They're Portland's versions of Cheers, the iconic Boston bar made famous on TV for being, as the theme song sings, "where everybody knows your name." Almost every neighborhood on the peninsula and off has one of these welcoming watering holes - for the final day of Cocktail Week, we've chosen five gems to spotlight. If one of them is where everybody knows your name, be sure to let them know about their moment in the sun when you stop in after work this evening. And if we've left out one deserving of recognition, please let us know in the comments. What else is there to say but ... Cheers!
By Eater Maine contributing writer, Deb Collins
189 Congress Street
In October, Mama's celebrated its 3rd year anniversary, where "the Allagash was flowing". Tucked in the Munjoy Hill, East End neighborhood; intimate bar lined with wooden stools, a tin ceiling and scattered barrels for tables. A family affair led by "Mama" Tricia Henley with the support of son and daughter, Thomas and Mary. The house dog, a chihuahua called Kiwi, is known to make 4-paw cameo appearances. Neighboring residents come for local brews, board games, poetry, Little Lads Popcorn and sing-a- long sessions with piano-man Jimmy Dority on Tuesdays. Beer only. Cash only. Open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
332 Fore Street
Old Port tavern in historic Boothby Square. House favorites include their range of burgers, reubens and rachels on local Sorella's fresh baked bread. Brick rustic interior with well-loved wooden floors and a long tile bar. Complimentary popcorn for snacking and upbeat music played at a level that doesn't drown out the friendly local banter. Full bar of spirits and beers, including the House Hooker Ale by Gritty's, which comes with it's own story, according to manager, Barbie Asali. Open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
1349 Washington Avenue
Quintessential "Cheers" bar in Portland's North Deering neighborhood where conversation is shared around and across a large wooden horseshoe bar with accompanying lounge area and dining room. House favorites range from bar appetizers like Sesame Ahi Tuna, Dirt Wings and Spinach Artichoke Dip to a full dinner menu that includes hand-cut steaks and homemade desserts inspired from the menu of (now gone) Old Port icon F.Parker Reidy's which was a former restaurant of Parker's owner Frank Collins. Open from 11:30 a.m. until "late."
The Frog and Turtle Pub
3 Bridge St, Westbrook
Intimate gastropub with a cozy bar, comfy leather couches and large windows in the dining area facing Bridge Street This destination neighborhood bar is a gathering place for drinks with friends with an extensive menu of French Canadian "country style dishes." Chef owner James Tranchemontagne, formerly of Uffa, does a nightly stroll through the restaurant to connect with diners and usually finishes up the evening bar-side with patrons. The live music scene draws a regular crowd and other music artists. The swamp martini with a dry ice mist is fun to try and will intrigue other guests. Open from 5 p.m. until "late" and for Sunday Brunch.
Andy's Old Port Pub
94 Commercial Street
A popular Old Port watering hole nestled on Portland's waterfront between Casco Bay Variety and Gilbert's Chowder House. You'll share the bar with fisherman, islanders and locals who enjoy good pub food and nightly local music. Owners Rick and Jennifer embrace the working waterfront scene and might even connect you with one of the local fisherman who has just shucked some fresh scallops and will deliver a bag to your barstool; whatever the season they have the inside scoop on fresh off the boat lobsters, shrimp and other fresh seafare. Rick and Jennifer are living "the way life should be" with a daily island commute to the Old Port on their own boat. Open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.