enjoying it and working out all the kinks with the eventual goal of expanding like this,” she said.

The new stores will be about 1,500 square feet, seating between 25-29 customers, similar to Blake Orchard’s Portland location.

Blake Orchard is known for its smoothie bowls and superfood smoothies, house-made ingredients, cold-pressed juices and scratch-made wellness drinks.

“We source the highest quality ingredients we can find, and we’re very big on making everything we can in-house,” Messenger said, including almond, cashew and coconut milk made fresh from whole ingredients every day. “That’s what really has set us apart in Maine.”


A Rockland chef is leading a West African culinary workshop and dinner event in Brunswick in February.


Chef Jordan Benissan of Mé Lon Togo in Rockland is running the show on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5-8 p.m. in the community kitchen of the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. Benissan, who came to Maine in the 1990s, is originally from Togo, a country on the Gulf of Guinea.

The three-course dinner will feature dishes including garu foto, with couscous, smoked ground shrimp, smoked salmon and fried egg; azi dessi, with chicken in a sauce of ground peanuts, tomato, ginger, anise seed and cayenne over white rice; and West African corn fritters for dessert.

Participants will help prepare the meal and feast on the results. Tickets cost $150 each, available online, and proceeds will help support the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.


Maine Restaurant Week returns for its 16th year in early March.

The event runs from March 1-12, and features special dishes and enticingly priced three-course menus at participating restaurants around Maine.


The event’s website will list participating restaurants starting in early February. Last year, more than 70 restaurants took part; many were in Greater Portland, but others were in locations such as Camden, Brunswick, Thomaston, Lewiston, Kennebunk, Waterville and Old Town.

Event organizer Gillian Britt said participating restaurants can offer a special dish exclusive to Maine Restaurant Week or a three-course menu priced at $25, $35, $45, or $55. Restaurant week also includes special events like the Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off, where local eateries compete to produce the best breakfast dishes.

The cook-off, which traditionally kicks off Maine Restaurant Week, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 29 at Sea Dog Brewing Company in South Portland from 7-9 a.m. Tickets cost $35 and available at the Maine Restaurant Week website; all proceeds will go to Preble Street.

Another popular event of Maine Restaurant Week is Spirit Quest, a self-guided cocktail and paired bites tasting tour. This year’s Spirit Quest is set for Sunday, March 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Portland’s Old Port and arts district. Tickets cost $65, available online.

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