Natural wine store Maine and Loire is hoping to add a wine bar and kitchen at the front of its existing space. Portland Food Map reported yesterday that "The back part of their space will continue to be a retail wine shop. The natural wine bar will have seating for about 20 including a small 8-seat bar."
The shop has held frequent wine tastings since its opening, and recently expanded its hours to Monday to Saturday noon to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Co-owner Peter Hale told Eater the tastings would continue as a strong, educational part of the shop while the front bar should be an autonomous hangout spot with a life of its own, not simply an extension. His wife and co-owner Orenda noted that the bar may sometimes be the only place to find limited allotments of wines available nowhere else in Portland, and help customers understand the unusual selections available on the retail shelves.
The food component "is the missing jigsaw at this point," Peter explained, but expect classic wine bar fare like in France or northern Spain: "Fresh, clean, simple."
It's uncommon to see combined retail and on-premise alcohol sales in Maine, but Hale said, "It's actually a pretty straightforward licensing concern," and sharing the two different licenses shouldn't be a problem. Look for a possible launch in the slower period after the holidays.
Update, 9/23/15: An Instagram account spotted by Portland Food Map suggests the name of the new bar will be Drifter's Wife.