City Council Actions and A Delay

Chef Paul and Jeanine Lively, owners of the new "The Lively Palate" at 54 Washington Avenue.

Chef Paul and Jeanine Lively, owners of the new “The Lively Palate” at 54 Washington Avenue. It will open this summer.

Sean Ireland Spoke in Favor of the pop-up park on Federal Street

Sean Ireland Spoke in Favor of the pop-up park on Federal Street

John Kreis Co-owner of Old Port Vape, 53 Market Street.  "The Committee Meetings Occured and We Knew Nothing About Them."

John Kreis Co-owner of Old Port Vape, 53 Market Street. “The Committee Meetings Occurred and We Knew Nothing About Them.”

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,282)

The City Council approved a beer and wine license for the yet to open – “A Lively Palate” – to be located at 54 Washington Avenue on the East End of Portland. Chef Paul and Jeanine Lively attended the meeting this evening and said it will be a chocolate shop plus eatery.  Although they had hoped to open earlier this spring,  plans have changed and the opening will be sometime this summer.  A luncheon menu will be served until 4:00 pm and beginning at 5:00 pm., a lighter menu will be served. Hours will run from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm. Chef Paul Lively has won the top award two years in a row for the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling in Portland. The space was just renamed from “Lively” to “A Lively Palate.”

The building is owned by Pliny Reynolds and was formerly occupied by Falmouth Flowers & Gifts.

Also receiving a wine and liquor license this evening was Kathleen Pratt, co-owner of Tandem Bakery & Coffee on Congress Street.

A vote on a proposal for  a “pop-up” park – Federal Street Folly” – was delayed until Monday, May 8th by the city council.  It wants  city staff to provide more information on parking losses in the area as well as more time to inform nearby businesses of the possible changes.  The “pedestrian friendly zone” would be located behind the soon to open “Press Hotel,” formerly The Portland Press Herald Building.  The “zone” is the brainchild of Jim Brady, owner of the boutique Hotel in the front of the proposed zone. This  will provide a unique space for pedestrians to explore and showcase Portland’s performing and visual arts in a pedestrian friendly environment in the upper ‘Exchange Street area of the Old Port.

However, two area businesses objected to the proposal saying that the June 5 – October 12 restricted area would adversely affect their businesses – reducing the number of parking spaces available to them. Business owners also said that this past Thursday was the first time they had heard of this proposed “pop-up” park or zone. Sean Ireland, an associate of Brady’s,  told the Council that the motivation here was to activate a space that previously lacked activity.  This effort is supported by the Maine College of Art (MECA) and Portland Trails among other groups. The design of the zone will consist of three elements; softening of the streetscape, functional art and a lighting component  according to Ireland. Councilor David Brenerman expressed what seemed to be prevailing sentiment when he said it sounded like a wonderful idea, but recommended the proposal be tabled for a week.   Councilor Duson added that she thought the “outreach performed was not sufficient.” Portland Downtown District was to have ;performed the community outreach to nearby businesses. City staff member Troy Moon will provide that information on Monday, May 8th.

In another action, the Council voted to prohibit public use of e-cigarettes. much as it has done in the past for regular cigarette smoking. The vote to add vaping to the city’s ordinance won overwhelming support by a 7 – 1 vote. Council Jon Hinck did not support the ordinance change.  The owner of Old Port Vapor told the Council that e-cigs are not harmful to people.  Councilor David Marshall assured him that customers would still  be able to smoke within his store.  About an even number of people testified in support of the change to the ordinance as those who testified in opposition to it.

According to John Kreis, co-owner of Old Port Vape:  “The city is banning it because they are regulating it as a tobacco product and it’s not.  The committee meetings occurred and we knew nothing about them.  Our vaping products are not tobacco products.  We don’t sell e-cigarettes here.”