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April 12, 2024

Friday Food Insider: Openings, closings and projects in the works

Six people siting at a table. File Photo / Courtesy Ocotillo The Ocotillo team from left: Melanie and Pliny Reynolds, the owners of Saddle Up Hospitality; Wilson Rothschild, executive chef of Saddle Up Hospitality; Al Zoni, head chef at Ocotillo; Justin Dewalt, chief operating officer of Saddle Up Hospitality; and Lea Pilsbury, front-of-house manager at Ocotillo.

In the past few months, Maine has seen a lengthy menu of restaurants come and go, and new restaurants and food events are on the way. Let’s take a foodie trip around Maine to see some of the changes.


Ocotillo, the sibling restaurant to Terlingua, opened its doors officially on April 11 at 211 Danforth St. in Portland.

The new brunch spot will offer indoor and outdoor seating for up to 106. In the evenings, the restaurant will have events, including private parties, pop-ups, corporate functions, wedding parties and more. 

The owners, Pliny and Melanie Reynolds told Mainebiz that when they first announced the opening of a new restaurant, flavors from Texas and Mexico inspired the menu at Ocotillo. Guests can expect rotating seasonal specials, a selection of breakfast tacos, tortas and benedicts featuring house-smoked meats. There will also be some table-shared must-haves like homemade churros and Texas-style French toast. 

Ocotillo will be open Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

And there's a seasonal opening coming up this weekend. Bite Into Maine's food truck is reopening at Fort Williams Park for the lobster-roll purveyor's 14th season. The truck will be open Saturday through Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Another Maine brewery announced it will close, a week after Gneiss Brewery shared similar news. 

On social media Wednesday, Foulmouthed Brewing in South Portland said it has decided to close after more than eight years. But beer-goers have no fear — another brewery has bought the business and will take over. 

The post did not name the new ownership but said the buyer is “a new, independent brewery with plenty of experience working within the industry here in Maine.” 

Like many other breweries that have decided to close, Foulmouthed said the challenges have been ceaseless over the last several years.

“We are so proud of transforming a dilapidated old building into the thriving business and brand that we created together with the help of our staff, friends, and customers,” the brewery posted. “Together we pushed through issue after issue and managed to build our little pub up to a bright spot in the shadow of the bridge. And now there is another brewer who is eager to take over and bring their own vision to the pub.”

Their last planned day of regular service will be April 28. 

In recent months, Island Dog Brewing in South Portland, Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland and Rusty Bus Brewing Co. in Lewiston all announced they planned to close. 

Trudy Bird’s Ølbar, a Scandinavian-style restaurant and bar, announced Tuesday that it too will close.

Twin brothers Alan and Jonathan Hines opened the spot in December 2022 at 424 Walnut Hill Road in North Yarmouth.

“In an effort to try and provide the best dining experience in an updated, refined setting, we ran into cost and time overruns that have proven to be too difficult to overcome,” the brothers said in a Facebook post.

The owners did not say when the restaurant will close. “As of right now, the future of Trudy Birds is unclear, but we will continue to operate as normal and keep making memories until the sale of the building. We hope this is only the end of a chapter in our book with many more left to write.” 

As they’ve shared on their website, the inspiration was a trip to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Copenhagen. The menu consists of Danish open-faced sandwiches, or smorrebrod, snacks, Danish donuts and more.


Definitive Brewing Co. at 35 Industrial Way in Portland, will host a competition among local restaurants for the title of Best Chowder in Portland on April 27 from 1-5 p.m. 

Ticket information can be found on the Definitive Brewing social media page. Tickets include a passport, which allows visitors to sample from every participating vendor.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Fat Kid Culinary Productions
  • Bite Into Maine
  • Portland Lobster Co.
  • Clam Bar
  • Ironclad Eats
  • J's Oyster
  • Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room
  • Highroller Lobster Co.
  • Crave ME.

Under construction

Photo / Navadise Media
A sample of Lone Pine beer.
  • DeStefano & Associates Inc., a New Hampshire construction company has started the renovation of a former bank building at Sanford Plaza in Sanford into a new Starbucks. The coffee shop is slated to be located inside the former Bank of America building.
  • Lone Pine Brewing Co. announced via social media that its Anderson Street beer garden will be returning this summer. Construction is underway, with a new bar set-up, renovations and an expansion. A reopening date has not been decided. 

What restaurants have you been excited to see open? The Mainebiz Food Insider wants to know! Contact Alexis Wells at

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