Posted: December 11, 2018
Southern Maine spots open on Christmas
Written by: Staff Reports
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For a lot of people, Christmas is about taking family time to the max, but for others — those who don’t celebrate the holiday, who have no family nearby or who can only take so much — it’s nice to have the option of getting out. With so many places closed for the day, it can be hard to find refuge on Christmas. Fortunately, there a few restaurants and bars in southern Maine that open their doors for anyone in need of a bite to eat, a little socialization or just an excuse to leave the house. And if your holiday is indeed all about family time, we’ve got you covered too with some fancy spots for festive feasts.
And take a look at our 7 ways to get our of your house on Christmas Day!
Photo by Andrew Talbotfirstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial Street Pub
Open 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., 129 Commercial St., Portland
If you’re itching to get out of the house right after you open your presents, you can head to Commercial Street Pub in Portland by late morning — and stay until the wee hours of the following day. The pub prides itself on opening every day of the year, and Christmas is no exception. You’ll even be rewarded for your patronage with a buffet-style turkey dinner, available for free to anyone who comes in for drinks. The rolling desk chairs and laid-back vibe will make you feel right at home, especially if you’re a Nebraska fan.
Photo by Katy Kelleher
Open 3 to 8 p.m., 20 Milk St., Portland
Hotel restaurants are often some the only places open on major holidays, serving fancy, multi-course dinners for
people who are traveling or just don’t want to cook. While the Portland Regency’s restaurant, Twenty Milk Street,
does the white-tablecloth version of that from 5 to 8 p.m., the historic Old Port hotel’s lounge, the Armory, will also be serving the holiday menu in a slightly more casual atmosphere, though still festively decked out. They'll also have a pub menu available from 3 to 5 p.m. And the extensive,
creative martini list might be the perfect antidote to any family drama.
Staff photo by Jack Milton
Broad Arrow Tavern
Open 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., 162 Main St., Freeport
The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport does a reservation-only Christmas buffet, complete with bacon wrapped scallops, duck breast salad and eggnog cheesecake but also keeps its tavern open all day long, serving its regular menu of burgers, seafood and brick-oven pizza. If you’re really looking to kill some time on Christmas, this is probably the place to go, with the always-open L.L. Bean flagship store right across the street and a cute downtown to stroll around.
Staff photo by Derek Davis
Open at 2 p.m. (kitchen at 3 p.m.) to 1 a.m., 330 Fore St., Portland
Rosie’s is the ultimate cozy pub, its picture windows the perfect place through which to watch snow fall on the Old Port from a warm seat (with a cold beer) inside. You can order from its menu full of comfort food or just snack on the free popcorn from the machine. If you start to get antsy, a rousing game of darts should keep you entertained.
Photo by Leslie Bridgers
Zen Chinese Bistro
Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 45 Danforth St., Portland
Chinese restaurants have made a name for themselves as being among the few places people can eat out on Christmas. Having Chinese food on Christmas Day has become a cliched custom among the American Jewish community and was immortalized in film by the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” after the family dogs destroy the turkey. Zen gets so busy on Christmas that the restaurant suspends its delivery service for the day and warns on its website to expect up to a 70-minute wait for takeout.
Staff photo by Gordon Chibroski
Kon Asian Bistro
Open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 1140 Brighton Ave., Portland
Here’s a completely different idea for Christmas dinner: hibachi. Have your meal cooked right before your eyes, and served with a side of humor, by bringing the whole family to Kon, which keeps its normal hours on Christmas Day. The massive restaurant by the Westbrook line also has a traditional dining area, where you can order sushi, as well as noodle, rice and teriyaki dishes, and a large bar with a drink list that includes many of the classic tiki cocktails, assisting any Grinches out there to forget what day it is and instead feel transported to a tropical island.
Photo courtesy of Fore Play Sports Pub
Fore Play Sports Pub
Open 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. 436 Fore St., Portland
Safe to assume that at least one of Fore Play's 30 TVs will be tuned to the annual "A Christmas Story" marathon because we're told bartender Rob is obsessed with it. Christmas Day drink specials include the Yule Shoot Your Eye Out, complete with candy cane stirrer. They'll also have hot apple cider toddies, Jolly Jello-o shots and Sam Adams Winter flowing.
Photo courtesy of Gilbert's Chowder House Windham
Gilbert's Chowder House
Open from 3 to 9 p.m. 61 Tandberg Trail, Windham.
Wassail your way over to the Windham location of Gilbert's Chowder House for some Christmas cheer. Bartender Cindi will be ready and waiting beginning at 3 p.m. with drinks and light appetizers. Sounds like a perfect refuge to hunker down at with some like-minded pals. Keep an eye on their Facebook page. as we've been told the chef may have some dinner items available.
Photo by Ted Axelrod
Sea Glass Restaurant
Open Noon to 6 p.m. 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth
Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea is offering a glorious, family-style feast. Make your reservation ($70 adults, $25 kids) and get ready
for slow roasted prime rib, seared salmon, carrot "osso bucco" and a sensational selection sides including herb roasted celery root and carrots and whiskey and
apple glazed sweet potatoes. Finish off the meal with an assortment of mini desserts including pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie and cookies. What's more, Inn
by the Sea lives up to its name and is a truly gorgeous spot to spend the holiday.
Photo by Kari Herer
Open Noon to 8 p.m. Press Hotel, 390 Congress St., Portland
The Christmas menu is features confit duck leg, carved Christmas rib roast, roast game hen and Gulf of Maine
flounder, among several other culinary creations. Satisfy your post-meal sweet tooth with epic sounding desserts like warm sticky toffee pudding and eggnog ice cream. Reservations are needed so get on it ($59 for three-course menu, add $28 for wine paring). P.S. They're also open for breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m.