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Old 12-30-2013, 07:14 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,338 times
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My fiance and I are planning a move to Portland in April. We're both restauranteurs and are interested in opening up something smaller - think bistro/cafe. Or, if the market is right, a food truck/cart.

What is the locally-run food scene like? Have they been pretty successful upon opening, or is that just not really wanted/needed? We're coming from Austin where the food scene is amazing - super cut-throat, but still a huge community. What are the mobile food establishments like?


Also, what does everyone love and hate about Portland? Which neighborhoods would you recommend for a younger professional couple (we LOVE downtown apartments we've seen so far - open, wooden floors, white and clean, etc). How bike-friendly is the city, the state - are there established bike lanes/trails, what is terrain like?


Give me the lowdown!
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
40,162 posts, read 19,585,643 times
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There was an article in the Portland paper today about how the prices to rent or lease a space for a new restaurant was getting to be prohibitive in Portland.....and that soon the chef owned corporations would squeeze out the new start ups and close off the opportunity that new restaurants had found in Portland's old port. Portland is a foodie town .... but you may have to move out to get a chance as a start up. We did enjoy a restaurant in Westbrook and another in Saco.....less trendy but easily commutable, if the offering was worthwhile.

We have moved out of the area ... but I still read the Portland paper everyday....and it sounds as if the laws and attitudes toward food trucks has been more and more supportive.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Maine
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This place looks fantastic. It had its soft opening a few days ago. Local food is very important to a lot of folks these days.

Vinland Restaurant In Portland, Maine Takes 'Local' To A New Level
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
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As stated Portland is a definitely a foodie town. There are already some successful food trucks and I can imagine you might even try and call one of them and ask them directly. Rent is subjective and left to free market it is what it is.. Though I am surprised at the sheer amount of GOOD restaurant's around here with it being a smaller city. If it was me, and I owned a small café at one time, I would look to find some kind of mixed used building with rentals on top and commercial space below. Live and work their build your business ect.. You are always better at owning the property then just leasing it but for obvious reasons it isn't always easy to find one that you can afford. Location is important parking might be more important but if your food is great!?! people will come.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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There are a lot of really great places to eat in Portland. You would be among your peers. Locally-sourced seafood is a chef's nirvana, and organic produce, herbs and spices are all top-drawer.

You can do really well in P-land, or you can fail, just like anyplace. Parking can be a tedious ordeal, turning off a lot of potential patrons on First Fridays, that type thing. (see my thread on that). Food trucks near/on the campuses or beaches -- USM, UNE, UMaine Saco -- could do really well. There are just not that many around.

Keep us apprised. I'm always up for finding a new eatery!
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:13 PM
 
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Thanks for all the responses! It's so great seeing so many encouraging words. I have a couple more things I'd like to ask:

What sort of cuisine is the general community looking for? Our passions for different regions varies greatly and we're excited to bring things that are wanted, but just not there yet. For example, how well, despite the cold seasons, would a smoothie/raw food/health food place, for a really quick grab-and-go type meal do? Or how about an authentic Texas BBQ joint (we both grew up in Texas)?

How often do people go out during the winter? Would it be more reasonable to keep business limited in the midst of, or do you people want to eat?!

Again, thanks for the responses and look forward to more!
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Maine
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My daughter is getting married in the fall. They passed on a traditional menu to have barbecue.

We go out to eat more in the winter than in summer. We're cooking out, at camp or in the boat some where when the weather is warm. There are more tourists around in the summer. We're happy to wait til the waiting time is shorter.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
843 posts, read 1,005,804 times
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My wife and I are retiring this summer and moving from Austin, Texas to Portland. We've been on several househunting trips in the past year and one thing we noticed was that the only BBQ places appeared to be chain restaurants. I'm too old (and lazy) to consider it, but I thought that a true BBQ restaurant would be a great idea. You might have to think about expanding to include Carolina, Memphis, and/or Kansas City variations because not all Mainers might like Texas BBQ (although that would be hard to understand). We should be there in August so let us know if you have a restaurant or food truck. We would love to try it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
234 posts, read 300,753 times
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Salvage BBQ - Portland
Buck's Naked BBQ - Portland
Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill - South Portland
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 5,228,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raechul View Post
Thanks for all the responses! It's so great seeing so many encouraging words. I have a couple more things I'd like to ask:

What sort of cuisine is the general community looking for? Our passions for different regions varies greatly and we're excited to bring things that are wanted, but just not there yet. For example, how well, despite the cold seasons, would a smoothie/raw food/health food place, for a really quick grab-and-go type meal do? Or how about an authentic Texas BBQ joint (we both grew up in Texas)?

How often do people go out during the winter? Would it be more reasonable to keep business limited in the midst of, or do you people want to eat?!

Again, thanks for the responses and look forward to more!
If your food is good people will come. I think there may be trends and stuff but really locally grown and harvested products sell well.

Send me a DM when your ready to come here and look around. I might have a few ideas to throw at you.

good luck
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