Colorful flowers from Snell Family Farm stand out on the otherwise gray first day of the Portland Farmers’ Market in April, 2023. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The Portland Farmers’ Market heads back outdoors for the season on April 20 in Deering Oaks.

The market will be held in the park every Saturday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Portland Farmers’ Market President Caitlin Jordan Harriman said more than 30 vendors will participate, on par with last year. Since we’re now in a shoulder season, Harriman said, the outdoor market launch day will feature produce similar to what’s been at the Winter Farmers’ Market on Stevens Avenue recently, including seedlings; greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard; radishes; and storage crops like onions, potatoes and winter squash.

Vendors will also offer mushrooms, oysters, dairy products, meats and cheeses, freshly baked bread, jams, jellies and pickles.

Harriman said the state-sponsored Maine Senior FarmShare program has been expanded this year. In the past, participating eligible seniors had to sign up with an individual farm vendor for just that vendor’s products. This year, they can sign up with the market, then shop at any of its vendors.

Harriman said the market’s first outdoor Saturday will include seed packet giveaways, produced in partnership with the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets and Johnny’s Selected Seeds, along with a raffle fundraiser featuring $300 in bumper crop gift certificates that can be used with any of the market’s vendors.


The Winter Farmers’ Market wraps up its season at Stevens Square Community Center on Saturday, April 13. Doug Donahue, Saturday market manager, said while the indoor market is always a little slower than the Deering Oaks market, it has been growing steadily.

“Every year it gets a little better now that we have a more consistent spot to be,” Donahue said. “For a while there, we were moving locations every couple of years.”

While the outdoor market is held rain or shine, Harriman and Donahue both said they’re hoping for clement weather not just for the first Saturday, but for as much of the season as possible.

“Last summer it was so rainy,” Donahue said. “It was incredibly wet. It doesn’t help growing things and it also doesn’t help with the tourist traffic.”


The owners of a popular Woodfords Corner taco restaurant plan to open an upscale Chinese dumpling/dim sum restaurant in the Moulton Street space of the former Old Port Tavern.


The new restaurant will be called Lucky Cheetah. “My two favorite foods are tacos and dumplings,” said co-owner William Dowd, who also co-owns the taco restaurant Bird & Co. at 539 Deering Ave., which opened in March 2019. “It’s a natural career progression for me, I guess.”

Lucky Cheetah has been under construction since last June, Dowd said. The nearly 5,000-square-foot space was gutted and now “has literally new everything.” Old Port Tavern closed in late 2022 after 50 years in business.

Dowd said he expects to be able to seat about 140 in the full-service restaurant, including a small lounge area and 15-seat bar. Lucky Cheetah’s bar program will include cocktails featuring Asian whiskeys and other liquors, along with “Maine’s best Champagne list. Dumplings and Champagne is the concept,” Dowd said.

Dowd hopes to open Lucky Cheetah sometime this summer. He hasn’t yet set the days or hours of operation, though said it will likely be dinner-only to start.


Freeport town officials last week approved plans for a food truck park on Route 1 this season.


The final plans call for a rotating slate of five food trucks operating seven days a week in a 22-space lot adjacent to Athena’s Cantina, according to Athena’s co-owner Tais De Los Reyes, who has shepherded the park project. The park will also feature live music, movie and karaoke nights and craft vendors.

De Los Reyes added that park customers can also visit the full bar and restrooms at Athena’s Cantina, which will be open during the park’s operating hours.

“It’s one thing to have food trucks just around, but it’s another thing to have a destination where you can sit and enjoy a movie, listen to music or join in on some karaoke,” De Los Reyes said.

Food trucks in the park will feature cuisines not already available in Freeport, De Los Reyes said. “We hope it’ll fill in some of the food option voids in town,” she said. “We are on board to bring different flavors to Freeport.”

De Los Reyes said the park will launch Friday, June 7. It’ll be open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Friday from 5:30 to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.



While its official opening was marred by last week’s snowstorm and subsequent power outages, Honey’s Fried Chicken Palace in Thomaston seems plenty busy with new customers.

Honey’s launched last Thursday, though the restaurant lost power partway through the day and it wasn’t restored until Saturday evening, according to posts on their social media sites, where owner Malcolm Bedell chronicled the new venue’s travails. To compensate, Honey’s opened on Sunday, its regularly scheduled day off.

But tech problems persisted. “Our internet was down for most of the day, which also took our phones offline,” Bedell, who also owns Ancho Honey in Tenants Harbor, wrote Sunday evening. “Then, after working through the surge of early orders and feeling like we had a handle on things, our ticketing/ordering/expediting system went completely offline.”

Between the system breakdown and the challenges of a new staff working in a brand-new restaurant, Bedell said, many customers on Sunday waited more than an hour for their orders, while some didn’t get food at all.

“And yet,” Bedell’s post continued. “In spite of a complete failure of technology, we cranked out 186 fried chicken sandwiches, baskets of (chicken) tendies, and orders of loaded fries, in just a couple of hours.”

Bedell was unavailable to give further details Tuesday, as the staffer on the phone – speaking loudly over the crowd din just minutes after the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. – said he was too busy.



Biddeford-based Sacred Profane Brewing was listed among the country’s best craft breweries in a recent Punch magazine story, “The Who’s Who of Beer Cool.”

The story lauded Sacred Profane for its hyper-focus on just two beers: Pale and dark Czech style lagers. “One of the most important pendulum swings in craft beer for 2024 is the response to over-saturation when it comes to breweries, options, and adjuncts within those options,” the story said. “Many beer drinkers now look to the satisfying simplicity of time-honored styles.”

The piece also noted how founders Michael Fava and Brienne Allan “are preceded by their reputations for making excellent beer and eschewing fads … Fava and Allan brew on an authentic Czech-made tankpub system with side-pour taps, and learned the Czech art of lager serving on-site at a Pilsner Urquell program to boldly focus on just two beers: pale lager and dark lager.”

Sacred Profane is the only New England-based brewery featured in the story, which also includes Atlanta’s Elsewhere Brewing; Brooklyn’s Back Home Beer; Chicago’s Dovetail Brewery; and three California breweries.



Luke’s Lobster owner Luke Holden talks with “Bike to Bites” host Garrett Bess at the waterside restaurant last August. Courtesy of “Bike to Bites”

An EarthxTV network television series focused on bicycling and food will spotlight Portland-area chefs and restaurants in an upcoming episode.

The series, “Bike to Bites,” launched its second season this week. The Portland-focused episode – filmed last August – will feature local chefs and venues including Kineo Sommers and Juan Pacheco at Crown Jewel on Great Diamond Island; Luke Holden, owner of Luke’s Lobster; Mimi Weissenborn at Free Street’s Sur Lie; and Jason Williams at The Well at Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth.

Other locations in the series’ second season include Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; and Philadelphia. The Portland episode will be released April 18, according to a network spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the series originally emerged from host-producer’s Garrett Bess’s “pandemic-driven search for creativity and wellness, merging his newfound love for cycling with his long standing passion for food.” Bess bicycles through a new location in each episode and stops at restaurants along the way to taste their signature items.

The EarthxTV network is available through DirecTV, Charter’s Spectrum TV, Fubo, Filo and the National Cable Television Cooperative.

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