Vegan Chain Copper Branch Permanently Closes Portland, Maine Location
Less than three years after it officially opened in Portland's Old Port, vegan chain Copper Branch appears to be exiting the city rather quietly. Despite their Google listing claiming the restaurant is only temporarily closed, a 'for lease' sign was placed in the window at 0 Canal Plaza which likely means the end has arrived.
If it is the end of Copper Branch in Portland, it would be a strange turn of events. The Canadian restaurant was the fastest growing plant-based, fast-casual chain in North America prior to the pandemic. The opening of the Copper Branch in Portland was only their third restaurant in the United States and was seen as a trademark location for the company.
But as many other restaurants in the area of Portland where Copper Branch is located can attest to, the pandemic and post-pandemic food crowds have been different. The same lunch crowd that mobbed many down restaurants each workday simply are not there any longer. The same goes for a smaller but still meaningful breakfast crowd. Many restaurants were dependent on a consistent lunch business to stay afloat.
When Copper Branch opened in December of 2019, vegan options throughout Portland were available but sparse. Less than three years later, many restaurants in the city have vegan and vegetarian options across their menu with some restaurants even offering a dedicated vegan menu.
The space left behind at Canal Plaza will be unique. The smaller square footage could be ideal for a coffee shop, ice cream shop or another fast-casual restaurant.