Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight we say goodbye to The Griffin Club; revisit the 1855 Rum Riot; and consider whether Portland is plagued by NIMBYism.
What we’re talking about
Final countdown for the Griffin Club in SoPo — Get your last drinks in and say a Hail Mary because the Griffin Club’s hours are numbered. The Forecaster reports that Knightville’s legendary sport’s bar is slated for a teardown to make way for development. Owner of the Ocean Street club, Scott Parker received an eviction notice in April forcing him out by June 2. Last call is May 31. That’s tomorrow. Parker told the weekly he may resurrect the bar, a favorite with Boston Celtics players and religious seekers who have seen God in the window above. Look for Griffin’s Dugout at 64 E St. to resurface to “keep his seven bartenders employed and give his longtime customers a place to go,” reports Melanie Sochan. — Kathleen Pierce
The Portland mayor who gave the order to shoot into a crowd — Mayor Neal Dow ordered a city militia to break up the famous Rum Riot of 1855. They wounded seven and killed one man. It’s a story well worth retelling as Portland struggles with just how powerful a mayor it wants to have. — Troy R. Bennett
Turn over the tapes— That was a Portland judge’s Friday order to Maine Public and WGME-TV. Justice Joyce Wheeler told the two broadcasters to send a lawyer for Anthony Sanborn the complete recordings, including outtakes, of interviews they conducted in April with the former prosecutor who handled Sanborn’s conviction for the 1989 murder of Jessica Briggs. The order follows Wheeler’s confidential review of the reporting material last week, and comes as the latest development in an explosive case that has raised the concern that an innocent man may have been locked away for nearly three decades.
11 bid for Bayside lot — The city isn’t saying from whom, but it’s received 11 different bids to buy the former public works lots in Bayside, the Press Herald’s Randy Billings reports. The city’s economic development director said that the proposals comply with existing zoning for the lots, which in some cases could allow for buildings as tall as 105 feet, and that housing is only being contemplated on three of the six parcels of city land.
Is NIMBYism stifling growth? — Predictably, it depends on who you ask. Real estate developers say that the Portland area’s sometimes fierce neighborhood opposition to new developments is stopping economic growth and driving up the cost of housing, the Press Herald’s J. Craig Anderson report. Neighborhood advocates, however, say the problem is that few of the city’s recent large-scale developments have focused on affordable housing and that developers seek to skirt existing regulation.
Jammin’ in the square once again — Portland Culture Exchange is restarting its summertime First Friday street jam in Monument Square this week at 6 p.m. They’ll play music, dance, sing, tell stories, and make friends. Jam leaders include Tutuma Louis, Ness Smith-Savedoff, Jawad Al-fatlawi, and African Dundada. All are welcome. — Troy R. Bennett
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
R.I.P., Gregg — To mark the passing of one of rock’s greats, revisit this 1973 Rolling Stone story about how Gregg Allman kept the band going after his brother’s death.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at email@example.com, or tweet @JZBleiberg.