It's not often that Portland turns a jealous eye to neighboring cities, but for some time Biddeford has probably felt a covetous gaze directed firmly at its crown jewel, Palace Diner. Now, word has it the owners of that modern classic are fact-finding in Portland for a new Italian restaurant. Commence salivating.
Almost two years after they refreshed Maine's oldest diner with epic versions of tuna melts and fried chicken, owners Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell are considering a second eatery along the booming stretch of Washington Avenue at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. This is according to a source with the City of Portland with awareness of a recent, very preliminary pre-planning meeting the business partners held with city planners to gauge the possibilities.
The premises in question, where Casale's Auto Sales sits, recently changed hands and could be under development in the near future. If they end up at this location, the restaurateurs would join a booming neighborhood full of increasingly popular spots like Terlingua, Oxbow Blending and Bottling, Tu Casa, Maine and Loire (and its upcoming wine bar, The Drifter's Wife), Portland Pottery Cafe, and even another new Italian spot, Roustabout. Palace Diner did not respond by press time to a request for comment.