Scales now open on Portland waterfront


The long-awaited Scales restaurant opened Saturday night for dinner.

Partner Sam Hayward broke the news on Facebook Friday that the huge, modern warehouse, built from the ground up on Maine Wharf, was ready for business.

Instantly, eager diners flocked to the docks.

“Love the old New England menu touches: Parker House rolls, grilled brown bread, frappes, blueberry, maple, cider beans. And still dreaming about the tuna tartare and Fried Squid,” one dinner posted on Facebook.

Customers of the original Portland Public Market House will remember Scales as a beloved raw bar in the early 2000s. Scales 2.0 returns on a much grander scale.

Earlier this week owner Dana Street would not say when Scales would open. A website is now up, but no menu is live. Judging from Facebook and Twitter posts, the Brookline, MA native stuck to his guns and opened a New England fish house steeped in Brahmin traditions. Think Union Oyster House crossed with Durgin Park. Think summer headquarters for Bostonians on break. Think old school refinery. Think Red Sox hats en masse at the crowded bar all summer!

Chef Mike Smith, who has worked in Boston and Portland, mans the kitchen creating Scales’ fresh, non-trendy, fare. We plan to pin him down for an interview later this month.

Location: Commercial Street across the water from the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal.

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.