Neighborhood Grocery Store in South Portland Saved by Maine Brothers
Jack and Max Barber, the brothers behind Barber Brothers, have food in their blood.
They grew up in Cape Elizabeth, and if the name Barber makes you think of delicious stuffed chicken, there's a reason. Their grandfather, Gus Barber, started as a butcher with Barber Beef and expanded the business to Barber Foods in 1955.
Now, the brothers have opened Barber Brothers Meat & Provisions at what was formerly the home of Smaha’s Legion Square Market.
Smaha's Legion Square Market had been open for over 80 years, and when it closed, it was a blow to those who shopped at the tiny neighborhood grocery store; a true homage to the way life used to be. Co-owner Max Barber told the Portland Press Herald that local interest in the new market was strong, and there was a line when they had their recent soft opening.
Even if it's not quite your neighborhood, you should stop by. Barber Bros has an amazing butcher counter with all sorts of locally sourced meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. They also have yummy cheeses, bread, pantry items, and fresh produce from local farms.
These brothers know food...good food. They own Mainely Burgers and a restaurant in Boston. They will use their background to have some prepared foods, sandwiches, and homemade marinades as they settle in the next few months. They not only want to be your neighborhood grocery store, but also a place to grab a quick sandwich.
Max told me on a recent visit that the nostalgia of Smaha's wasn't lost. They kept the same layout to make it easier for people who have been shopping there for years. If you visit soon, there could be a couple of kinks they are working out. Once they feel like they are full speed ahead, they will have a grand opening. I can't wait!