Goodfire Brewing’s highly anticipated Freeport location is scheduled to open Saturday, with a full kitchen staffed by alumni of prestigious Portland restaurants.
The new 5,000-square-foot Goodfire Kitchen and Tasting Room at 180 South Freeport Road seats nearly 100 people indoors, with a total capacity of around 150 outdoor and indoor seats. By comparison, Goodfire’s Portland tasting room — which celebrates its fifth anniversary this week — is 1,500 square feet, with a capacity of about 90 patrons.
Owners David and Julia Redding have been working on a complete renovation of the Freeport building on Route 1 that previously housed the Conundrum wine bar and El Jefe, a taco bar.
“We are excited to restore this corner in Freeport to the community,” said David Redding. “Now we live in Freeport, so I feel doubly invested in this.”
Goodfire has hired Ben Christie, formerly head chef at Hugo’s, to run the kitchen, along with sous-chef Colin Kennedy, formerly sous-chef at Leeward. In addition, Redding hired former Honey Paw general manager Kevin Nelson as general manager of the Freeport location.
Despite the haute cuisine firepower in the new staff, Redding said the menu at Goodfire will be “high-end casual, nothing too fancy.”
The menu features simple categories like starters, sandwiches, wings, and salads, though the dishes themselves seem to stand out from standard pub grub. Some wing flavors, for example, include tamarind and habanero, gochujang bbq, and miso honey mustard, while pork rillettes are served with apple mostarda and deep-fried with a crispy coating.
“We think this will help create a new enclave north of the city for tourists to visit,” Redding said.
Plus, the Freeport tasting room has 24 taps at the bar, double the number Goodfire has in Portland. Redding said six of the taps will pour draft cocktails, six will pour wine and Goodfire beer will flow from 10, with the rest reserved for “guest beers.”
Goodfire in Freeport will be open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to at least 9 p.m.
BOTTO’S BAKERY MOVES TO WESTBROOK
After 70 years on Washington Avenue, local institution Botto’s Bakery moves into Westbrook space that gives them an additional 5,000 square feet to boost production.
Botto’s signed a lease for a 14,000-square-foot space at 5 Karen Drive. The third-generation bakery will move into the new space in April.
Botto’s puts out about 4,000 loaves of bread and 100,000 rolls from its Portland location. Company officials estimated that the new space should allow them to produce 25% more product.
“It was all about going up or down in size, and going back didn’t make sense,” said Steve Mathews, Botto’s vice president, who started working full-time at the family bakery in 1983. “The new facility will provide a better work environment. environment for a great team, and now there is a plan for the next generation.”
The Boulos Company has listed Botto’s original Washington Avenue location for sale for $1.2 million.
SWEETCREAM DAIRY REOPENS
Biddeford’s beloved ice cream parlor, Sweetcream Dairy, is planning a grand reopening this month to mark its long-awaited move to Main Street.
At more than five times the size, the new 1,600-square-foot space at 128 Main St. dwarfs Sweetcream’s original 300-square-foot location at nearby Pepperell Mill. Sweetcream has set the Main Street opening event for Saturday the 26th. November from 12 to 8 pm
The creamery had been working in the mill building for six years, until it vacated the space last December.
“We feel like we’re in a palace now,” said Jacqui DeFranca, who co-owns Sweetcream with her husband, Jonathan Denton. DeFranca said the new location offers major upgrades, such as a full kitchen and freezer space, that the Pepperell location did not.
The extra freezer space alone will allow Sweetcream to churn and store around 500 gallons of ice cream at a time, five times what they could before.
Before running into the same delay issues and supply chain shortages that plague restaurant and grocery store openings everywhere, Sweetcream had hoped to open on Main Street last May. “Which seems ridiculous now,” DeFranca laughed.
In addition to their popular house-made ice creams, the menu at the new location will include ice cream made with house-made sodas. DeFranca said they plan to have a cranberry soda for Nov. 26 made with cranberries from Gray Beaver Bog in Kennebunk.
The new space can accommodate up to about 32 people, with seating for 15. DeFranca said she and Denton haven’t set their hours yet, but she expects Sweetcream to likely be open Wednesday through Sunday.
MORE THANKSGIVING DINNERS
Here are a few more restaurants offering holiday dining on Thursday, November 24:
Natalie is at the Camden Harbor Inn., 83 Bay View St., Camden, is serving a five-course meal for $107, with wine pairings for an additional $87. Call 207-236-7008 for reservations. For an extra-special Thanksgiving, the Inn also offers a Maine Thanksgiving Package, which includes a two-night stay and a holiday meal at Natalie’s. Prices start at $467 per person.
front spring336 Fore St., will be open on Thanksgiving Day, with specials including a turkey sandwich, a Fall Fowl sandwich and a “turkey dinner pizza,” from $12.95 to $14.95.
Harraseeket Hostel, 162 Main St., Freeport, offers its Grand Buffet. Prices are $139 per person plus tax and tip, $49 for children ages 5-12.
MK Kitchen2 School St., Gorham, is serving a three-course dinner for $55 from 1 pm to 5 pm Make reservations online.
sea glass40 Bowery Beach Rd., Cape Elizabeth, offers a three-course dinner from 1 to 7 pm Find more information or reserve a table online.
Verbena103 Ocean St., South Portland, is serving a $50 three-course menu with vegan options.
US wholesale inflation slows to 8%, its fourth straight slowdown
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