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Updated: March 29, 2024

Friday Food Insider: An international smorgasbord in Biddeford, and more eatery news

Photo / Angela Napolitano Vin Santo will be located at 12 Washington St. in Biddeford.

The Dunn Bar, an Irish pub in Biddeford, is expanding its menu internationally with the opening an Italian restaurant next door. 

Vin Santo — which means "holy wine" — is the creation of the Dunn Bar owners Doug Darby and Ciel Caldwell and their longtime general manager Angela Napolitano. The restaurant will be at 12 Washington St. in the former Sublime Taco space, which closed last November and is connected to the Dunn Bar.

“Doug is Irish, and his dream was to open an Irish pub,” said ” said Napolitano. “Ciel is Italian, and I am Italian. We just started talking and thought this space would be perfect for branching out and doing Italian. This has been in the works for the past two months. We wanted to expand into the space to have one team and one entity. I can share my staff. We have a joint kitchen, and now it's just pulling the pieces together to make it all work as one.

Photo / Angela Napolitano
A look at the bar in Vin Santo.

“We are going for quaint and quiet,” she continued. "While the Dunn Bar is on the fun side, this will be more of a nice wine, quiet, intimate place for a date night. This space will seat 40 to 45 people and will be highly recommended for reservations.” 

The menu will include classics, including homemade meatballs, lasagna and chicken parmesan. There will also be some fun twists, which will be announced closer to the opening. 

Vin Santo is slated to open mid- to end-April. Its hours will be the same as those of the Dunn Bar, which opens at 3 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Maine Maple Sunday redo 

After storm cancellations last weekend, Maine Maple Sunday Weekend is trying again.

On Saturday, March 30, many of Maine’s local sugarhouses will welcome visitors again to enjoy this season of Maine’s maple syrup. 

Last weekend's 41st Maple Sunday weekend had some hiccups due to the weekend storm, which brought heavy snow, wind, rain, and ice, along with a mix of fallen trees and power lines. Tens of thousands of Mainers were left without electricity.

Some sugarhouses closed, and some decided to brave the storm and open their doors with limited hours and events. 

“Thank you to those who braved the weather and stopped by to visit,” SweetWoods Farm in Newcastle said in a social media post last weekend. “With the snow, rain, cold, and no power, we were still able to have a great time seeing everyone.”

Nearly 30 sugarhouses will reopen their doors for this weekend's festivities. Some sugarhouses are offering events on both Saturday and Sunday. Check out the Maine Maple Producers Association for more information and a description of each sugarhouse, including hours and activities.

What else is going on in the food world?

Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co., founded in Yarmouth in 2017, has opened a versatile new space at its Old Port location, 9 Commercial St. The expansion into a storefront next door, previously occupied by the Maker's Galley, creates a private event venue and a sports bar.

The new space is equipped to host over 80 seated guests and has a total capacity of over 100. When the space isn’t booked, it will be used as an extended dining area.

Building exterior
Photo / Peter Van Allen
Brickyard Hollow at 9 Commercial St. in Portland is expanding its dining area into the former Maker’s Galley cafe, market and event space next door.

The former TIQA Mediterranean restaurant space in the Old Port is being offered for sale for $3.5 million, with owner financing available. The space, at 327 Commercial St. in the Courtyard by Marriott, is a 6,981-square-foot turnkey restaurant with a 1,000-square-foot patio. Porta & Co. is handling the listing. 

The Friday Food Insider is all about restaurant news. Let me know how Maine Maple Sunday goes for you or what your latest gourmet go-to is. And look for more news about the Maine eatery industry. Contact Alexis Wells at

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