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Updated: June 30, 2021

Portland's newest hotel opens for business, with others to come

Outside of building Canopy by Hilton, Portland Photo / Renee Cordes The Canopy by Hilton, at 9 Center St. in Portland, opens for business Wednesday.
view of ground-floor restaurant Photo / Renee Cordes Salt Yard is the hotel's ground-level restaurant and espresso bar.
Servers at the bar Photo / Renee Cordes On the sixth floor of the hotel, the Luna is an indoor-outdoor rooftap bar serving cocktails and gourmet nibbles.
tbles on rooftop bar Photo / Renee Cordes The rooftop bar features views of Commercial St. and Portland's waterfront.

Just in time for the long holiday weekend, the Canopy Portland Waterfront hotel in downtown Portland opened for business Wednesday, along with a ground-level restaurant and espresso cafe and a rooftop bar overlooking the waterfront.

The opening comes more than a year and a half after construction began at 9 Center St., on an empty lot next to where E. Swasey & Co. once made pottery and glassware.

The Canopy is the second hotel venture for Jim Brady's Fathom Cos., the developer and manager of the nearby Press Hotel and Union Restaurant.

“We’re excited about the Portland marketplace and hope that people continue to want to come here for both work and play," Brady told Mainebiz in April

Originally slated for the spring, the opening was marked with a midday ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks by Portland Mayor Kate Snyder. Brady was there along with Harald Han, the Canopy’s director of brand management, and Ginny Petrovek, the hotel’s general manager.

Brady was honored on the Mainebiz Next list in 2017.

Opening day coincides with the last day of the state of civil emergency in Maine that was first declared on March 15, 2020, three days after the state's first reported case of COVID-19, and extended several times. Today's expiration reflects Maine's progress in administering vaccinations and containing the spread of the virus, according to the governor's office, boosting hopes of a busy tourist season.

First out of the gate 

The Canopy is the first of three new hotels expected to open in Portland this year, adding 394 rooms to bring the city's total to 3,415, including bed-and-breakfasts. The others are the Aloft Hotel Portland, which is taking reservations for dates as of Aug. 1, and the Cambria Hotel Portland Hotel Old Port, on the city's East End, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter.

While Brady has declined to disclose what he’s investing to build the 104,000-square-foot structure, he told Mainebiz in April that it wouldn’t be for less than $300 a square foot — or at least $31.2 million. 

The Canopy Portland Waterfront, part of the Canopy by Hilton brand family, features 135 rooms, the largest of which is 1,140 square feet. Not all of the rooms will be used initially as operations get up and running.

The facility includes an 88-seat rooftop bar called Luna and a 53-seat ground-floor eatery and espresso bar called Salt Yard with barista-made beverages, featuring locally roasted Rwanda Bean coffee.

The property also includes close to 3,000 square feet of event space and five meeting rooms.

Showcasing local suppliers is a theme of the new hotel, down to staff uniforms by clothing designer and retailer Roxi Suger, who has stores in Portland, at 271 Commercial St., and Biddeford, inside the Pepperell Mill Campus.

Of the collaboration with the Canopy, she said, "It is alignments such as this which makes us all feel so thankful to live in this sweet state of Maine where life truly is the way it should be."

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