The historic Village Cafe was opened on Newbury Street in Portland, Maine, by owners Vincenzo and Maria Reali back in 1936. The original location was very small, but after growing success, the restaurant would see several expansions until they were able to seat more than 500 people.

Local Michael Fixaris shared some nostalgic memories on the Maine Memory Network of the place he called home back in 2019.

I remember before I had my first Village experience, a friend of mine was a cook there, and was raving about how I had to come in. I had always had in my mind that it was a fairly small restaurant, as I had always thought of a "cafe" as a smaller, diner-type establishment. That was not the case.

If you were a big fan like myself, you probably remember walking down a dimly-lit hallway that opened up to a room with one of (if not) the largest bars in Portland set up in a large, lounge-type atmosphere where people would dine and drink. That room itself was huge, and from my recollection, probably could've seated over 200 people.

There was another large section in a completely separate room with with additional tables and booths, helping to make it fairly easy to get in and enjoy a meal at one of Portland's most beloved restaurants.

You were always greeted by your server along with a basket of bread, and what always appeared to me as a menu with never-ending options. Although I ordered several dinners from the menu over my many visits, my favorite was always their Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I made a post on Facebook mentioning how much I missed the place. Unsurprisingly, many people chimed in with their favorite menu items, which included hearty portions of Italian dishes and more:

Amanda - Lobster Bisque

EQ - Eggplant Parm

Carol - The Clam Sauce

Melanie - The bread with the house made Italian

Ken - Linguini w/ Garlic, Mushroom and Broccoli Sauce

Karen - Fried Clams

Kirsten - Gnocchis & Sauce

Annie - Baked Stuffed Haddock

Josh - Chicken Parm

Mike - Spumoni for dessert

Eric - The Antipasto's

If that mouthwatering trip down memory lane doesn't make your taste buds salivate, I'm not quite sure what will. You can see their actual menu from 1982 here.

The restaurant was torn down in 2007 to make way for a condominium development. If I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure the plan was to reopen at a different location, but to the disappointment of many, it never happened.

Maine Memory Network
Maine Memory Network

Who knows? Maybe a member of the Reali family will surprise us one of these days and reopen one of Portland, Maine's most missed restaurants.

11 Maine Restaurants That Have Closed Since Being Featured on National Television Shows

Here's a list of 11 Maine restaurants that sadly have closed down since being featured on national television shows. Hopefully the list doesn't continue to get larger.

Data was researched from

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

Remember These 80's & 90's Maine Dining Experiences?

It's always fun to look back and remember some of the wonderful experiences we had in the past. And, if you're like me, you absolutely love reminiscing about food and great meals.

Here is a list of 20 great restaurants and dining experiences that many Mainers likely shared with me from the 1980's and 1990's.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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