While no one was looking, Portland’s J.Crew-ish bedroom community has been ramping up its appeal.
Right next to Handy’s Market, where Bard Coffee is now served and OTTO pizzas fly from the hearth, drinks and comfort food are about to round out the offerings. The Owl & Elm, a modern take on the village pub opens its doors Tuesday Sept. 20.
After months searching for a proprietor to take over the newly remodeled and freshened Main Street space, Caitlin Henningsen, a New Jersey native, brings to life what was missing in this village on the move.
“This is a family-friendly pub. A place where everyone can feel welcome,” said Henningsen, who recently moved to town. “The neighborhood needed something like this.”
With 20 years in the restaurant business, including stints running a food truck and bakeshop in Connecticut, she now presides over the 900-square-foot space.
Henningsen’s co-chefs Rocco Marzilli and Matthew Dorr, who worked at Portland’s Hot Suppah, and Nosh, will create comfort food classics. Though a menu has not been released, chicken pot pie and other stick-to-your-ribs fare is planned.
“This is part of the whole village revitalization,” said Sean Ireland, who developed the 365 Main Street space, and Handy’s next store. He is adding touches like vintage church pews to underscore the communal atmosphere. The space, last home to You Wanna Pizza of Me, has been used as storage for Handy’s for the past year.
At the bar, cocktails like whiskey sours and “a rotating, evolving tequila drink” in honor of Henningsen’s Aunt Lulu, save the pub from venturing too far into the kid-friendly camp.
This “community-driven food and drink destination,” will be open seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Owl & Elm, 365 Main St., Yarmouth.