A restaurant that was a fixture in Portsmouth for 24 years has moved across the Piscataqua River to Kittery and will launch a food truck this spring.

Blue Mermaid Island Grill left Portsmouth’s North End late last year and quietly opened in Kittery on Dec. 21, at 10 Shapleigh Road, next door to Tributary Brewing Co. The owners are only now publicizing the move and talking about why they wanted to come to Maine.

“We saw the Kittery location as a tremendous opportunity for growth and development,” said Scott Logan, who owns Blue Mermaid with his wife, Karen. “Portsmouth was becoming something that wasn’t exactly what we wanted to be. It was becoming way overdeveloped. The majority of the demographic are people who are becoming second homeowners or people who are moving into condos downtown to have as a second home. It was losing the arts, culture and community that we fell in love with 24 years ago.”

Logan said they have kept some of their more popular menu items, such as the guava-braised short ribs and lobster quesadillas, and have added options such as a poke bowl and a grilled catch of the day – usually local pollock or hake – served over herb-infused sweet rice. They have also expanded their vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

The restaurant is making more connections with farms in Maine, buying its chicken from Maine Family Farms in Portland and short ribs from Leeman Family Farms in Etna. Logan said they have an arrangement with a pig farmer to provide scraps for his pigs in exchange for getting an occasional pig for the restaurant. They’ve also improved their composting and are eliminating the use of plastic, single-use straws.

The Logans have bought a food truck they’ll debut at Tributary Brewing Co. on April 14, during the Mott the Lesser release event. Long term, Logan said, the plan is to take the food truck to the Kittery shipyard during the day to serve lunch, and use it for catering and special events at other times.

Blue Mermaid is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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