The Maker’s Galley, a combination store and restaurant in Portland, is closing this month. Photo by Peggy Grodinsky

The Maker’s Galley, an Old Port cafe and gift shop, announced on social media Thursday that it will close this month after less than two years in operation.

Owner Rachel Sagiroglu explained in her social media post that she first launched Maker’s Galley at 5 Commercial St. to bring together product makers and food enthusiasts, a brick-and-mortar hub for her travel concierge and event planning company, Experience Maine.

“Sadly, the last year has been increasingly difficult to manage two growing businesses and maintain work-life balance,” Sagiroglu’s post reads in part. “In addition, I can no longer carry the burden of the rising costs impacting restaurants in Maine and the constant staffing challenges. As Experience Maine continues to grow, it has also become clear that I need to focus my energy on this business and the greater impact it can have on Maine’s hospitality and tourism industry.”

Sagiroglu opened The Maker’s Galley in November 2021 to highlight Maine food and merchandise makers exclusively. The high-ceilinged store includes a 24-seat restaurant behind a gift shop in the front area that carries goods – including spice blends, body care products, jewelry, paintings and crafts – from more than 100 local vendors.

Counter seats overlooking the kitchen and high-top tables at The Maker’s Galley. Photo by Angie Bryan

The venue also hosted guest chef dinners featuring prominent local chefs like Matt Ginn and Josh Barry, while executive chef Arianna Stefanilo partnered with local fishermen to lead cooking classes.

The last day for The Maker’s Galley is set for Tuesday, Sept. 26. Sagiroglu said the venue will host a closing Sip & Shop event on Saturday, Sept. 23, and its final Pajama Brunch on Sunday, Sept. 24, with discount retail, food and drink specials offered all weekend.

Sagiroglu’s post said The Maker’s Galley will “live on” through EM Culinary, a new catering and private chef business she created under the Experience Maine Brand. Sagiroglu could not immediately be reached for an interview.

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