Portland, Maine, Was Once Home to This Classic Dive Bar
It’s hard to believe that this classic Portland dive bar has been closed for over eight years. It was a place tucked away near Portland’s Old Port that regulars would pack into for some cheap drinks and complimentary bar snacks.
- Portland Maine History 1786 to Present via Facebook
Sangillo’s closed their doors on Valentine’s Day 2015 after 62 years in business as one of Portland’s oldest bars. Sangillo’s was a place where friends would meet up and have a good time, but there were also several incidents where they had visits from the police. A shooting at the bar the previous year made it difficult for third generation bar owner Dana Sangillo to appeal the loss of their liquor license, so he made the decision to close, leaving patrons crying in their beers.
I recently came across a couple of pictures that reminded me of cramming in there on their final night to be a part of a historic bar coming to an end. I walked into a jam-packed room with everyone having a great time. If you’ve been there, you’ll remember it wasn’t a big place. It was difficult to get from one part of the bar to another, never mind getting one last drink.
- Rob Riccitelli
On our way out, I had a chance to chat briefly with Dana. We talked for a few minutes about the legacy of his family bar, and I remember asking him what his plans were for the future. He replied something to the effect of being unsure, as he was very indecisive. He seemed in high spirits and hoped someone would re-open the bar soon.
- Rob Riccitelli
The Portland fixture only stayed vacant for eight months until Tomaso’s Canteen opened, which was an immediate success and is still going strong.
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Gallery Credit: Jeff Parsons