By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,529)
The venerable old port restaurant, Street & Co., will be reopening tomorrow, Thursday, September 26th evening said Cathy Gore, its general manager this afternoon. The city’s inspection department inspected the property, located on Wharf Street, yesterday and notified owner Dana Street, it was cleared to open.
Street’s reopening follows a shutdown that lasted one week because of a three alarm fire that started in the utility area of a sub-basement of the nearby Dancing Elephant ll, also on Wharf Street. Two other businesses, Marks Place and Joe’s New York Slice Bar and Pizza were seriously impacted by the fire. It is not known when the three Fore Street businesses will be able to open again. The buildings are owned by controversial property owner Joe Foley. City records indicate that he has frequently butted heads with his building tenants as well as the City of Portland; developing such a reputation that some retail businesses are reluctant to move into any of his buildings in the old port.
King Bishop, head chef at Street & Co., said he has been able to restock pretty much the entire seafood menu. That includes all shellfish, local oysters and mussels, he said. “The damage from the smoke destroyed our entire inventory. That included paper products and soda lines. It required a massive clean-up from many of our employees to wanted to get in and get the job done,” said Gore this afternoon. There are no special plans for the reopening. “We are just happy to have gotten this far,” said Bishop.
Businesses other than the three mentioned above are open as well. The Old Port Candy Co., 422 Fore Street, opened yesterday. Employees spent several days restocking shelves. That’s because what wasn’t sealed had to be replaced according to an employee this afternoon. The East Ender Cup Cakes opened as well yesterday. Employee Heather Murphy said that 1,000 cup cakes had been pre-order before the fire hit early Thursday morning. They were for upcoming weekend events such as weddings, fundraisers and private parties. “We are so grateful to the Portland Harbor Hotel. They let us use their kitchen on Friday and Saturday to bake these cup cakes so we could fill our orders. And there was no charge,” said Murphy. “They were really sweet about it.” Portland Mayor Michael Brennan also showed up on Saturday morning to let us know that the city stood ready to help us however it could. “It was thoughtful of him.”