Blog : Startups

Brewpub in the works for Knightville

Contact: Kelsey Goldsmith

Brewpub in the works for Knightville
Julia Dilger confirms purchase of Ocean Street location

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (April 16, 2015) — Today, Julia Dilger confirmed the purchase of the former repair shop at 15 Ocean Street in the Knightville section of South Portland. She and husband Craig Dilger bought the abandoned building and plan to establish it as a neighborhood brewpub. The couple is currently working with city officials and a South Portland-based engineering firm to obtain the necessary permits to rehabilitate the space and adjacent parking area.

Ms. Dilger, who will serve as CEO of the company, said that Knightville’s emergence as a “quintessential New England village with a great community vibe” attracted them to the location.

The brewers, chef and front of house picks cannot be named due to existing commitments, but all come with prestigious resumes, and will collaborate to offer an unpretentious yet modern and comfortable aesthetic in terms of food, drink and experience.

Plans include family brunch on the weekends, “Pints and Purls” knit nights and bicycle racks for those coming from the nearby Eastern Trail. The brewpub will offer the only beer brewed commercially within the City of South Portland.

This is Ms. Dilger’s official entrance into the area’s restaurant scene. Formerly, she taught elementary school on Peaks Island and had a lengthy stint managing the business-side of a Broadway concessions operation in New York City. Mr. Dilger will serve as COO. The two have a one year old daughter and live in Portland.

When pressed for more details, including the projected opening date and name of the brewpub, Mr. Dilger smiled. “We’re in this for the long haul. This is as much as we can say for now.”

“Meeting our new neighbors is the most important order of business,” Ms. Dilger chimed in. “This is a great city and a great part of town.”


Pop-up pick-up!

From time to time, we share news hot-off-the-press with our loyal blog readers. This is one of those times.


Pop-up party on Saturday as Maine’s first-ever CSA-style art shares harvested
CSArt Maine distribute work by up-and-coming artists at a party in Portland on Sat., Feb. 7

PORTLAND, Maine (Jan. 26, 2015) — By now, everyone has heard of farm shares, or CSAs, which allow consumers to pre-buy produce from their local farmer at the beginning of the season, their weekly haul dependent upon whatever happens to be in season. But, what about a CSA for watercolors, jewelry, portraits, and other art — instead of vegetables? The first season of CSArt Maine, the state’s first CSA for art, will be distributed to shareholders on Sat., Feb. 7.

For many of these shareholders, who hail from across the State of Maine, this is their first foray into collecting art. They will gather with program founders and participating artists for a pop-up party on Saturday, Feb.7 at the Portland Flea-for-All, 125 Kennebec Street, Portland, beginning at 10:00 am. Non-shareholders are also encouraged to attend to chat with participating artists and hear plans for the upcoming season. The event ends at 5:00 pm.

The program has been met with great fanfare; both Bangor Daily News blogger Alex Steed and Maine Public Broadcasting Network chose CSArt Maine for their respective 2015 holiday gift guides, and Coffee By Design named CSArt Maine part of its prestigious “2015 Rebel Blend” and awarded it a grant of $800.

Ten established and emerging Maine artists were hand-selected to make this season’s art, which will be packaged in a unique vessel and passed along to shareholders at the event. Full shareholders paid $300 and will receive seven unique pieces of art, chosen at random from the ten artists on this season’s slate, while half shareholders paid $175 for three pieces.

“Many art aficionados are using CSArt Maine as a way to become collectors. They’ll be surprised by the medium, size, and colors of their art. In most cases, folks will find something they wouldn’t normally have the means or wherewithal to purchase,” said Alana Dao, the program’s co-founder and executive director.

In 2013, the New York Times featured a similar program in the Midwest and credited it for “helping emerging artists and attracting people who are interested in art but feel they have neither the means nor the connections to collect it.” Dao and fellow co-founder Guy Lyons hope this program will provide access for Mainers in the same way.

“What Guy and Alana are doing for art in Maine is remarkable. This model has worked quite well in other, bigger cities, and I am thrilled to be at the cutting edge of it here,” said Gibrian Foltz, a participating artist and founder of the Dooryard Art Collective. “I think a share in CSArt Maine will be a gateway drug for many future collectors and connoisseurs of art.”

Additional standouts in this season’s lineup of 10 artists include:

  • Josey Cary, a native and resident of Machias, who was recently selected by Saatchi Gallery’s chief curator, Rebecca Wilson as one of the 48 most important emerging photographers in the country, and whose photography was recently featured in New York’s Times Square as part of the See.Me project.
  • Stasia Salvucci, a recent graduate of the renowned Pratt Institute who now lives in Portland full time; she is a self-employed jeweler under the guise The Stray Arrow.
  • meg willing, a native of Kennebec County and resident of Maine’s Lakes Region, who serves as Shape&Nature Press’ design and production manager and is making waves in the literary and letterpress scenes.
  • Doug Von, a Portland artist who will be collecting photographs of this season’s shareholders as inspiration for a series of his signature, one-of-a-kind portraits.

To learn more about the upcoming event or shares for next season, visit

About CSArt Maine
CSArt Maine is the state’s first community-supported art share program, meant to inspire new collectors of art and to help artists find new audiences. Based on the community-supported agriculture model of supporting farms and inspired by similar programs nationwide, CSArt Maine helps Mainers become collectors via full and half shares. Learn more at or visit them on Facebook.

About the Co-Founders
Alana Dao and Guy Lyons co-founded CSArt Maine, that state’s first and only community-supported art share program. Dao, who serves as executive director, is a native of Texas who first made Portland home more than five years ago. A graduate of Smith College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is an experienced arts administrator, both nationally and locally. Lyons, a native of Lubec, Maine and a recent Portland resident, serves as artistic director.


Quick visibility tips for prof’ svcs firms

Here are some often overlooked yet easy ways to market and increase visibility for your professional services firm:

1. Feature individuals. Tap an ambassador or two to serve as your public face. Is there someone within the ranks who is particularly well spoken and likeable? I’m not talking about the guy who’s the best at his job or who has the niche ability. In fact, avoid those guys at all costs. Find an above average accountant who can ditch the pocket protector, shoot the shit, and think on his feet. Maybe someone who hosts dinner parties in his spare time. People like to do business with other people and, preferably, with folks with whom they can picture themselves having a beer.

2. Create executive visibility plans for the aforementioned ambassadors, plus your key executive. Will the local newspaper need someone to interview this spring as tax season rolls around? Does the local TV channel have a business segment that you could prep’ for? What about the chamber of commerce’s lunch and learn schedule? Create five to 10 annual opportunities for your ambassadors to share key knowledge — and their likability — with your target market(s).

3. Maximize sponsorships. All too often, you sponsor the local golf tournament by sending a banner and letting the organizers put your logo in the brochure. What about the awards ceremony, is there an opportunity for someone from your firm to present the winners with their trophy and have that photo featured in the local newspaper? Do you want to position some of your staff at the registration table to say “hello” and network with folks as they arrive? Instead of a banner, could you offer branded golf balls or other tshotshke that will have a shelf life post-tournament?

4. Create a referral incentive. Everyone asks their friends for accountants, even before they’ll Google or look in the Yellow Pages. How are you encouraging your happy clients to tell their friends about you? Create a solid strategy to cultivate referrals — it’s often as easy as asking and thanking clients.