Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: May 13, 2024

Retailer relocates to Mechanics' Hall in Portland’s Arts District

store front with wares in windows Courtesy / The Boulos Co. The Loquat Shop moved from 58 Exchange St. to the first floor of Mechanics' Hall at 519 Congress St., in Portland’s Arts District. Signage from a previous tenant is seen here.

A Portland retailer moved from 58 Exchange St. to a 1,334-square-foot leased retail space on the first floor of Mechanics' Hall at 519 Congress St.

The Loquat Shop aims to empower marginalized individuals through fashion and design, according to its website.

Nate Stevens and Samantha Marinko of the Boulos Co. brokered the deal on behalf of both the tenant and the landlord. 

The location offers excellent visibility on the corner of Congress and Casco streets, in a historic building that has high ceilings, period details throughout and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The building

Built in 1859, the three-story hall is 23,142 square feet in total. Established by the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, the hall was originally built to support the state’s artisans and innovators. It has since evolved into a cultural center, hosting literary arts programs, music events, performances and more. In recent years, the building has undergone restoration and modernization, funded largely by grants and donations.

The granite and brick building is across the street from the Maine College of Art.

Designed by architect Thomas J. Sparrow, the hall has an upper-story library, ballroom, boardroom, classroom and ground-floor commercial space.

Loquat Shop founders

Loquat was founded by Jordan Carey on the principles of community empowerment, according to its website. It evolved from a bedroom venture with a mission to empower marginalized individuals through fashion and design in clothes and accessories.

Carey is a Bermudian designer and artist based in Portland. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree in textile and fashion design from Maine College of Art in 2019. As a MECA student, his work was predominantly focused on the meshing of cultural aesthetics and influences in the African diaspora and island life, according to his biography.

Since graduating, he continued to develop as assistant designer for Maine-based fashion house Jill McGowan as well as through residencies and freelance work. Carey launched the Loquat brand as a vehicle for sharing fluid cultural aesthetics and craft sensibilities.

Carey is joined in the venture by Madison Poitrast-Upton, a fashion and textiles artist in Portland who earned a bachelor of fine arts BFA in fashion and textile design in 2020 from the Maine College of Art. 

While there, Poitrast-Upton focused on the comfort and style of female performers, inspired by a love of music, performance and fashion and a drive to mold them together. She is currently dedicated to the advancement of women and people of color through clothing and design. 

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


May 14, 2024

It would be wonderful if this article contained a photo of the Loquat shop itself & not the previous tenant.

Order a PDF