Omi's Coffee Shop opens on Meetinghouse Hill in South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — New Year’s Day brought a new cafe to Cottage Road. 

Omi’s Coffee Shop made the move from 28 Brackett St. in Portland to 372 Cottage Road after the City Council approved new zoning that created the Meetinghouse Hill Community Commercial District. The zone changed from Transitional Residential District and Limited Business zones in October.

Cafe co-owner Gail Bruzgo bought the building on Cottage Road, which previously housed Flynn & Co. Real Estate, in May. She, her daughter, Katie, and her daughter’s wife, Naomi Hall, have owned and managed the cafe since it opened in Portland in 2013. 

After closing their Brackett Street shop on Dec. 23, the trio spent the final week of 2017 making finishing touches to the new space in time to open the doors Jan. 1. 

While the exterior of the building didn’t require any construction, it did need a new coat of paint. Now light blue, the two-story building stands out among its snowy surroundings. 

The interior matches, with teal chairs; wood floors, tables and countertops, and light blue walls, adorned with old photographs and postcards from the late-1800s that were found during replastering of the ceilings during renovations. 

The second story seats an additional 16 customers, which Katie Bruzgo said is slightly more than the old location. 

“We’ve wanted a larger space for a little while now,” Bruzgo said. “Naomi and I live in South Portland and my mother lives in Cape Elizabeth, so Cottage Road seemed like the ideal location.”

In addition to more seating, the building also has kitchen space, which the Portland cafe lacked, allowing the owners to add new breakfast items and an expanded baked goods selection to their menu. 

The cafe now also offers an array of beers, alcoholic ciders, and wine to go. 

“We’re trying to curate a variety of local beer and a lot of natural and biodynamic wines,” Bruzgo said. At the moment, they’re offering local brews from Foulmouthed Brewing and Fore River Brewing Co. in South Portland, Mast Landing Brewing Co. in Westbrook, and Liquid Riot Bottling Co. in Portland. 

Bruzgo said they’d like to expand their assortment and plan to hold tastings at the cafe to find out what people would like to see them carry. 

Bruzgo said business has been steady and they’ve felt welcomed by the community. 

“The neighborhood has seemed really excited about (our move),” Bruzgo said. “It’s such a bustling area and seems like a really close and tight-knit community here.”

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

Omi’s Coffee Shop has moved from Portland to South Portland, opening a two-story cafe at 372 Cottage Road on New Year’s Day. 

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