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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: November 26, 2014

Snacktime: Restaurant closings, ‘Tonics & Tutus,’ cheeseburger nights, more

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Closings in Yarmouth, Kennebunk

From left: Oscar's New American, Yarmouth; Old Vines Wine Bar, Kennebunk

From left: Oscar’s New American, Yarmouth; Old Vines Wine Bar, Kennebunk

Oscar’s New American, Yarmouth

I drove by the other night and noticed it was dark. A call went to voicemail, even though it was a time they should have been open, and sure enough, the Facebook page reads “Permanently Closed,” with no other information. About a year ago, then-restaurant critic John Golden rated Oscar’s 3 stars in the Portland Press Herald.

Old Vines Wine Bar, Kennebunk

Owner Mike Farrell wrote on Old Vines’ Facebook page this week that he had decided last January to sell the place. But since he hasn’t been able to find a buyer, he will close the wine bar. “It was a hard decision, but the right one for my family, it is time to move on to something else. Old Vines has been an awesome experience and I am glad that it has been so well received in the community.” On Dec. 13 from 3 p.m. to midnight, Old Vines will close out its run with an “Open the Bottle Night,” offering all bottles of wine at a slight markup over cost.

‘Wich, Please sandwich truck is happening

Courtesy photo

The official logo. Courtesy Wich, Please/Facebook

In far happier news, Malcolm Bedell (of the From Away food blog) more than met his $25,000 Kickstarter goal to fund his sandwich food truck, raising $29,457 in about a month.’Wich, Please will make its debut in Rockland next spring. “I’ll complete the purchase of the trailer in December, and start working to get it up to snuff with equipment and signage by mid-February,” wrote Bedell, who can now change his title from “food blogger” to “sandwich king” – so much more interesting, don’t you think?

Black Friday Hesperus Release

Photo courtesy of Rising Tide/Facebook

Photo courtesy of Rising Tide/Facebook

”The snow fell hissing in the brine, And the billows frothed like yeast.” — Wreck of the Hesperus, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Skip the Black Friday crowds and head to Rising Tide Brewing Company, 101 Fox St. in Portland from noon to 8 p.m. for the seasonal, limited-release of Hesperus, a barrel aged strong ale, in bottles and on draft. Shopping is not completely ignored, since Rising Tide stocks a variety of gifts for the beer lovers on your list. There will be eats from CN Shawarma food truck, and you can stay for an evening of stand-up comedy with the Portland Comedy Co-op’s Black Friday Brew Ha Ha.

“Tonics & Tutus”

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy in a 2013 performance of the Portland Ballet's "Victorian Nutcracker." Press Herald file photo

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy in a 2013 performance of the Portland Ballet’s “Victorian Nutcracker.” Press Herald file photo

Those clever, fun-loving people at Vena’s Fizz House in Portland have come up with a way to combine Tschaikovsky’s holiday ballet, “The Nutcracker” and their delicious mocktails. Called “Tonics & Tutus,” the event takes place on Saturday, Nov. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Vena’s, 345 Fore St. Steve and Johanna Corman and their crew will be mixing Nutcracker-inspired drinks, such as The Sugar Plum Fairy Fizz — wild Maine grape shrub and plum bitters — Arabian Coffee Smash and The Snowflake. Main character dancers from Portland Ballet will pose in the shop’s windows in their Nutcracker costumes, while other dancers mingle with customers; “Victorian Nutcracker” tickets will also be for sale.

Cheeseburger Nights

Photo courtesy of Timber/Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Timber/Facebook.

You don’t always have to go for the big bucks at Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie in Portland. Now, on Mondays and Tuesdays, you can get Timber’s Wagyu beef and cheddar burger with fries for $18, and a second one at half-price. Sounds like a perfect date-night deal. Timber is at 106 Exchange St.

Moxie, books and beer

Press Herald file photo

Press Herald file photo

The “Pages & Pints” series at Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon St. continues on Friday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. with Maine author Jim Baumer, whose books include “Moxie: Maine in a Bottle” and “When Towns Had Teams.” At this free event, Baumer will talk about Moxie, books, and beer in the Library’s Callahan Hall, followed by a tour of Baxter Brewing Co., reception and beer tasting, including a small batch Moxie beer. Forage Market will provide cheese tastings with the Baxter brews.

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