What is Replacing Walter's in Portland, Maine?

Remember Walter’s?

For years, the restaurant nested at 2 Portland Square bringing in regulars on a nightly basis. My grandparents used to frequent the famous Old Port spot for their weeknight date nights. The sign still hangs high in memory but the space has been vacant since 2019 when they closed their doors for good.

I walk by the empty space every day for work, using the floor-to-ceiling windows as a last-minute outfit check on my way into the office. I have often wondered when and what will replace it.

Meghan Morrison (Townsquare Media)
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The answer? Lenora.

According to an Instagram post by Portland Food Map, owners and partners of Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum in Boston will be moving into the vacant space with a Mexican-inspired street food restaurant called Lenora.

Rian and Jen Wyllie are former partners of Lone Star and Deep Ellum with Aaron Sanders and Max Toste, according to Portland Food Map. Rian Wyllie is the current chef of the beloved brewery in Freeport, Maine Beer Company and was once the chef and partner at Lone Star.

Given that impressive restaurant lineup, it sounds like he knows what he’s doing. I’d trust him with a taco and some street corn.

When is Lenora Opening in Portland, Maine?

In the months that have passed since the Portland Food Map posted about the new taco bar coming to Portland, the restaurant has been silent.

Until recently.

Lenora has been posting on Instagram fairly consistently, dropping hints on what the restaurant will be like. In September, they let us in on their brand and identity curation, describing their look as, "bright + astral with a little bit of grit!".

They've also been posting about hiring employees. As of September 2022, they are actively hiring a General Manager.

As their Instagram bio shares, they will be opening "soonish" this winter. While winter may seem far away, we are already in October, and trust me, we are going to blink and see cold white stuff on the ground.

I will be one of the first to let you know how this spot is; I am a taco connoisseur.

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