Shannon Bard’s new Kennebunk restaurant opens Wednesday



This must be the fastest turnaround in dining history. Seems spring just started to bloom when Shannon Bard, chef/owner of Zapoteca in Portland, announced her plan to take over a rambling bookstore in Kennebunk and turn it into a food empire. Now, a few months later, her flagship restaurant Toroso is ready for prime time.

The 100-seat authentic Spanish tapas restaurant featuring octopus, hand-sliced ham, an open-kitchen and a deep wine list opens Wednesday, July 27 in Kennebunk’s Lower Village. Joining Bard on stage is Chris Bassett, former executive chef at Azure Cafe in Freeport, as Toroso’s chef de cuisine.

Though a menu has not been released, tasteful food porn, on Tororso’s website, has diners drooling. (Looks like Bard’s recent trip to Seville has taught this Food Network star a few new tricks).


“The ambiance will be similar to Zapoteca, a little nicer than your average restaurant, but very casual atmosphere, tapas demands it,” Bard told Urban Eye recently.

The 6,000-square-foot house she purchased with her husband Tom has other transformations in store. Salud bistro and catering company and an event barn out back come next. Will The Bunk’s overlooked Lower Village become a destination at last? This Kennebunk power couple are betting on it.

See you around the patio, sangria in hand. Toroso, 149 Port Road, Kennebunk.


Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.