Who We Are

Welcome to Thistle & Grouse

Portland’s newest gastropub located in the heart of the Old Port. at 10 Cotton St. We opened our doors in December 2023, brought to you by Chef Bobby Will and partner Kim Krause, former owners of the renowned Salt & Steel in Bar Harbor.

About Us

"An Elevated Gastropub Experience..."

At Thistle & Grouse, we aim to provide an elevated yet relaxed gastropub experience showcasing the incredible local flavors of Maine. Our menu features seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients carefully crafted into creative dishes by Chef Bobby and his team. You'll find unique takes on gastropub favorites like our Wagyu Beef Smash Burger, Chicken Milanes, and Fried Calamari. We also offer a range of local craft beers, unique cocktails, and an extensive wine list to complement your meal.

Our warm, inviting space features reclaimed wood accents and cozy leather booths where you can gather with friends for a casual dinner or drinks. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff provides exceptional service in an unpretentious atmosphere.

At Thistle & Grouse, we strive to honor Portland's local farms, fisheries, and food producers who provide us with fresh, sustainable ingredients. We source from partners like Tide Mill Organic Farm, Fuzzy Udder Creamery, and Maine Grains to create a true farm-to-table dining experience.

We're thrilled to bring our passion for creative seasonal cuisine and craft beverages to the heart of Portland. We look forward to welcoming you soon to Thistle & Grouse!

Our Team

Chef Bobby

A Life by the Water:

The rhythm of the coast the constant interplay between city and nature, truly inspires me. I carry this philosophy over to my food. Modern techniques meet time-tested traditions, always focusing on the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. Growing up, fishing instilled in me a deep respect for the ocean and its bounty, a respect that translates into my commitment to sustainable seafood.

This career path wasn’t just about creativity – though that’s certainly a draw!  The discipline and craft are equally captivating.  Every service is a dance between creative freedom and the focused intensity of bringing a vision to life. It’s a beautiful, sometimes chaotic, always exhilarating journey.


Honing My Craft:

Culinary Institute of America Graduate (2006): I honed my skills at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, laying the foundation for my culinary journey.

Mentored by Renowned Chefs: Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of learning from culinary masters like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Charlie Trotter, and more.

Culinary Journey:
Acclaimed Restaurants: I’ve cooked in some of the most celebrated kitchens including Jean Georges, Jean Georges at the Topping Rose House, Charlie Trotter, Tremont 647, Gargoyles on the Square, Saltaire Oyster Bar & Fish House

Recognition & Accolades

New York Times “Excellent”: As Executive Chef at Saltaire, my dedication earned the restaurant an “Excellent” rating from the New York Times.

Industry Changemaker: Thrillist recognized me as one of “12 Millennial Chefs Changing the Face of the Industry” in 2016.

Food Network Champion: I tested my skills and emerged victorious on Guy’s Grocery Games!

Serendipity Magazine’s “Most Innovative Chef”: Serendipity Magazine honored my innovative approach to cuisine in 2016 and 2018.

Award-Winning Restaurateur: My first restaurant, Salt & Steel, was hailed as one of Eater’s Hottest New Restaurants in 2019. Additionally, Maine Magazine awarded us “Best Wine List” and runner-up for “Best Chef” in 2023.

Julia McInnis

General Manager

Corey Shallek

Bar Manager