1) Switcheroos: With Gingko Blue shutting its doors, Glass at the Hyatt looks to "add a touch of class to [the] clubby corner" of Fore Street and Union when it opens on May 20. The question remains: Who is the mystery mixologist, "seduced from Top of the East," that will be spearheading this new cocktail lounge? Send intel through the tipline.
2) Summer Tracking: Tapas restaurant Sur Lie should be open by the end of summer on Free Street, filling spaces vacated by Roost and Compositions with a "diverse menu of various sized plates." The Portland Development Corporation recently granted owners Antonio Alviar and Krista Cole a loan, evidently encouraged that Sean Kenyon, a James Beard semi-finalist, "will be a consultant for Sur Lie's bar program and will work with the bar manager to train the bartenders."
3) New on the Scene: After waiting nearly a year for government approval, Nolan Stewart announced yesterday that Coastal Root Cocktail Bitters has been "approved for production and wholesale!" The first recipe is an aromatic bitters, available now at Vena's Fizz House with more locations on the way.
4) Temporary Shutters: Portland's Duckfat is closed this week "to make improvements" and will reopen "better than ever" on May 10. Nearby, Foodworks caterer and food store is also temporarily shuttered while moving from 47 India Street to its new home at 61 India Street, formerly intended to house Blue Lobster Urban Winery.
5) Last Call: El Rayo Cantina is closed; El Rayo Taqueria will remain at the corner of York and High Streets for "at least a year and a half," according to co-owner Tod Dana. The landlord plans to develop a retail and residential building with an adjacent parking garage. Dana declined an offer to open a new restaurant in the future development and is seeking a Portland home elsewhere. In the meantime, expect to see a new El Rayo restaurant and bar on Route 1 in Scarborough by June, including "a takeout area and a shop selling salsa and tortillas."
—Adam H. Callaghan
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