YARMOUTH — Six months after a fire destroyed the popular business on Congress Street in Portland, Binga’s Wingas has reopened in Yarmouth and served 600 diners on its first day.
Below the restaurant at 907 Route 1, employees have the space to create and bottle sauces for retail. And, by August, owner Alec Altman said fans can expect a Binga’s Wingas joint restaurant/bar venture with the owners of the Stadium on Congress Street in Portland.
Altman, a Yarmouth resident, said the recent projects have been exciting to work on especially after a fire destroyed the Congress Street restaurant last November. The business still owns the Congress Street space, he said, but an insurance claim has not yet been settled.
“The pub in Yarmouth is a fun spot to eat like the Congress Street location, and there is take out available like at Bill’s Pizza,” he said.
Bill’s Pizza, owned by Bill Kinsman, thrived at 907 Route 1 for nearly 35 years. Now, the space has been renovated and can seat up to 40 people. There are three, eight-person booths and a bar that seats up to 15 customers. The bar top is stainless steel, and the front and back bar, table tops and coat rack areas have been painted by Herb Clarke of Gorham.
Architect David Matero, of DayMatero studio in Bath, said the reflective lighting in the restaurant plays off the counters and ceiling.
“The space at night glows,” Matero said. “Everything in this space complements the food, down to the lighting.”
Downstairs, in the sauce production area, there is a smoker, a mixer and many boxes to hold the finished product.
The company will sell its sauces at Hadlock Field in Portland, among other places, And construction at the Stadium is expected to begin this month.
“The Stadium will provide us with the best opportunity possible,” Altman said. “The space is great, and it is beneficial for both of us to join forces. Our food business and their bar business is an awesome merging.”
Matero said the construction will include upgrading the space to meet accessibility requirements and a take-out, waiting and a hostess area. There will be new windows, raised seats, “super booths” for large parties and seating on multiple levels. The downstairs will include pool tables and a 1,700-square-foot function room for up to 240 guests.
He said the designs still need to be approved by Portland’s historic preservation and code enforcement officials, but he is confident the new space could be open by August.
“When customers walk into the Stadium, it will look totally different,” he said. “The changes made are the right ones, and the place will look amazing.”
But in the meantime, customers are happy to have hot wings again.
Amy Lawlor and Kate Simonds work in Falmouth and said they heard about the opening in Yarmouth on the radio.
“I literally did jumps of joy,” Simonds said. “We’ve been waiting for this.”
“We ordered pickled chips, a dozen wings, and may have to order more,” Lawlor added.
Mark Dwyer, a Portland resident, said he has missed the Portland Binga’s “dearly” and was relieved there is now a Binga’s Wingas in Yarmouth.
“It has burned a hole in my heart since it closed down.” he said. “I have missed this food terribly.”
Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.