| Follow Us:

Mt. Vernon : Development News

43 Mt. Vernon Articles | Page: | Show All

Red Emma's to serve dinner next month in new Station North spot

Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse plans to serve a full dinner menu next month at its new Station North location.

The store opened Nov. 20 at its new location at 30 W. North Ave., where it roasts its own coffee beans from Thread Coffee on site. It initially offered baked goods and expanded its cafe menu Dec. 5 to include sandwiches, soups and salads. The nine-year-old radical bookstore and coffeehouse announced its move from Mount Vernon late last year. 
 
Previously occupied by Cyclops Books, the new space is 4,600 square feet, nearly six times the size of its 800-square-foot spot on Saint Paul Street.
 
“In the old space, one of the problems that we had was that all the space we had was what you saw,” Khatib says.
 
Now the coffeehouse has designated space for storage, a kitchen, an office and bathrooms. 
 
The vegetarian menu will be expanded to include kale, potato wedges and vegan mac and cheese. It will continue to serve soups and sandwiches during the day. 
 
Red Emma’s is a co-op and will add more collective-owners to its staff. While the business does not hire new workers, it does bring people into the project as worker-owners, people who are interested in investing in the project long-term.
 
“The members that we have right now are not enough to fill all of the shifts that we’re going to need so we will be looking to add new folks to the co-op,” Khatib says.


Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Kate Khatib, Red Emma's 

New Mount Vernon cafe to sell espresso, yoga mats and vinyl records

A new coffee shop is coming soon to the Mount Vernon neighborhood and plans to serve more than coffee and pastries.
 
NuBohemia, which bills itself as a modern bohemian cafe, will sell jewelry, yoga gear and vinyl records when it opens at 42 W. Biddle St. in about a month.
 
Owner John Johnson says the coffee shop will serve espresso and espresso-based drinks, drip coffee, hot and iced tea, and smoothies.

“We want to be a destination for folks, a place people will want to come and enjoy each other’s company,” Johnson says.
 
The shop has partnered with a local Maryland record store to sell vinyl in the shop. NuBohemia hopes to appeal to the young artists and college students who live in the area.
 
The 1000-square-foot space is located just a block and a half from the 1200 block of Charles Street, an area that Johnson says believes is the “hottest area of the city.” The block is home to a growing cluster of shops and restaurants, including Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Starbucks, Tutti Frutti, TriBeCa Coffee Roasters, Oooh So Sweet bakery and Pet Valu. The area has attracted more businesses as its student population has grown with the expansion of the University of Baltimore
 
“We wanted to open as close to this block as possible,” Johnson says.
 
Johnson came across this location while working in the events promotion field.
 
“We started doing events for 10 years and actually got away from wanting to open the coffee shop,” he says. “But now that things have settled down, we’re back to wanting to open the brick and mortar of the coffee shop.”
 
Johnson says the shop will be open Thursday through Sunday for the first year, and will then expand its hours to seven days a week thereafter.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: John Johnson

Dooby's Coffee opens in Mount Vernon

After months of anticipation from Mount Vernon residents, Dooby’s Coffee opened Saturday in the building that once housed popular coffee shop Donna's.

Owner Phil Han says the coffee house features his four favorite things.  If “we can excel in coffee, in-house pastries, sandwiches, and craft beers, then we’re perfectly happy."

The cafe serves 12 draft beers and assortment of wines. Dooby's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reviewers on Yelp praise the cafe's avocado toast and butter-brown chocolate chip cookies. 

A pop-up version of the coffeehouse had been operating over the last few months in the Hatch, Han's incubator that is located around the corner from Dooby's. Home accessories retailer zestt is moving into the pop-up space. Founded by Jessica Diehl and Benita Goldblattt, zestt sells contemporary textiles, art and accessories. 

Extensive renovation at 800 North Charles St. took place following a five-alarm fire in 2010. The fire forced local favorite restaurants Indigma, Donna’s and My Thai to close. Indigma has since opened across the street at 801 N. Charles St. and My Thai opened next to Heavy Seas Alehouse in the Tack Factory in Little Italy. Donna's is not reopening in the building. It has locations in the Village of Cross Keys and Charles Village. Its Columbia location closed in May.

The 2,500-square-foot location will have seating for 75 inside and an additional 22 seats outside once it gets its permit for outdoor seating. It will feature clean lines and natural colors.

Han says it took more than a year to settle on the perfect name for the coffeehouse. “Dooby” is Han’s childhood nickname and comes from a Korean word. 

Han says many Korean-Americans like himself are in the food service business, but he says a Korean-American owned coffeehouse was an unfilled niche. So, as a gift to the Korean-American community, he decided to jump in.

He first searched for a space in Howard County, home to many Korean-owned businesses. When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he turned to the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

“It was like a no-brainer spot for me. This is such an awesome place, with colleges, young professionals. The amount of art and creativity that surrounds us is just amazing.”

Han says he believes the neighborhood is looking forward to having a new coffee house in the now-renovated block. Many area residents have taken pictures and asked him when he is opening.
 
Source: Phil Han, owner, Dooby’s Coffee
Writer: Amy Landsman landlink1@verizon.net 
 
 

D.C. developer constructing 150-unit apartment building in Mount Vernon

An eight-story building with 150 rental apartments and ground-floor retail is coming to 814 North Charles St. in Mount Vernon. Washington, D.C., developer Gould Property Company is constructing the $30 million project on the site of a surface PMI parking lot that it owns.
 
Joel Cherington, a consultant to Gould, says construction on the 20,000-square-foot building will begin in February and finish within 18 months. The one- and two-bedroom apartments will be offered at market rate, currently in the $1,400 to $2,600 range for the area.
 
The developer is targeting young professionals with amenities like squash courts and an indoor pool. Mount Vernon has seen a flurry of new residential and retail development as enrollment grows at the University of Baltimore
 
The building, so far unnamed, is located at the corner of North Charles and Read streets. It is located a half-block north of Mount Vernon Square, and a block-and-a-half from the Washington Monument. It will be built of concrete and glass, with an eco-friendly “green” roof and a LEED certification of silver at the minimum, according to Walter Schamu, president of SMG Architects, the Baltimore firm that will design it.
 
There is space on the street level for retail. Cherington says the developer hopes to attract a restaurant and two other tenants. There will be seven stories of apartments and three levels of underground parking to accommodate 150 cars.
 
Earlier this month, the city's Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation approved the Charles Street building, says Tom Liebel, commission chair and a principal with Marks, Thomas Architects. Liebel says the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association, the local community group, ALSO supports the project.
 
Sources: Joel Cherington, Gould Property Co.; Walter Schamu, SMG Architects; Tom Liebel, Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation
Writer: Barbara Pash

Small business incubator opening in Mount Vernon

The owner of Dooby’s Coffee in Mount Vernon is adding a new neighbor that he hopes will grow small businesses. 

In mid-July, Phil Han is opening the Hatch, an incubator for small businesses and artisans who wish to showcase their work to the Baltimore community. The space will feature exhibits and retail pop-up shops. The Hatch will also offer hands-on support to budding entrepreneurs who need help with accounting, licensing and other aspects of running a business.

“The Hatch is a little bit more about encouraging other entrepreneurs to test out their ideas and products and services so that they then can be convinced to come out here in Baltimore and open up a business here,” Han says.

The 1,200-square-foot space will be located at 4 W Madison St., the site of the temporary location of Dooby’s Coffee. The coffee shop will remain in the same building but move around the corner to a 2,500-square-foot space at 802 N Charles St. when the Hatch opens. Dooby's has received its liquor license for the new space and will serve coffee, pastries, sandwiches and craft beers. The fire-ravaged building was once home to My Thai and Donna's.

For Han, establishing these businesses is about creating a sense of community.

“Given right now as our community and population have been growing, there just aren’t enough local cafes and coffee shops where people are hanging out,” he says.

His goal is to use the Hatch to bring new entrepreneurs to Baltimore, and also new customers to Dooby’s Coffee, which will be expanding its menu to include more restaurant items.

Until these projects are completed, Han says that Dooby’s Coffee will still be offering its full coffee bar, as well as baked goods, pastries, sandwiches and salads.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Phil Han, Dooby's Coffee

Tavern on the Hill to bring brisket and burgers to Mount Vernon

Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood boasts world cuisine ranging from Spanish to Thai, Indian to Italian. But diners craving a good deli sandwich have just a few options.
 
Opening in early July, the new Tavern on the Hill restaurant at 900 Cathedral St. will feature burgers, salads and classic deli fare like corned beef and brisket. The restaurant will be on the ground floor of the 58-unit Cathedral Court apartment building.
 
Co-owner Lee Cohen says when the former Howard’s Restaurant became available, he and partner Benjamin “Rubin” Schechman jumped at the chance to take over the space.
 
The partners have spruced up the 2,300-square-foot restaurant with new paint, carpeting and tile. Landlord Matrix Management helped out with the installation of new HVAC. Cohen declined to discuss the cost of renovations.
 
The owners’ goal is to keep the menu affordable. A burger with fries will cost $8, and most other menu items will be less than $10. Wine will be under $20 a bottle. The restaurant and bar will seat about 80 inside, with room for about 10 people out front, and space for an additional 30 in the dog-friendly patio out back.
 
“Mount Vernon is a pretty cool place,” says Cohen. “Our goal is to meld into the community and have good, quality, consistent food.”

Cohen says he expects to bring back trivia night, a fixture of the former Howard’s. Cohen expects to have 10 to 20 employees. The restaurant’s operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Lee Cohen, co-owner Tavern on the Hill

Liam Flynn's Ale House expanding with new food menu and more seats

Liam Flynn’s Ale House in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District is expanding with additional seating and a new kitchen, featuring Scottish and Irish favorites to go with their popular beers and ales.
 
The expansion will increase the Ale House’s footprint within the North Avenue Market building where it’s located from 2,200 square feet to 3,000 square feet, says Liam Flynn, who co-owns the bar with wife Jessica. The Ale House currently seats about 64 and after the renovation, it will increase its capacity to about 100 with new outdoor tables and more seats at the bar. The new kitchen should be ready by August.
 
Located at 22 W. North Ave., the bar carries 15 beers on tap and specializes in British Isles ales, whiskeys, beers and ciders. Currently, it brings in pre-packaged foods from other restaurants, but hasn’t had a kitchen of its own.
 
Flynn says they get a lot of customers who come from the train station and area theaters, but because they don’t serve food, patrons have a pint and leave.
 
Once the new kitchen is open, Flynn says they’ll add a menu of Scottish and Irish favorites, such as Scotch eggs, and a Plowman’s Platter of bread, cheese and relish. The summer menu will feature smoked meat and fish, the winter menu will showcase slow cooked game. Flynn says he hopes to source as much food locally as possible.
 
The Ale House has six employees. With the new kitchen and planned daytime hours, Flynn says the number could double. Currently, the bar opens at 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays.
 
Partnering with community groups, Flynn hopes to use the Ale House as a home base to train neighborhood residents for jobs in the food service industry. “We just want to be a positive influence in the neighborhood, especially coming from that we’re selling alcohol.”
 
The North Avenue Market building underwent a $1 million facelift last year. In addition to Liam Flynn’s, the Market building houses the WindUp Space and the Baltimore Print Studios. Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, previously located in Mount Vernon, plans to move to the building this fall.
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Liam Flynn, co-owner Liam Flynn’s Ale House.
 

New Martick's restaurant and speakeasy to open in August

It’s a good time to celebrate the Roaring 20s. Director Baz Luhrmann has remade “The Great Gatsby” movie. WC Harlan in Remington is one of Baltimore’s hottest bars. And now the former Martick’s Restaurant Francis is about to be remade into a modern-day speakeasy when it reopens in August.

Speakeasies were hidden bars where in-the-know customers could enjoy a cocktail during Prohibition. It will still be called Martick’s, in honor of the late Morris Martick, the restaurant’s long-time owner, but there won’t be a sign at the Mount Vernon restaurant — just like its predecessor. If the light is on, it’s open. If not, you’re out of luck, says Co-owner Brooks Bennett. Another co-owner is Alex Martick, Morris Martick’s brother.

The property at 214 W. Mulberry St. in Mount Vernon consists of a first floor main dining room and the original 1933 bar, plus a second floor slated to be used for private parties. The first floor can seat about 75.

Bennett says they’re bringing in a chef and a mixologist who will showcase seasonal and regional beverages, highlighting Prohibition-era cocktails.

The menu is preliminary but will feature about a half dozen appetizers, including fries made from blue, white and yellow potatoes. The half dozen or so entrees will emphasize seafood.

The operators are leasing the building from the Martick family. The building will undergo a renovation with an eye toward giving it an old-timey speakeasy atmosphere, with reclaimed wooden floors and photos of the late Martick. 

Bennet hopes to do a soft opening in August, with an official opening in September. Currently Martick’s will likely be open Wednesdays through Sundays, but if business is good, the owners may expand the hours. Bennett says he expects the city to approve the liquor license in July.

The building really was a speakeasy back during Prohibition. After repeal, it became a legitimate bar. For 38 years, Morris Martick ran his French restaurant there before retiring in 2008.  Martick died in 2011 at age 88.

Speakeasies are making a comeback. Bennett says he visited modern day speakeasies from New York to Virginia to get a sense of what might work here in Baltimore.

“It’s all about the mystique and the mood,” he says.
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Brooks Bennett, co-owner Martick’s Speakeasy.

Top Kitty Boutique opening second store in Mount Vernon

Maria Smith, owner of Top Kitty boutique in Waverly, is opening a second location in Mount Vernon next month.

Smith will share a third floor, 300-square-foot rental at 516 N. Charles St. with Sharifah Gavins, owner of design consultancy Butterfli Affect. Top Kitty offers styling services, accessories, and clothes geared toward professional women. 

Smith and Gavins are in the process of painting and decorating the suite, located above A People United fair trade shop. The shop is located on the building’s ground level, with four stories of office space above. Smith has one intern, but no additional employees.

Smith says she believes having space in both Waverly and Mount Vernon covers many bases. Shoppers have discovered her Waverly boutique, while Mount Vernon tends to be home base for her VIP styling clients.

Smith and Gavins are still working on a name and slogan for the new location. They may go with: “House of DecoFash: Where a Butterfly Designs and a Kitty Styles.”

Smith will use the Charles Street office for Baltimore Fashion Week model calls, and for year-round one-on-one fashion consultations with clients.

Along with running Top Kitty, Smith serves as a stylist and production team member for Baltimore Fashion Week. Now in its sixth year, Fashion Week takes place Aug. 8 –11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Pikesville.

“Most of my clients who come to me for styling are going to be the type of woman who wants to meet with me in Mount Vernon. She’s the upwardly mobile kitty. She’s busy. She’s a professional. She’s a business owner.”

In addition to operating Top Kitty, Smith works full-time in residential and commercial property management. She says she self-financed both the Waverly and Mount Vernon locations.

Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Maria Smith, owner Top Kitty Clothing
 

International pastry shop and cafe opens in Mount Vernon

There’s a new place in Mount Vernon for residents to pick up steamed pork buns, Cuban pastries, Turkish coffee and Paraguayan empanadas.

The Bun Shop opened last month at 239 W. Read St. Co-owner Andrew Bui says he and his business partner Minh Vo will expand the BYOB café’s offerings in the next month to include furniture, home goods and flowers since the 1,700-square-foot spot offers room to grow.

“Originally we wanted a small store front but we just found this place. It was a bakery so it had a lot of equipment that we needed that we couldn’t afford,” Bui says.

The owners also will begin selling Vietnamese spring rolls and other appetizers on the weekends starting this month. The café will host its first event with the May 17 launch party for Slight-Mag, a fashion magazine started by Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) students.

Childhood friends Bui and Bo spent about $30,000 to open the Bun Shop, using their own cash and money borrowed from family. Bui says he left a product design job in New York while Bo left his pharmacology Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University.

Bui says the Bun Shop has been attracting area residents, including MICA and University of Baltimore students, interested in late-night cheap eats. The Bun Shop is open until 3 a.m. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Andrew Bui, the Bun Shop

Developer moves ahead on 86-unit apartment complex in Station North

The developer behind Milk & Honey Market and the reopening of the Chesapeake restaurant is plotting an 86-unit apartment complex on Lanvale Street next to his new food establishments, which are weeks away from opening.
 
Ernst Valery says he expects to select an architect by July for the market-rate studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Construction on the yet-to-be named building in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District will begin a year from now and wrap up by summer of 2015. Valery says he hasn’t yet determined apartment rates.
 
The apartment building is the latest project in a neighborhood that is attracting more interest among city officials, developers and universities. A developer hired by Amtrak has proposed shops, housing and offices around Penn Station. Johns Hopkins University is moving some of its arts programs to the neighborhood and the Maryland Institute College of Art has purchased two buildings in the area.
 
But the neighborhood could use more housing, Valery says.
 
“Its a step toward making the neighborhood really great and realizing its full potential,” Valery says of his project.
 
Valery says he is now securing financing for the apartments and declined to provide details until the plans are finalized.
 
Station North’s Milk & Honey Market and the new Chesapeake Restaurant will open in two to three weeks, Valery says. It will be the city’s second Milk & Honey. The other one is located in Mount Vernon. Chesapeake, which will focus on regional cuisine, bears the same name as the restaurant that shuttered a quarter century ago. The property has since been vacant.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Ernst Valery

New Mount Vernon restaurant promises to serve healthful fare in former Five Guys space

The owner of a new Mount Vernon eatery bDelight Restaurant is out to prove that a nutritious meal can still be tasty.
 
The 50-seat restaurant will open in the former Five Guys Burgers and Fries space, across from the Walters Art Museum, on April 19. The 2,000-square-foot restaurant at 111 Center St. will employ 12.
 
BDelight will offer customers food choices based on their daily calorie intake goal and use this to determine what items to order off the menu. They also have the option of ordering individual items, or a 1,000-calorie “balanced meal” that is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Each balanced meal costs $12 and includes a main dish of a sandwich, pasta or a Chinese dish, along with a drink, salad, side and dessert. Individual menu items cost between $4 and $7 and include fruit cup, marinated vegetable salad and reduced-fat potato chips. Sweet-and-sour tofu with vegetables and beef with broccoli are among the Chinese dishes.
 
If successful, owner Rajah Anandarajah says he plans to open more Baltimore locations and possibly expand nationwide, including locations in California where he has relatives.
 
“People are watching what they eat these days. The local community, is more health conscious,” Anandarajah says.
 
Computers and scales in the kitchen area provide prompts to remind cooks and prep workers how much of each ingredient should be included for each dish, Owner Rajah Anandarajah says. Customers can place delivery orders on the website. The restaurant also has cashiers and two kiosks for self-orders.
 
Anandarajah says he used personal finances to purchase the 2,000 square-foot space. He declined to say how much he spent.
 
Writer: Jolene Carr
Sources: Rajah Anandarajah, owner of bDelight Restaurant; Christina Camba, Profiles PR

Developer plotting $6.5M apartment, office and restaurant project in Mount Vernon

Developer Howard Chambers is spearheading a six-story, $6.5 million apartment, office and restaurant project at the vacant Mount Vernon building where his great-grandfather once ran one of Baltimore’s oldest design firms.
 
Chambers says he will break ground on 1010 North Charles St. between November and March of next year, adding 35 market-rate apartments behind and above it as part of the 47,000-square-foot project. The building will feature a mix of studio and one-bedroom units, with an average size of 640 square feet. Residents will have access to a rooftop patio. 
 
The building will contain a 2,850-square-foot restaurant with outdoor dining. The type of eatery remains wide open, Chambers says. The building’s second floor will be turned into office space. Chambers says he is still working on the final configuration of the building.
 
1010 N. Charles St. was once the headquarters of 108-year-old design firm, The H. Chambers Co., which moved to Baltimore office building Montgomery Park in 2006. It most recently housed Bath Time Inc., a showroom containing high-end faucets and other bath hardware that closed four years ago. 
 
The Mount Vernon Belvedere Association, The Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation and the city’s planning department have all signed off on the project. Engineering studies are underway.
 
Mount Vernon’s many transportation options make 1010 North Charles an attractive location for apartments, Chambers says. “Right next door there are 14 Zipcar spaces, the bus line to and from Hopkins, the train station to and from D.C. is three or four blocks north of the site, so apartments make a tremendous amount of sense.”
 
Mount Vernon has attracted more interest from developers as enrollment at the University of Baltimore has grown from 5,000 to 7,000 in the past five years. Since UB doesn’t have dorms, many of those students are clamoring for nearby apartments. Plus, Chambers thinks 1010 North Charles will attract hospital workers from Mercy Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as faculty from University of Baltimore's new law school building set to open next month.
 
 
Writer: Amy Landsman; amy@bmoremedia.com
Source: Howard Chambers, president of 1010 North Charles LLC



Developer plotting four-story Mount Vernon apartment building

Developer Patrick Grace is building an apartment complex with 11 units in a former condominium and office building in Mount Vernon.
 
Construction on the $1.5 million market-rate apartments at 505 Park Ave. will begin in the spring and wrap up in the fall, says AB Associates’ Nate Pretl, a land use consultant working in conjunction with Grace’s Trademark Properties. The developer handles commercial and multi-family properties in the mid-Atlantic. Baltimore’s Harbor Development LLC is the project's general contractor.
 
The building is just down the street from one of the biggest apartment projects currently under development. The Time Group of Owings Mills is building 171 market-rate apartments at 520 Park Ave., to be completed spring 2014. The neighborhood is attracting more interest from retailers and developers with the expansions of the University of Baltimore and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
 
Apartments at 505 Park will rent for between $900 and $2,000 a month for one, two and three-bedroom units. The apartments will be between 550 to 1,150 square feet, Pretl says.
 
The east side of the property contains a four-story carriage house, which the developer will renovate and subdivide as a separate unit, Pretl says. The carriage house will at some point go on sale as a single-family residence. 
 
The apartments will be marketed to graduate students and young professionals who want to be close to neighboring universities, the central business district and the cultural attractions in Mount Vernon, Pretl says. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Nate Pretl, AB Associates


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 
43 Mt. Vernon Articles | Page: | Show All
Share this page
0
Email
Print
Signup for Email Alerts