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Breakout Pop-Up Mae Announces Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant

Chef Maya Lovelace’s fried chicken will soon come three ways

Maya Lovelace
Facebook/Maya Lovelace

Chef Maya Lovelace has had no difficulty capturing Portlanders’ hearts with her fried chicken and powerful Southern storytelling at her sensational Mae pop-up, and now she and co-owner and partner Zach Lefler are ready to take their talents out of hiding with a legit restaurant.

According to their newsletter, Lovelace and Lefler are close to signing a lease on a restaurant not far from Mae in Northeast Portland. The yet-unnamed restaurant will be broken up into two spaces: The front will play home to a counter-service version of Mae, where fried chicken will come in three forms along with things like cornmeal-fried catfish, bacon-braised collards, pimento macaroni and cheese, and those angel biscuits, for four days and nights a week. No reservations required.

But Mae will continue to operate much as it does today, taking up residence in the rear of the venue: For four nights a week, Lovelace and Lefler will do their huge family-style suppers. Along with expanded hours, there’s one major difference: Mae will offer drinks instead of its usual BYOB policy.

“We think this is the best way to continue forward in our quest to serve you the best Southern food in the beautiful city of Portland,” write Lovelace and Lefler in the newsletter. They note they are catering to diner feedback in two specific ways: 1) offering more opportunities to get inside for a taste of Mae and 2) not changing a single thing.

The new restaurant aims to open in spring 2018. Dinners will continue at Mae as usual for the time being. Look for a crowd-sourcing campaign to kick off down the road.


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