FRESH EATS - Bar Lola, at 100 Congress, will be more than a bar

Bar Lola, a new restaurant which will take over the space at 100 Congress on Munjoy Hill, is the brainchild of people involved with One Fifty Ate, the bread/sandwich/natural foods eatery in South Portland which has generated a loyal following since it opened in 2002.

Bar Lola is owned by Stella and Guy Hernandez. Stella is a waitress at One Fifty, Guy is a partner there, and Josh Potoki, a co-founder of One Fifty Ate and a former chef at Street & Co., is on board at Lola working in the kitchen. Christian Kryger, a former Fore Street chef, will also cook.

Bar Lola snagged a liquor license from the city on Monday, clearing the way for an opening this spring. But Stella wants everyone to know it will be more than a bar.

"There are some restaurants we have loved in the past with 'bar' in the name. We're actually hoping this won't be too confusing," she says.

Bar Lola will offer a changing menu focusing on "what's fresh and what's in season," says Stella. The cuisine won't be influenced by any single tradition - culinary influences include Greek, Filipino, Swedish, and, ahem, Pennsylvanian cooking - and all dishes on the menu will be "influenced by all the things we've tasted in our lives," she says.

Bar Lola aims to be open for business by late May.



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