Dry Dock restaurant in Portland's Old Port first shut down in 2016 for renovations...and it hasn't opened since.

Trying to find out why a prime piece of real estate in the heart of Portland's Old Port is still shuttered is like solving a mystery. It all started with a small notice from Portland Food Map in May of 2016,

A sign in the door indicates that the restaurant “will reopen under new ownership and after renovations.”

Yelp Frank W
Yelp Frank W

Dry Dock had been a staple of Portland's Old Port dining scene since 1983. It was one of the first places I went to when arriving in Maine (and also the first place where I had my car towed).

In 2018, the new owner, Stephen Goodrich, was going to expand Dry Dock and remodel the decades-old building. However, the Portland Press Herald noted that they had to put the brakes on the large expansion. A building moratorium was passed by the City Council in 2018 due to concerns of maritime workers and advocates. The moratorium forced Stephen, who bought the restaurant in April 2016, to seek a more modest plan.

The new proposal would only include a small addition to the building at 84 Commercial Street that will allow the restaurant to move the kitchen from a leaky basement. It will also include the rebuilding of the rear decks, but not an expansion.

Yelp Bob R
Yelp Bob R

Since then, it's incredibly hard to find any information about what is happening. Is Dry Dock coming back? Are there new owners? What's happening? I did get excited when I saw Portland's Old Port post about a HOOTERS coming!

Unfortunately, this was posted on 4/1/24, aka April Fool's Day. You got me, Portland. But seriously, what's happening to Dry Dock?

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