Mark June 2 on your calendar. That’s the day Portlanders will raise a glass to John Robbins.

Who’s that, you ask? He was the 22-year-old sailor from Deer Isle who lost his life after breaking into the liquor vault at City Hall during the 1855 Rum Riot. At 2 p.m. on June 2, the 164th anniversary of the Rum Riot, Portlanders at Liquid Riot Bottling Co., 250 Commercial St., and other as yet unannounced locations around the city will toast Robbins with – you guessed it – a bit of rum.

Liquid Riot Bottling Co., Maine Craft Distilling and New England Distilling, the first three distillers to produce rum in Portland since Prohibition, are once again releasing a collaborative batch of Rum Riot Rum for the occasion.

The Toast to John Robbins is also part of “Liquid Riotversary” that marks the 2013 founding of Liquid Riot. Look for special tiki rum cocktails and Polynesian-inspired snacks.

Food trucks to raise money for animal welfare

Congdon’s After Dark, the food truck park in Wells, plans to kick off its new season this Sunday with a benefit for the Animal Welfare Society.


The food truck park, located in the parking lot of Congdon’s Doughnuts at 1090 Post Road, is opening early – usually its season runs from Memorial Day to Indigenous Peoples Day (the state’s newly renamed Columbus Day) – so it can throw its first Trucks & Pups event to raise money for the Animal Welfare Society, an animal shelter and adoption center  in West Kennebunk. The organization also runs satellite adoption centers throughout northern New England.

Congdon’s After Dark will open Sunday with a food truck benefit for animal welfare. Photo courtesy Adam Leech

More than a dozen food trucks plan to donate at least 50 percent of their proceeds to the cause. Live music, face painting and giveaways also will be part of the mix. Pets are allowed, but must be on leashes.

Participating food trucks include Big Grampa’s Grill, Congdon’s Doughnuts, Crepe Elizabeth, Fahrenheit 225 BBQ, Fishin’ Ships, Gotta Be Frank, Knew Potato Caboose, MacDaddy’s, Mobile Musette, Seafood & Tots, Tasting Maine, and Tripp’s Farmhouse Café.

The event will run from 4 to 9 p.m, with additional parking at York County Community College and a trolley service to shuttle people to and from the park. Parking also will be available at Aubuchon Hardware, 1165 Post Road, and at the old Wells auto museum next door.

The rain date is May 20. For more information, go to

Desperately seeking sake cake?

As I reported a few weeks ago, Atsuko Fujimoto, the former baker/co-owner at Ten Ten Pié in Portland, is temporarily camping out in the kitchen at Two Fat Cats and selling her food wholesale to restaurants and cafés under the name Norimoto Bakery. Fujimoto recently posted on Instagram where you can find her pastries – variously savory pies, financiers, chocolate sake cakes, Danish and Kouign amann – at least until she finds a new retail space: Wednesdays and Saturdays at Bard Coffee and Higher Grounds in Portland; Thursdays and Saturdays at Quill Books & Beverage in Westbrook.

If you’re dining out, look for her sweets and breads at Boda, Izakaya Minato, Sichuan Kitchen, and Woodford Food & Beverage, all in Portland, and at the Kuno food truck.

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