Big changes on Middle Street. The owners of Hugo’s Restaurant and Eventide Oyster Co. have made it official. They are expanding their powerhouse establishments into the spots vacated by PepperClub/The Good Egg and Dean’s Sweets.
The move will allow the company to give Eventide its own kitchen. Also a third restaurant, a noodle/pasta house called The Honey Paw will open next year. The “non-denominational noodle restaurant” will draw on “techniques, shapes, and flavors from across the globe,” the release said. The Honey Paw “won’t be a pasta joint or a noodle house per se, we don’t want to be beholden to tradition or cultural idiom.”
The acclaimed restaurants continue to get rave reviews in major food and wine publications across the country. Reports last winter that company owners Arlin Smith, Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley planned to expand into Portland’s Woodford Corner, was the first inkling they were increasing their footprint. The far-flung space never panned out. Smith, surveying the new construction site Wednesday a.m. told UrbanEye he was not releasing any more information, but that the project would take six months.
The Boston Globe’s recent favorable review of Portland’s food scene alluded to the new spot last week. According to Portland Food Map, chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly of the Family Feast event series and Hugo’s alum, will represent The Honey Paw from the outset.
No word if the PepperClub, a neighborhood stalwart for 25 years, will resurface in Portland. In May, PepperClub owner Melissa Sawyer told the BDN she felt priced out with deep-pocketed restaurateurs entering the scene. “Maybe we are not trendy enough,” she said.