Dining choices expanding in Scarborough, South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — New food and drink establishments are popping up across South Portland and Scarborough.

In South Portland, Willow’s Pizza has moved from its original location at 1422 Broadway to 740 Broadway, and is expanding in size and menu. Willow’s offers pizza, pasta, salads and grinders and is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. 

Almost next door ot Willow’s is the new Fernleaf Bakery, a coffee and pastry shop that has expanded from its original location in Saco. 

The bakery, which opened Saturday, Dec. 10, serves fresh pastries, cookies, pies and cakes. It is open from 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Over the last year the city has also gained two new breweries – Fore River Brewing, near Cash Corner, and Foulmouthed Brewing in Knightville – with one on the way called Island Dog Brewing, near the Maine Mall.

Jane Eberle, president of the South Portland Cape Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, said Portland’s restaurant and brewery growth is now creeping into South Portland. 

“Portland has long been known as a foodie city, and in the recent past, that has crept across the bridge,” Eberle said Thursday morning. “From a Chamber of Commerce perspective, it’s great to have these new businesses choose South Portland, where it can be a little more user-friendly, in terms of parking, traffic and access.” 

Scarborough’s dining offerings are also growing.

Pho Hong Vietnamese Restaurant is scheduled open in the space previously occupied by Chicago Dogs, at 285 U.S. Route 1, near Oak Hill. Chicago Dogs moved to 671 Main St. in South Portland earlier this year.

Thao Kieu, owner of the Vietnamese noodle restaurant, received his food handler’s license from the town in September, according to the code enforcement office. Code enforcement is awaiting final inspection before the restaurant can officially open its doors. 

Next year, Portland-based Holy Donut is slated to move its primary baking operation to a former Tim Horton’s at the corner of Route 1 and Haigis Parkway. It will be the potato donut shop’s third location, after Exchange Street and Park Avenue in Portland. 

The town will also get its first brewery next year: Nonesuch River Brewing, which was approved by the town last December and is slated to open at 201 Gorham Road. 

Another brewpub, Table and Tap, which the Planning Board granted preliminary approval on Monday, Dec. 12, would bring another option for local beer and food to the Dunstan Crossing area, near the intersection of Route 1 and Stewart Drive. 

“There’s definitely a lot more activity than there has been in the past,” Karen Martin, president and executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp., said Thursday.

“I think we’ve been underserved for quite awhile … but I also think there’s a new-found love of quality, authentic restaurants, and I think it’s growing in every community,” Martin said. 

“Just like in retail, people are looking for authentic experiences; people aren’t just looking to get fed, they’re going to experience something,” she said. 

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

Fernleaf Bakery opened last week at 740 Broadway in South Portland. 

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.