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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: August 13, 2014

Snacktime: New speakeasy in Kennebunk, BBQ bashes, beer releases, more

Written by: Susan Axelrod

The Down Low opens in Kennebunk

The bar at The Down Low. Courtesy photo

The bar at The Down Low. Courtesy of The Kennebunkport Resort Collection

The latest trend in cocktail bars, the 21st-century speakeasy, has arrived in Maine at The Down Low, the new lounge below the Italian restaurant Abbondante on Western Avenue in Kennebunk. Open Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m., The Down Low is open to everyone, but if you visit the Facebook page (no website yet) for the weekly “password,” you’ll get access to drink specials and “other treats.” On the drinks menu are “Prohibition-era libations” including the Bees Knees: Barr Hill Gin, honey and lemon, as well as more contemporary cocktails. Traditional absinthe service is also offered, and no, it doesn’t make you go crazy.

A new home for Pepperclub/Good Egg Cafe?

The Pepperclub/Good Egg Cafe wants to move from the location on Middle Street it has occupied for 25 years. Press Herald file photo

The Pepperclub/Good Egg Cafe wants to move from the location on Middle Street it has occupied for 25 years. Press Herald file photo

This just in from the restaurant’s Facebook page: “We are vying for the old Portland Rochester Public House on Preble St. in Portland…we would love to add lunch and take out to our menu and to offer the USM and Backbay area a healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner destination.” There’s also a plea for financial support and an offer of trade, to help make the move. After 25 years in the same location on Middle Street, the organic, vegetarian/vegan restaurant announced earlier this summer that the rent and competition had forced them to seek a new location, which would likely be Kennebunk. Portland fans who want to help them stay in town can reach owner Mary LeDue Paine via Facebook.

Burnside release party at Nosh

A glass of Burnside. Courtesy of Foundation Brewing

A glass of Burnside. Courtesy of Foundation Brewing

A collaboration between Nosh Kitchen Bar and Foundation Brewing Company, Burnside is described as “our interpretation of a classic brown ale, and the Yin to the Yang of our farmhouse-style ales. Round and malty, dominated by coffee burnt sugar and chocolate notes, and finishing at a perfect 5.1% ABV .” The keg gets tapped at 5 p.m on Thursday, Aug. 14 at Nosh, 551 Congress St., Portland.

BBQ, Beer & Bocce in Rockland

Let that spiky-haired food TV star have Triple D. Triple B sounds way better. On Thursday, Aug. 14 starting at 6 p.m. the smoker will be cranking out “local sausage free-range chicken, brisket, and pork shoulder” on the patio at 3CROW Restaurant & Bar, 449 Main St. in Rockland. To wash down all that delicious smoked meat, Heather Sanborn, co-owner of Portland’s Rising Tide Brewing, will be pouring her beers. And the bocce ball is free.

The Clash Bash & BBQ


If you’re a fan of the Clash cover band battles at Empire, you probably already know about the epic party on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Thompson’s Point. If not, here’s the deal: It’s hosted by WJBQ 97.9 and co-sponsored by Shipyard Brewing, who will be releasing their seasonal — and beloved by many — Pumpkinhead beer at the event. The bash goes down at 4 p.m. and keeps kicking until 9 p.m., with a bunch of bands and barbecue from Portland-area restaurants. TICKETS are $11 in advance, $15 the day of. This is a 21+ event. If you want to sit down, bring your own folding chair.

“Bartender’s Brunch” stout launch

Courtesy of Maine Beer Company.

Courtesy of Maine Beer Company

Continuing with the beer-collaboration theme, Maine Beer Company in Freeport has partnered with Portland’s Coffee By Design for its annual stout, nicknamed “Bartender’s Brunch” for 2014. The beer was made with Certified Organic Ethiopian coffee and is the first collaboration between MBC and CBD. To launch it, Coffee By Design is hosting a party on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 1 Diamond St. in Portland. Your $25 ticket gets you samples of the stout and MBC’s Lunch, a coffee cocktail crafted by In’finiti, a 12 oz. CBD cold-brew coffee, a savory hand pie from Maine Pie Line, a Holy Donut and a commemorative tasting glass. For tickets: After the release, “Bartender’s Brunch” will be on tap at the brewery and Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland.

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