It took him over half a year to build out the space, convince reluctant South Portland city councillors to grant him a liquor license despite a handful of convictions, and hire new staff and chefs to the cause, but Outliers Eatery owner Peter Verrill has converted JP Thornton's to SoPo Bar and Grill.
Rumored for weeks to be opening "soon," yesterday was the day for the deli portion. Though the official website remains blank, a post on the Facebook page declared, "The deli is OPEN!!! Bar and dining room to follow soon after." A follow-up post included a photo of the deli menu, with categories of Chowders & Soups, Salads, Specialy [sic] Sandwiches, From the Grill, Italians, and Sides.
The specialty sandwiches all have locally-themed names, like The Newick (a sub roll with fresh Maine haddock hand-breaded and fried, American cheese, lettuce, and house-made tartar sauce, one size only for $7.95), The Cash Corner (a sub roll with hot pastrami smothered with Swiss cheese and topped with mustard, small for $5.95, large for $8.95), and The Greenbelt Greek (a wrap with mixed greens, feta, Greek olives, cucumbers, tomato, and red onion, drizzled with Greek dressing, small for $4.95, large for $6.95). Even with a number of house-made items from chef Torr Kelso and his team, the prices appear competitive for the area and could make SoPo an attractive lunch option for locals who need a break from Amato's.
The deli will open again at 11 a.m. today; no word yet on when the transition to its full hours will occur, but those are listed below. Share photos and initial thoughts on the establishment and its food in the comments section.
740 Broadway, South Portland, (207) 956-7333, Facebook. Hours will be: Cafe and deli open daily 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., restaurant open daily 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., sports bar open Monday - Wednesday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.