While there's nothing officially marking Spread as closed, industry responses to a recent speculative piece suggest that it really, truly is...sort of.
Man-about-town Joe Ricchio comments on Facebook, "I was told they were [closing] a while ago."
Portland bartender Paul Russell concurs via Facebook that weeks ago a (now) former employee told him Spread would be closing. The latest restaurant to fail in the 100 Commercial Street space in downtown Portland fell victim not to a curse, according to Russell, but to the building's size. He insists the space in question is "just too damn big" and suggests rent needs to drop or the space needs to be split before a success story can be written.
Most recently, chef Frederic Eliot of Petite Jacqueline responds bluntly, "Yes, it is done."
More gossip comes from an anonymous tipster, who emails, "I understand there is a prospective buyer—a chef from away—in town this week or next to make a deal. Spread is dead."
Another anonymous commenter who sounds like he/she is connected to the restaurant agrees that Spread under its current guise is finished, but contradicts the rumors about an out-of-towner snooping around the lease. This source declares that the venue is still leased by the "same owners, however one is heading to his hometown in South Korea. Plans are to reopen after some renovations with a new concept as well as a new name. But no date is set currently. Any updates will be posted to Spread's Facebook page as they are made available."
It's worth noting that the only publicly known owner of Spread is Jung Hur, also of Old Port restaurant Fuji; whether there are less-visible co-owners ready to soldier on is not immediately clear. Eater Maine will continue to sift through the layers in an attempt to get to the bottom of things; as always, tips and gossip are appreciated.
· All Spread Coverage [-EME-]