Binga’s to re-open by next summer
Binga’s Wingas’ Congress Street location, largely destroyed by a fire last Sunday, should be back in action by next summer, said co-owner Alec Altman. Meanwhile, Binga’s chicken wing mini-empire continues to expand, with three new locations in the works, as well as a deal to make wing sauce for Portland Seadogs fans at Hadlock Field.
Altman said Binga’s is closing a deal to take over the building on Route 1 in Yarmouth occupied by Bill’s Pizza. That location has space in its basement for sauce production, some of which would be used for the new arrangement with the Seadogs. The Yarmouth Binga’s could be open before the Congress Street Binga’s is reborn, Altman said.
Altman also said he is submitting site plan documents to the city today for the building Binga’s owns on the corner of Congress Street and Washington Avenue. The roofless, four-story structure — profiled in the June 2008 edition of That’s My Dump — would be a multi-level restaurant, bar and recreation destination.
And Altman is still trying to turn the Park Avenue location of Terroni’s Market into another Binga’s. He made his case to the Portland Planning Board during a workshop session earlier this month, and a additional action is pending in December. A contract zoning exception may be necessary to allow a restaurant in that space.
News reports to the contrary, Altman said it is still not clear that Sunday’s fire, which also damaged a neighboring market and apartment building, started at Binga’s. “My guys swore up and down that the fire didn’t start in our building,” he said. Fire department officials are still investigating the cause and origin of the blaze. No one was hurt in the fire, and insurance is expected to cover the restaurant’s losses, though a fund may be set up to help employees and residents next door cope with the loss of work and property.
C.J.’s becoming Frosty Pint
In other bar/restaurant news, C.J.’s Place has changed hands. The Forest Avenue watering hole has been bought by Jason Litalien, a Biddeford native who recently left a career in the Air Force to be closer to his family.
In materials submitted to the city, Litalien, 35, said he doesn’t plan to change the business much. It’ll still offer beer, wine and booze, burgers, pizza and other pub fare, and host DJs, with the occasional open mic night. Hours will be 4 p.m,. to 1 a.m. daily. The City Council granted Litalien the requisite licenses last week.
— Chris Busby