“There are so many people on the streets here that we decided to open early this year,” said David Pulido, owner of the Portland Lobster Co. this afternoon. He and his wife, Debra, were cleaning the popular seafood resturant/take-out in anticipation of their opening on Thursday, May 3 – about two weeks ahead of schedule. It is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week with live music on the dock all summer.
Across Commercial Street from the Portland Lobster Co. is Vervacious, a tantalizing store specializing in condiments for use with weekday cooking and holiday entertaining recipes. Mark Stanvick, proprietor, said “compared to last year, there are a lot more people around and they are buying. Not just looking around. A lot of folks are up here for restaurants as well as food related purchases. People come from Boston and New York. Vervacious is located at 227 Commercial Street vervacious.com
Jacques deVillier, the owner of Old Port Wine & Cigars said his business is way up from last year. In fact, January to March of this year it was up 20% over last year; March of this year business was up 37% and April has been average. He believes the reason for that is the cooler weather Portland has experienced during April. “Portland is becoming a destination for people from New York, Boston and Providence. It’s safe and friendly. This is a great weekend getaway. The weather played a huge part in improving our economy as well,” deVillier said.
Down at Portland Harbor Hotel, Concierge David W. Costa said: “Every hotel in town was sold out last night and we don’t know why. There were no special events going on. We can also tell business is better than previously because we’ve been sold out for the past 6 or more Saturdays. On a continum from last summer and every season thereafter, it has been appreciably busier with any comparable season. Mild weather is a significant factor in that. Twenty % of our guests are here explicitly for the purpose of sampling restaurant food,” Costa said.