South Portland waterfront provides coordinates for experienced chef, restaurateur

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The city’s newest waterfront restaurant plans to open in June, replacing a landmark that lasted more than two decades.

North 43 Bistro will open where Joe’s Boathouse was formerly located at 1 Spring Point Drive, at Port Harbor Marine.

Joe’s Boathouse closed in November 2015 after 23 years in business. The 35-year-old, one-story clapboard building was demolished and replaced by a modern, two-story structure.

Port Harbor Marine owns the building where the restaurant is housed, but leases waterfront property from the city.

The City Council licensed the new business owners, Laura Argitis and chef Stephanie Brown, on April 19.

Brown was chef and owner of the former Seagrass Bistro in Yarmouth for eight years and was previously executive chef at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth. Argitis also owns the Old Port Sea Grill & Raw Bar, at 93 Commercial St. in Portland.

North 43 will seat 130 people – 50 upstairs, 50 downstairs and 30 on a deck overlooking Spring Point Marina – and serve lunch and dinner.

Brown described the menu as American bistro style with Asian, Tuscan and French influences. She said the changing options will always include steak, a burger and fish, as well as vegetarian dishes and house made pasta. Seafood will be locally sourced and may include scallops, trout, halibut, tuna and shellfish.

“We want the food to be fresh and ever-changing, depending on time of year and what is available,” she said.

The restaurant’s name refers to South Portland’s latitude, according to Brown.

“We wanted something that was simple and didn’t depict a certain type of cuisine,” she said. “We didn’t want to be known as a fish restaurant. We wanted something that was reflective of the area.”

Brown said she and Argitis are looking forward to joining the local community.

“Both Laura and I are community orientated, and it is really important for both of us to be part of the community and the neighborhood. We are looking forward to working with the owners of the marina and being a part of marina community, too.”

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

North 43 Bistro will open in early June at the location of the former Joe’s Boathouse at 1 Spring Point Drive in South Portland.

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