2018-04-20 / Community

In the Know

New Food –Chicago Dogs at 671 Main St. in South Portland lasted barely two years, but the site will not remain vacant for very long. At its Tuesday, April 17 meeting, the city council approved licenses to a new operation to be known as Coppersmith Restaurant.

This will be the second South Portland business for owner Bob Coppersmith of Windham, who also owns Docks Boathouse in Biddeford and opened Docks Seafood on Evans Street in 2011. Coppersmith, who has logged more than three decades in the food service industry, said he opened his second Docks location to fill the void left by the closure of Cap’n Newicks on Broadway in 2007. The new venture, he said, is designed to similarly fill the niche of the establishment it is replacing.

“I think it’s a hell of a neighborhood up there that could really use something like this,” he said.

Coppersmith described his eponymous eatery as “a neighborhood pub, kind of like ‘Cheers.’”

Coppersmith said the new 80-seat restaurant is scheduled to open in late May. He expects to hire at least 10 employees, he said, including, “four, if not more” former staffers of Chicago Dogs.

No parking – With significant sewer work planned in the area of Elm Street this summer, several residents have got an early start on strategizing how the street should look once it’s put back together.

At an April 10 city council workshop those residents banded together to complain that the street is too narrow to accommodate parking on both sides.

“Pulling into Elm Street even in the summer is very hard. But in the case of an emergency it would be very hard for (city) vehicles to get into our street for five months of the year,” said resident Rachel Duffy.

Fire Chief James Wilson agreed that on a recent test trip, which to coincided with a snowstorm, he could not turn onto the street due to “a bottleneck at the intersection.” However, Wilson said once he was able to make the turn, the way opened up further in on the street

“Every day of the week there are places that we have challenges getting in to,” he said.

Residents asked that parking be limited to one side, or that there be no parking for a certain distance from the intersection with Broadway.

“I’m inclined to support any parking changes that will increase fire safety throughout the city,” said Councilor Kate Lewis, echoing the balance of the council.

However, Councilor Adrian Dowling said South Portland has no dedicated parking enforcement division, and wondered aloud how no parking signs might be enforced.

“Just the other day on Cottage Street between Drillin’s (hardware store) and Cragmere (Avenue) I counted 11 cars parked in the no parking zone,” he said.

Even so, at its April 17 business meeting, the council voted unanimously to restrict parking on Elm Street, on the western side of Broadway, with no cars allowed on either side of the road for 120 feet past the intersection.

Donations – At its April 17 meeting, the South Portland City Council accepted more than $2,700 in donations.

Among the gifts were checks totaling $375 given to the city library in memory of Rita Donaldson, who died March 13 at age 93. A self-described bookaholic, Donaldson was known throughout her life to refer to the South Portland Library on Broadway as her “favorite place.” Giving in her memory were Gail Brewer and the Donaldson family of Washington, Virginia ($200), Wendy and Mike Franz and family of Loch Lloyd, Missouri ($100), Mitchell Road residents Dwight, Mary, and Jeff Berry ($50), and Dawn Libby of Saco ($25).

The library also received $1,250 from the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, given to support its youth literacy and foreign language collections.

Meanwhile, library patrons also were in a giving mood, as Friends of the South Portland Library donated $1,000 to help support the police department’s K-9 program. The police dogs also got $50 from Tony Batchelor, while Preble Street residents Roberta and Barry Zuckerman gave $50 toward the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance Legal Defense Fund.

– Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington

Return to top