A Slice of History

by Rona Berg

A beautifully restored hotel and tiny spa in Portland, Maine

It’s hard to imagine that The Francis, a beautiful boutique hotel on Congress Street, in Portland’s West End, stood empty for almost a decade. 

Until Nate DeLois and his brothers saw the potential, bought the property in 2016 and took the dilapidated brick Victorian through a two-year renovation that landed the now chic, modern, 15-room boutique hotel a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Francis opens a window onto the culture of Portland, supporting work by local artists, and serving up local snacks. A new restaurant called Flood’s is opening on the ground floor this spring, helmed by Greg Mitchell. Flood’s will feature classic, hearty meat and fish dishes, including a Sunday Roast.

And right across the street is the Tandem Coffee + Bakery, a lively cafe in a retro setting. Once a gas station, built in the 1960s, Tandem now serves delicious pastries and coffee, and roasts its own coffee—the perfect place to fuel up before a long winding stroll down Congress, Portland’s main drag. thefrancismaine.com

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