Newscapes Brewery Opens on Washington Avenue as a Restaurant


Jeff Curran, Owner of Newscapes Brewery at 163 Washington Avenue, on the East End of Portland.  Curran is a Self-employed Landscaper. Therefore, his Outdoor Restaurant is Attractively Decorated With Flowers.

Small pizzas and beer are currently on the menu at a new outdoor restaurant  that opened over the Memorial Day weekend according to its owner Jeff Curran who is also a self-employed landscaper. But soon this brewery now zoned to be a restaurant rather than a brewery will be serving breakfast said Jeff late last week.  It’s located at  163 Washington Avenue on the east end of Portland.

And that location is a disadvantage for Curran he points out with an impressive knowledge of Portland’s city zoning regulations.  Jeff explained it this way:  his property located at 163 Washington Avenue is in the B-1 Neighborhood Business zone.  A brewery with testing area is not permitted within this zone.  According to a planning board document. “The existing B-1 zone is intended to provide limited areas for the location of small-scale commercial establishments…complimentary, quiet and generally do not disturb the comfort and enjoyment of the adjoining neighborhood…it should be noted that the B-1 business zone explicity encourages mixed-use buildings which allow for commercial development and high-residential density.”  B-2 zoning which Jeff tried to change his brewery to was turned down by the city in 2019.  That zone is reserved for commercial development – such as housing developments.  Quoting from the city’s own document again, B-2 zoning “allows a broader range of commercial uses, ,such as retail and restaurant uses, as well as long-impact industrial uses including distilleries, and brewries by right……”

So, get this:  Jeff’s beer is now imported.  It is imported from Cape Elizabeth where it is distilled!  That’s because beer can not be distilled in a B-1 Zone. It’s open Wednesday – Sunday from noon – 8:00 pm

Jeff has taken the matter into his own hands.  He has filed an appeal in Superior Court to reverse the city’s decision not to grant him a map amendment from B-1 to B-2.  Stay stuned.

It shouldn’t be a surprise; the city makes lots of unpopular decisions these days!  Maybe real estate development is in their short-cited vision?