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Federal Hill's Charm City Yoga is moving to a bigger studio

For those whose New Year’s resolution is to be more active, Charm City Yoga’s Federal Hill location will soon be offering that chance to more area residents when it moves to a larger space mid-February.
 
The studio, one of the growing company’s seven in the greater Baltimore area, will occupy 4,000 square feet at 1024 Light St. It will also house a boutique that will sell apparel by Under Armour, the official outfitter of Charm City Yoga. 

The new spot will include two studios, one of which will be heated for hot yoga. It will also include larger bathrooms areas, a changing room and lockers, and showers, which the current facility lacks. 
 
Charm City Yoga Director of Operations Allison Korycki says it was time for a bigger space as its current location at 37 E. Cross St., was less visible from the street and could barely fit 25 people in its studio. With the larger space, Charm City Yoga hopes to cater to Baltimore residents who have never done yoga before, as well as those who are looking for more space in which to practice.
 
Through its expansion, Korycki says that Charm City Yoga’s goal is to bring nationally known yoga teachers to Baltimore to host workshops.
 
But Korycki says that the yoga studio’s biggest goal is to continue to grow.
 
“We hope to attract lots of new customers,” Korycki says. “This [studio] is in a prominent location on Light Street so we’re hoping that people just walking by or driving by are going to see it more easily.”
 
Korycki says Charm City Yoga is excited it is able to stay in Federal Hill.
 
“We love that there’s a young, vibrant people down there and it’s a very happening place and it’s a very active community,” she says.
 
The studio will offer an expanded class schedule with classes that start as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 8:30 p.m.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Allison Korycki, Charm City Yoga

Ryleigh's Oyster opens new Timonium location

The owner of Ryleigh’s Oyster House opened his second location in Timonium this month after investing $2 million to transform the former Gibby's Seafood spot into the 300-seat restaurant.

The 10,000-square-foot location at 22 W. Padonia Road has a 2,000-square-foot rooftop herb garden available for private dining, and a patio.

“There was never any curb appeal,” Ryleigh’s Owner Brian McComas says of the former location. “So we definitely made it ‘shore house chic’ and rebuilt the whole front section of the building.”

The original Ryleigh’s is a Federal Hill stalwart, featuring over 100 different kinds of oysters in the course of a year. The new Timonium outpost will have a similar menu, with a few tweaks for the suburban dining scene, focusing a little more on traditional entrees, and a little less on shared or communal plates.

As in Federal Hill, the oysters play a starring role. In partnership with the Shooting Point Oyster Company, Ryleigh’s grows its own farm-raised oysters called Avery’s Pearls on Virginia’s Eastern shore. McComas says these smaller oysters are good for bivalve beginners.

“In order to address the people who think an oyster’s this big slimy thing, we cultivate our own," McComas says. Avery’s Oysters are small, petite, cocktail oysters, so that you don’t get this big hunk of slimy stuff.”

McComas recently held the Moet Oyster Ball Oct. 9 at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill. The $65 tickets included an oyster bar, open bar and hors d’oeuvres. The event kicked off OysterFest Oct 12-13. The Cross Street festival featured the annual Baltimore Oyster Shucking Competition, as well as live music and raw bars. Proceeds for both benefited the Living Classrooms Foundation and the Oyster Recovery Partnership. 

Writer: Amy Landsman
Sources: Scotti Offutt and Brian McComas, Ryleigh's Oyster 


HarborQue moving to new location in Federal Hill

HarborQue BBQ & Catering will be serving its Carolina-style pit BBQ in a new, larger location in Federal Hill early next month.

The restaurant will move to 1125 S. Charles St., the former spot of Kirby’s Szechuan if it gets its beer and wine liquor license approved Sept.12. 

Owner Kelley Stewart says she hopes the new spot will bring her more business by putting her closer to sports fans attending games at M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

“I like the fact that it’s right in Federal Hill. We’ll gain more exposure.”

The new spot will seat 75 inside and another 20 outside, versus 50 seats at the current spot.

Developers planning a retail and apartment project in Locust Point have acquired HarborQue’s current site at 1421 Lawrence St.

Stewart employs 15 at HarborQue and Out of the Blue café, on the corner of Hull and Fort avenues.

HarborQue’s menu items include pulled pork, pit beef and smoked turkey breast. The menu will be more or less the same at the new spot but Stewart says she will add brisket, which is now a special weekly item. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Kelley Stewart, HarborQue

Dishcrawl eyes Hampden, Fells Point and Baltimore County for its next culinary adventure

Maybe you've tried bar-hopping, but what about restaurant-hopping? Dishcrawl, which launches in Baltimore this month, dubs itself as a “gastronomic adventure” and encourages guests to try a variety of foods in selected neighborhoods.

Baltimore’s first Dishcrawl will be held in Canton April 17, taking diners to four “secret” restaurants. Founder Tracy Lee says the company will expand the culinary social experience to Fells Point, Federal Hill, Charles Village and Hampden, though no events have been scheduled yet. If Baltimore City crawls are successful, Lee says she will consider expanding Dishcrawl to Baltimore County.  

Lee launched Dishcrawl in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010 as a way to share her favorite restaurants. Though it's now up and running in New York, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., it wasn’t an instant success.

“In the beginning, it was really hard to figure out how to get the word out,” Lee says. “I would spend 20 hours promoting to get 20 people to an event.”

Lee turned to social media to help promote the crawls. She and her team, which includes ambassadors in each city, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets to spread the word.

“I love Baltimore and the diverse food scene,” Lee says. “The community and coming together as a group of foodies is what makes Dishcrawl successful in cities.”

Curious as to which Canton restaurants will be included in the inaugural crawl? Keep an eye on Twitter, where the team will drop hints at @dishcrawlbal. Ticket holders will receive an email with the meeting location 48 hours prior to the crawl.   

The first three restaurants will feature one dish each and the the fourth will serve dessert. Chefs and restaurateurs will share stories, as well. Tickets cost $45, excluding alcohol.


Writer: Renee Libby Beck
Source: Tracy Lee, Dishcrawl 

Developer Plots $25M Apartment and Retail Complex in South Baltimore

Construction will begin this summer on a $25 million building with market-rate apartments, a 247-car garage and retail.

Developer Chesapeake Realty Partners expects the project to be completed in the spring of 2014. The Owings Mills company also spearheaded the apartment complex across the street at 1901 Patapsco St.

Plans for the as-yet unnamed project at 2 East Wells St. call for 153 apartments, including 96 efficiencies and 57 one-and-two bedroom units. Renters can expect to pay, on average, about $1,800 per month. 

Currently, there are warehouses and offices on the lot, which also includes 1800 and 1802 Patapsco Streets. Mayers says he believes this is an opportunity to “create a new version of an existing neighborhood,” with good walkability and easy highway access.

The project also calls for 6,000 square feet of retail, says Chesapeake Realty President Jonathan Mayers. Facing East Wells Street, future retail tenants will serve the local community, and could include a bagel and coffee shop, nail salon, or a small local grocery, Mayers says.

“There’s really few commercial or industrial buildings left, and everything else in the neighborhood is more or less rowhomes or new apartment buildings,” Mayer says.

Demand for apartments remains strong throughout the city as many apartment complexes report nearly 100 percent occupancy rates. 

“We feel there’s a dearth of housing options in the south Baltimore market,” says Josh Fidler, Chesapeake’s chief operating officer. He says the area holds a number of assets, including Riverside Park, the headquarters for the National Federation of the Blind and the former Pabst brewery that is set to reopen this summer.

Mayers says the garage will be large enough to offer secure parking for tenants and visitors, with additional spaces available for lease. Plans also call for widening the alleys around the new building, making parking and access easier for the existing rowhomes on South Charles, Barney and Patapsco Streets.
 
Sources:
Jonathan Mayers and Josh Fidler; Chesapeake Realty Partners
Writer: Amy Landsman
 
 
 
 
 

Jewish Community Center Opening Federal Hill Branch

The Jewish Community Center of Baltimore is branching out to downtown Baltimore, opening a Federal Hill branch just for parents and kids. Opening Jan. 14, the center fills the void for city families who have long been frustrated by the lack of children’s gyms and other fun places for preschoolers’ downtown.

The JCC has leased 2,000 square-feet at 1118 Light St., between West and Cross Streets. The former office space will feature a drop-in playroom, a play area, a nursing room and a room that parents can rent for birthday parties.

 “We’ll have age appropriate toys and a clean, comfortable space that parents can come and have their kids play,” says JCC Family Program Coordinator Kim Jacobsohn. “Our goal is to create communities for families to connect with each other,” Jacobson says. “I’m very excited to finally be giving birth to this new project.”

The downtown branch joins the JCC’s two existing campuses in Park Heights and Owings Mills, both of which feature full-service fitness facilities and programing for all ages.

For the past five years or so, the JCC has been offering family programming in borrowed locations in Fells Point, Canton, and Federal Hill, and has long wanted a permanent place to call home.

“We decided to go to Federal Hill because we realized in Federal Hill there’s more likely to be a stay-at-home parent, or a parent who’s working from home, than other neighborhoods in downtown,” Jacobsohn says.

The first floor space is stroller accessible and members can park in a lot behind the building. Jacobsohn and a part-time program facilitator will staff the new facility.

The drop-in rate is $5 per child up to three times, after that, families are asked to join the Downtown JCC. The introductory membership rate is $50 a year.

The JCC is an educational, cultural and recreational agency. You do not have to be Jewish to become a member or sign up for a class.

The JCC will continue to offer its Hello Baby class for parents of newborns, and Infant Massage, in Fells Point and Canton. Other parent-child classes for babies and toddlers will move to the new location in Federal Hill.
 
Source: Kim Jacobsohn, JCC Family Program Coordinator
Reporter: Amy Landsman, landlink1@verizon.net

Nutrition and Wellness Club to Debut in Federal Hill

Federal Hill residents whose New Year’s resolution is to stay fit will get some help from a new business in the neighborhood.
 
Baltimore Nutrition Club will open at 1005 South Charles St. Jan. 14, the store’s Co-owner Carin Beldin says. Beldin and Co-owner Matthew Christ are both personal trainers who work at Baltimore area health clubs.
 
Nutrition Club customers will pay a daily fee — $6 to $9 — to receive a healthful breakfast that includes a shot of aloe, a 200-calorie meal replacement shake packed with 15 grams of protein, and metabolic tea. The store will also sell Herbalife products for an additional charge.
 
The daily fee also covers specials like a free wellness evaluation, wellness coaching and fitness classes. The club will hold three to five classes per week. Fitness activities may include hula-hoop lessons, Pilates, pre-and post-natal training, boot-camp boxing and Mommy and Me group walks. Beldin says she also anticipates starting a Federal Hill running club, like those in Fells Point and Canton.
 
Beldin says she wanted to open the Nutrition Club in Federal Hill since she’s been working with neighborhood residents for seven years.
 
“There’s a need for healthy options and nutritional habits in Baltimore,” Beldin says. “I know from working in gyms that people get nervous. Here, there will be no judgments. It’ll be low key with weight-loss challenges and celebrations.”
 
Beldin might host book club meetings and offer Wi-Fi in the 600-square-foot space. She and Christ don’t plan to hire additional employees, but they each know 10-15 independent distributors they will potentially do business with.
 
Beldin hopes to expand to others areas like Canton. With the success of nutrition clubs like First Nutrition in Bel-Air and Aberdeen, she envisions them proliferating like Starbucks, popping up on every block.
 
 
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Carin Beldin, Baltimore Nutrition Club

New Fed Hill Boutique Sells Second-Hand Gucci

A second-hand boutique in Federal Hill promises shoppers stylish, affordable purchases that are cleaned for new owners.
 
B'more Betty, which stands for “Bringing Exclusive Trends To You,” opened at 1316 Light St. earlier this month. A buyer and seller of designer and vintage clothing and accessories for women, Betty carries Gucci, Anne Klein, Ann Taylor, Christian Dior, Burberry and Nine West, with prices between $7 and $100.
 
Customers can bring their items for selling and trading on Sundays. Owner Camille Edwards exchanges clothing and accessories up front for cash, 25 percent store credit or other store items. Inspired by her own thrift store purchase nightmares complete with deodorant-stained dresses and food spots, Edwards takes all previously used items to Zip’s Dry Cleaners every Tuesday.
 
Edwards, a Federal Hill resident who has lived in the area for one year, says she believes Betty fits the neighborhood. “People are open to buying and selling vintage things here. It’s a safe area with foot traffic,” Edwards says. When looking for places to open her boutique, Hampden came to mind because of the vintage feel and friendly atmosphere, but she believed the price range and formal style of the designer brands would attract more customers in Federal Hill.
 
Edwards’ inspiration for opening a small shop and decorating the 900-square-foot boutique with vintage, artistic styles came from her love of Parisian shops. She currently has only one other employee who helps during evenings but would like to hire more and expand in the current building to include men’s clothing.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Camille Edwards, B'more Betty 

Kids Clothing Store Relocates to Federal Hill

A boutique for fashionable youngsters has moved from Mount Vernon to Federal Hill, a neighborhood that the owner hopes will attract more shoppers.
 
Cottage Kidz Boutique opened for business Oct. 27 at 1129 Light St., the former location of Bobabooi's Treasure Chest. The move from 823 North Charles St. wasjust two days before Maryland started feeling the effects from Hurricane Sandy. Cottage Kidz assistant Phillip Hawthorne says shoppers were sparse during its first Saturday in Federal Hill when everyone was making Sandy preparations, but is now picking up.
 
Owner Kimberly Pitts believes her boutique is a better fit in Federal Hill. “There’s more kids here, and the traffic is much heavier,” Pitts says.
 
The boutique opened at its original location August 2009. The new location is about 1,000 square-feet, which is the same as the old one. Although there is no longer a play area, the Boutique now has a wall that young shoppers can doodle on with chalk.
 
Cottage Kidz sells apparel, footwear and accessories for kids toddlers through ‘tweens. The boutique also now carries baby clothing and brands like Bean Belt, Alpha Industries and True Religion. Merchandise runs from $10-$180.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Kimberly Pitts, Cottage Kidz 

Posh Retro Clothing Store Debuts in Federal Hill

Trendy professionals in Federal Hill can now throw a party decked out in retro clothing.
 
Posh Retro opened this month at 1003 Light St. But Amber Ivey’s store operates a bit differently than your average retail outfit.

It is open to the public on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the week, customers can call and schedule “lifestyle parties” for 15-30 guests ranging from shopping parties to business lunches. Hostesses receive discounts on future purchases and “swag bags”, and nonprofits that schedule a “Party with a Purpose” receive 20 percent of each sale toward their organization’s mission.
 
Posh Retro’s new-and-used clothing caters male and female customers ages 21-mid 30s/early 40s. Items average around $39. While Ivey currently has three employees and is looking to hire about five women ages 22-26 to work as brand representatives. She has a goal to expand in 18 months with locations in Washington, D.C., and Boston.
 
Ivey, who invested $15,000 for the Baltimore location, was happy when the roughly 1,000-square-foot-location became available. “Posh Retro fits Federal Hill,” Ivey says. “There’s a young, hip vibe with people who want clothes that are a little different.”
 
Ivey opened Posh Retro in 2008 in Newport News, Va., and then Portsmouth, Va., in 2011 for a year. She decided to move the store with her to Baltimore while pursuing a master in public administration at University of Maryland at College Park.
 
The business owner donates about 15 percent of each customer’s purchase to Mission: Launch, Inc., a Baltimore nonprofit that assists job seekers once they have been released from prison.
 
Writer: Jolene Carr,
Source: Amber Ivey, Posh Retro 

Gluten-Free Gourmet Coming to Ellicott City

An entrepreneur will bring gluten-free Shepherd’s pie, pizza, mac and cheese and other foods to Ellicott City next month, investing $150,000 to open restaurant One Dish Cuisine.
 
One Dish Cuisine is moving from a 1,200 square-foot wholesale facility at 300 East Gittings St. in Federal Hill to a 3,000 square-foot kitchen and eatery in Ellicott City’s Taylor Village Center at 8001 Hillsborough Road.
 
All menu items are gluten, soy and casein free, while most are also peanut, nut, egg, dairy, corn and fish free and incorporate organic ingredients. Dishes include comfort food staples that normally aren’t available to people with food allergies, including Reuben melts on mock rye and pumpernickel, steak, wings and soups. The café will primarily serve lunch and dinner but offer muffins and coffee in the morning, and eventually weekend brunches. Chef and owner Maureen Burke encourages customer requests and plans on hosting themed nights like Italian, Thai and Chinese.
 
Burke began experimenting with gluten-free cooking and baking when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in the 80s. “I started making recipes for breads and pizza crusts, and nobody knew that they were gluten-free,” Burke says. She continued experimenting when her nephew was diagnosed with autism two and a half years ago, requiring him to also follow a gluten-free diet. Burke says there are 900,000 people with food allergies in the area’s 60-mile radius alone.
 
One Dish Cuisine started as wholesale facility in June 2010 where Burke would make, freeze and ship products to retailers and hospitals like Crofton’s the Irish Channel Restaurant, Severna Park’s Freedom Bakery and Washington, D.C.’s Children’s National Medical Center.
 
Burke wanted to relocate from Federal Hill for more space and parking opportunities. She will continue to ship her foods and also offer a freezer for customers at the café. There are currently six employees but Burke plans to hire four more.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Maureen Burke, One Dish Cuisine

New Federal Hill Cafe Serves All-Day Breakfast

Federal Hill residents can now get a breakfast fix morning, noon and night.
 
Light Street Café opened this month at 1121 Light St., serving breakfast all day Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until 2 a.m. on weekends.
 
The roughly 1,000-square-foot space seats 24 but mainly serves as a carryout. Menu items include Town N’ Country coffee and espresso, pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, soups and salads. Meals are modestly priced, like two pancakes for $3.99, three-egg omelets served with bread and home fries for $5.49 and a corned beef or turkey Rueben melt with chips and a pickle for $7.99.
 
Co-owner Chris Tipton and his wife Norma had wanted to open a café for years and have gotten a good response so far from neighbors. One of the biggest compliments from people who live in Federal Hill is that they’re happy it’s not another bar,” Chris Tipton says.
 
Light Street Café currently employs eight and will possibly hire more after the business proves successful.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Sources: Chris Tipton

Federal Hill Sports Shop Hopes For Home Run in New Location

A Federal Hill sports apparel shop is hoping to score with sports fans after moving to a spot that puts it closer to M&T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards.
 
Bobabooi’s Treasure Chest sells mostly Ravens, Orioles, Natty Boh and Terps gear and will also sell Washington Capitals gear starting in September. Prices range from $5-$100.
 
Bobabooi’s Treasure Chest relocated from 1129 Light St. to the 500 square-foot location at 1028 South Charles St. when they couldn’t obtain a long-term lease from the previous landlord, Co-owner Angela Lauta says.
 
Angela and her husband Dan also wanted to find a location closer to the stadium. The Light Street location drew less foot traffic as most of the crowds would gravitate to the bars and eateries, Angela says. The new store is painted bright Orioles orange. 
 
But the Lautas still wanted to stay in Federal Hill. “There’s no other [stores] around here that just sell sports gear,” Angela says. “We enjoy the fun, festive environment and the diverse crowds.”
 
They originally considered opening a vintage clothing store but then saw a need for sports apparel. Selling sports apparel also matched their backgrounds in sports as Angela played basketball and track in college and Dan played college football and attended the Giant’s training camp.
 
The Lautas run the shop themselves and would like to expand and hire more employees once their year-old business grows. They are currently looking for a social media intern to work a couple hours each week, taking pictures of new merchandise and promoting Bobabooi’s online.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Angela Lauta, Bobabooi's Treature Chest 

West Coast Fitness Studio To 'Pop' in Baltimore

Downtown Baltimore will have a new fitness venue with West Coat flair this fall.
 
Pop Physique, an exercise studio franchise that originated in Los Angeles will add a studio at 339 North Charles St. Sept. 10. Owner Kim Quinn plans on opening more Pop Physique studios in the city within a year, looking at possible locations in Federal Hill, Fells Point, or Hampden.
 
Created by former professional ballet dancer Jennifer Williams, Pop Physique classes are hour-long workouts that combine ballet, Pilates and light weight work designed to tone and sculpt the body.
 
Quinn, originally from upstate New York, wanted to open a Pop Physique somewhere on the east coast and chose Baltimore. “I did research on Baltimore about its young urban population. It fits our targeted age demographic of 25-to-40-year-olds,” Quinn says.
 
According to Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc., more than half of all Baltimore residents are between the ages of 31 and 54. 
 
Pop Physique instructors from California will come to Baltimore next month and select five local instructors after a tryout. Quinn will also be trained as an instructor.
 
Each class holds 20 people. New clients can get 30 days of unlimited classes for $100. Other package deals will be available as well.

The Baltimore will be Pop Physique’s 13th location nationwide.
 
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Kim Quinn, Pop Physique

Taco and Tequila Spot Opens in Federal Hill

A new business in Federal Hill aims to serve up Mexican fare with tacos and tequila.
 
Banditos, a 160-seat restaurant opened last week at 1118 S. Charles St. in the space formerly occupied by the Taco Spot, says General Manager Ellen Provins.
 
Owners Sean White and Andrew Dunlap spent a month renovating the space which includes new flooring and a bar custom made from old tobacco barn wood from Maryland, Provins says.
 
Provins believes that Banditos' location in the “heart of Federal Hill” near Cross Street Market and across the street from Mother’s will draw a lot of customers.
 
"Anyone who comes to Federal Hill, comes here," Provins says.
 
The menu at Banditos consists of tacos, quesadillas and appetizers. Taco options include grilled mahi-mahi with papaya salsa, harissa, and corn nuts and buffalo mushroom tacos with grilled celery, pickled peppers and blue cheese.  The tacos range in price from $6 to $14.
 
Unlike other restaurants that serve Mexican fare, Provins says Banditos serves "foodie" tacos, or those made with more gourmet ingredients.
 
Chefs Matt Singer and Cyrus Keefer, the former executive chef at 1524 Gastropub, created the menu at Banditos. Singer serves as the executive chef at Banditos.
 
The restaurant has an extensive tequila menu including blancos, reposados, anejo, and mezcals. They also offer specialty cocktails like a margarita verde and a Jalisco sour. 
 
The restaurant employs 27 employees and management expects to hire more employees in the fall.
 
Source: Ellen Provins, general manager of Banditos
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com 
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