Seven Vacant Spots in Portland, Maine, Perfect for a New Sports Bar
Despite being home to three professional sports teams, Portland, Maine, is down to only a handful of sports bars. Nearly two years ago, one of the most prominent sports bars in the city, Binga's Stadium, closed permanently. Another one of Portland's most prominent sports bars, Rivalries, officially closed as well. Both businesses spent nearly two decades as the place to go to gather with friends and watch big games.
It's fair to wonder if the sports bar in Portland, Maine, is just dead. The city is still home to a few, including Aura, Fore Play and X-Golf. But part of what makes a good sports bar become great is the atmosphere. Both Binga's Stadium and Rivalries had it. Would a brand new sports bar in Portland be able to find that magic?
It's possible, and if there are any ambitious entrepreneurs out there, Portland is home to a bunch of vacancies that would be perfect for a sports bar, whether it be location, parking availability, layout of the space, or a combination of all three. Here are seven vacant properties in Portland that could be a fit for a sports bar.
Old Port Tavern
Who doesn't like a good underground sports bar? For years in Montreal, Peel Pub made a killing as a place you could visit any time of the day and it would feel like 10pm. With the permanent closure of Old Port Tavern, there's been no official listing of the property. Is it for lease, or is it already spoken for?
It's not in the heart of downtown, but the old Parker's Restaurant on Washington Avenue has plenty of appeal. Similar to Buffalo Wild Wings in South Portland, this vacancy would offer up a ton of parking and plenty of interior space for sports fanatics. The inside would need to be altered to cater to TVs and surround sound, but it could work.
Summer games on a rooftop deck, anyone? The Yard called it quits just as they seemed to be catching a lot of eyes and ears in the city. What they left behind is ideal for a sports bar, and with a massive condo complex going up right next door, The Yard could easily become Portland's next most popular sports bar.
Elsmere has been a cozy little neighborhood hang for years now. The restaurant is available for the right price and the right tenant, and a neighborhood sports bar sounds like a winning ticket. The interior is built for it, and the exterior patio would be dynamite in the warmer months as long as you don't want to think about the parking issue.
15 Temple Street
This space was once home to the locals favorite Bubble Maineia, a great place to grab speciality drinks. This is probably the least likely destination for a sports bar, but it's an intriguing one. Just a few doors down is the Portland House of Music and Events, and a sports bar in the same complex could add some life and foot traffic to other nearby businesses.
140 Fore Street
If you're going to open a new sports bar, why not start brand new? 140 Fore Street is located near the brand new Wex campus in a part of Portland that is rapidly developing. The great part about sports bars is people will go out of their way to find a good one, and a sports bar located in this up-and-coming area could double dip with a hungry lunch crowd and a thirsty dinner one.
The space at 42 Wharf Street has been home to the Oasis nightclub for years. This is probably the best landing spot of any potential sports bar if you're thinking big. It's got two floors, two bars, and a pile of outdoor space for games and live entertainment in the summer. Plus, a ton of foot traffic along Wharf Street. The price to get the space is steep, but it could be a powerhouse.