A thief absconded with a painting from the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club in Portland last weekend, and owners Andrew and Briana Volk are pleading for its return. The painting, of Crater Lake in Oregon, has mostly sentimental value. It has been in Briana Volk’s family for decades, she says, and her parents gave it to the couple as a congratulatory gift when they opened their bar.

“We were on a really tight budget and didn’t have money for art,” Volk said.

Volk said her mother found the painting years ago in an antique store on the Oregon coast. The painting isn’t signed – not anywhere obvious, anyway. Volk thinks it might be worth a couple of hundred dollars since it’s in a nice frame.

But it’s not the money that matters to Volk, who has fond memories of the painting hanging in her childhood home. “I just want the painting back,” she said – no questions asked.

The painting, which was hanging in the Lodge Room at the restaurant, disappeared over the weekend, when the Volks were with their son, Rocky, in the intensive care unit at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. (Rocky was having trouble breathing but is, thankfully, recuperating at home now.) Volk thinks the painting was probably stolen on Saturday night, a particularly busy evening. The staff at the bar noticed on Sunday that it was gone.

“Part of my fear is someone just got drunk and stole it, and it’s destroyed behind a building somewhere,” Volk said.

Or maybe it was tossed into a car headed back to Boston.

“It doesn’t seem like something a regular at Hunt would do,” Volk said.

The one bright note is how quickly the bar’s fans, friends on social media, and the greater community came together to share Volk’s Facebook post about the theft. Volk estimates that the news, and a photo of the painting, has been shared 400-500 times.

Here’s one more share.

DANGLING DOUGHNUTS

Yes, this column is supposed to highlight the business aspects of the restaurant industry, but – doughnuts!

Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery will give away doughnuts for a year to one lucky person.

An area doughnut shop will give away free doughnuts for an entire year to one lucky individual. Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery in Wells will hold a random drawing Memorial Day weekend, on the opening night of Congdon’s After Dark, the seasonal food truck park that sets up every day in the Congdon’s parking lot. Here’s the catch: to be eligible for the drawing, you must be a member of the restaurant’s Sweet Rewards program and one of the 50 most frequent visitors to Congdon’s in February, March and April (which is why we are telling you about this now, long in advance of Memorial Day). Each time your card is swiped with a purchase, it counts as an entry. The winner of the drawing gets 365 doughnuts, redeemable at any time over the next year.

The rewards program is free and offers its own perks, including a gift certificate for a free dozen doughnuts. Sign up at the restaurant or online.

A FIFTH FETE

The nationally known Central Provisions in Portland is celebrating its fifth anniversary this Saturday, featuring favorite dishes and cocktails of the past five years. Guest Brandon Rice, chef de cuisine at Rich Table in San Francisco, will prepare a few dishes, and Allagash Brewing Co. will do a tap takeover featuring specialty pours. Dinner runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Central Provisions, owned by Christopher and Paige Gould, is located at 414 Fore St.

CHEFS SHOW

Tickets are available now for a chef-centric Maine Voices Live session on April 23, an always lively Portland Press Herald interview program held before a live audience. Two local winners of the Food Network show “Chopped,” Christian Hayes of Dandelion Catering Co. in Yarmouth and Matt Ginn of Evo Kitchen + Bar in Portland, will talk about their appearances on the show and about Portland’s happening restaurant scene. The event is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Tickets cost $10 for subscribers to the Portland Press Herald and $15 for non-subscribers.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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