Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: There are new Airbnb rules; the brew bus battle is over, and beers with the governor.
What we’re talking about
Here’s what you need to know about the new Airbnb rules — Starting Jan. 1, 2018, hosts will have to register short-term rental units with the city, and pay a graduated fee for each one (the more rentals you have, the more you pay, and fees are greater in homes in which the owner does not live.) The city council also put a cap of five rentals per person, and banned people from renting out single-family homes if they don’t live there. The new rules also place a total cap of 300 non-owner occupied units that can be rented out across the city — although that excludes the islands.
Maine Brew Bus bought out its competition — Kathleen Pierce reports:
Besides increasing tours as more breweries, wineries and distilleries from Kittery to Brunswick open, [owner Zach Poole] has no plans to change his formula. The Maine Brew Bus generated $400,000 in sales last year and business has doubled year after year since 2013, said Poole.
“We will stick with what’s worked for us. Our prices will stay the same. We are tweaking their tours,” said Poole, who is less party bus operator, more educational guide. That philosophy lines up with one big change from the last management: Drinking won’t be allowed on the bus, he said.
Citing personal reasons, Long Creek superintendent resigns — Here’s the story that came in last night right as the newsletter was coming out:
Jeffrey Merrill II submitted his resignation from the youth prison citing “personal reasons,” over the weekend, [Maine DOC Commissioner Joseph] Fitzpatrick said. Associate Commissioner Colin O’Neill will serve as the prison’s interim superintendent, he said.
The news comes less than a week after Merrill was placed on administrative leave. At the time, Fitzpatrick declined to say why Merrill was taken off the job, citing an “active investigation.”
“The investigation is stopped at this point,” Fitzpatrick said Monday. He declined to elaborate.
‘An Allagash White-fueled evening with Paul LePage’ — Michael Shepherd and Christopher Cousins went to The Quarry Tap Room in Hallowell last night, where the celebrity bartender was none other than Gov. Paul LePage:
“I want you to pour me whatever you want,” Mike told the governor. “But I’m with the press, so I don’t want you to put anything funny in it.”
LePage smiled, turned around and came back with an Allagash White. The ubiquitous Maine beer is a little bland for my taste, but it was a solid effort and I won’t complain.
“If you like Maine beer … ,” he said, then shook my hand.
National designer based in Biddeford opens in Old Port — Fifteen years after launching a line of casual chic clothing in Manhattan, Roxi Suger is opening in the Old Port. In May the Biddeford-based Anglerox clothing designer, whose clothes are made in the mills on the Saco River, opens her second Suger store in the E. Swasey and Co. Pottery Building next to Bam Bam Bakery. The owners are restoring the Commercial Street space, hoping to bring bricks and mortar back. — Kathleen Pierce
Is brunch dying in Portland? — Emil Rivera, executive chef at Sur Lie on Free Street, joined us for a caffe macchiato at Arabica today. For the fifth installment of Coffee with Cooks, we learned that Sur Lie halted brunch, even though Rivera busted out the best doughnuts! Turns out the Sunday free-for-all is too grueling for a small resto to execute week after week. Portland used to be a brunch town, but lunch is now officially eating its lunch. Join us on Facebook next week when we chat with Courtney Loreg, top toque at Woodford Food and Beverage. — Kathleen Pierce
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
‘Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year’ — This Washington Post piece by Christopher Ingraham contains some terrifying facts. Example:
A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There’s a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at email@example.com, or tweet @dsmacleod.