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BBQ restaurant Famous Dave's opening Timonium restaurant Nov. 4

Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que will open its new Timonium location Nov. 4, the restaurant's 10th location in Maryland.

The restaurant began construction just north of the Maryland State Fairgrounds in April, at 2301 York Road.

It will serve its ribs, chicken wings, beef brisket and the Texas Manhandler sandwich. a 6,000-square -foot pad site where site work is being done and a parking lot is under construction.

The restaurant has leased space at 2301 York Road in Timonium, according to Eugene Lipman, CFO of property owner A&A Global Industries. Famous Dave’s will go in 

It will be the restaurant’s 10th in Maryland. Other Greater Baltimore locations include Owings Mills, Bel Air and Columbia. Its Texas Manhandler sandwich consists of beef brisket and hot-link sausages topped with “hell-fire” pickles.

Beyond Famous Dave's, the property contains 37,700 square feet of space that developer York Road 2301 Inc. is renovating for retail space. In that retail center, 20,000 square feet has been leased to the Tile Shop, which has locations in Columbia and Rockville. The Tile Shop will probably start renovating their space in April and could open this summer, Lipman says. A highlight of the Tile Shop will be kitchen and bath displays designed to inspire do-it-yourself home remodelers.

The York Road property under development has been vacant since 2003, when A&A Global Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of gumballs, key chains, plush toys and dozens of other vending machine novelties, moved to larger quarters in Cockeysville.

“We looked at that property and tried to rent it and tried to rent it and tried to do a lot of things and finally got to the point where we said ‘It was suited for retail,’ says A&A CFO Eugene Lipman, who says A&A continues to own the property through the York Road 2301 Inc. subsidiary.

Today, the most visible feature of the site are pulverized remains of one of the old buildings on the lot. “The original 40,000-square-foot building that was in the front is going to be a parking lot now.”

Lipman says there will probably be two additional tenants in the retail center, though that space has not yet been leased

This story is an updated version of a news story first published in BmoreMedia December 2012. 
 
Writer: Amy Landsman, landlink1@verizon.net
Source: Eugene Lipman, A&A Global Industries 

Spike Gjerde opens Shoo-Fly Diner

Spike Gjerde, a James Beard-nominated chef and one of Baltimore’s most celebrated restaurateurs, opened his latest venture Oct. 11 in the former Crush space in Belvedere Square. Shoo-Fly Diner is the name of the 5,000-square-foot combination “farmhouse diner” and canning operation.

Former Roy's Restaurant Chef Patrick “Opie” Crooks is the chef de cuisine of the 75-seat restaurant, serving regional comfort foods and classic diner fare. Sourdough pancakes with maple syrup, fried oyster and creamed chipped beef sandwich with toasted butterbread are among the menu items. The menu is divided into various sections: snacks, jars, griddle, eggs, open faced, biscuits and large plates. Menu items cost between $4 and $15 and entrees between $12 and $20. A serpentine-shaped counter that seats 22 is the diner's hallmark.
 
“It’s a diner, but with a heavy dose of Woodberry [Kitchen's] rusticity,” Gjerde says of the new restaurant.
 
The diner is open at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and stay open until 1 a.m. It serves three meals a day on the weekends. 
 
Gjerde says he will also use part of the kitchen to can, preserve, dry, pickle and freeze vegetables for the enormous quantities of produce he goes through at Woodberry Kitchen. The canning and preserving operation at Belvedere Square is the intermediate step until Gjerde gets his own building for this sort of operation when the Food Hub in East Baltimore opens next year.
 
Gjerde also owns Artifact Coffee, which recently added a liquor license. He is also opening a butcher shop with Seawall Development Co.’s new development in Remington. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen and Artifact Coffee 

Boordy Vineyards uncorks new winemaking building

Boordy Vineyards toasted the opening of its new $3 million winemaking facility this month, which it's billing as the largest project in its 68-year history.  
 
The 11,500-square-foot building in Hydes is composed of a main production facility, a laboratory, two wine-storage warehouses, a bottling room and a room for shipping wine. 
 
The additional space allows the Baltimore County vineyard to increase production by about 62,000 gallons, to a total of 170,190 gallons. It also allows for more quality control of the fermentation process, says Boordy Vineyards’ Phineas Deford.
 
The new building is located adjacent to the barn that Boordy Vineyards has been using to produce their wines for 34 years. The barn did not allow for a temperature control during the winemaking process, which is a feature of the new building. The previously used barn will be converted into a barrel cellar.
 
Boordy Vineyards will offer tours twice a day, seven days a week, and President Robert Deford says that they will allow guests to tour the facility, as long as the winemaking process is not underway. The winery receives 60,000 visitors per year, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the county. 
 
Vineyard staff has worked to match the architecture of the new facilities with the old buildings on its 240 acres of farmland.
 
“Building a building here of this sort is actually a real responsibility, an aesthetic responsibility, in that it’s going to be here for a long time and we felt that it had to reflect and harmonize with traditional architecture,” Deford says.
 
Boordy Vineyards has also made the building environmentally sound with the roofs facing south so that solar cells can be added once the construction is complete.

Boordy produces a number of white and red varietals, including chardonnay, pinot grigio, merlot and shiraz. The expansion was funded with Boordy's own money and bank loans.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Robert and Phineas Deford

MOM's Organic Market to open first Baltimore City store at the Rotunda

MOM’s Organic Market says it will open a store at The Rotunda, ending months of speculation surrounding which grocer will anchor the $100 million redevelopment of the retail, office and residential project in Hampden.

The Rockville-based company will open a 15,000-square-foot shop, its eighth in Maryland and third in Greater Baltimore. It has stores in Timonium and Columbia. The Rotunda store will be MOM's first in Baltimore City. 

“I really like where [the Rotunda] is located,” MOM’s founder Scott Nash says. “It’s close to I-83. The parking is good. We’re pretty excited about it.”

MOM’s will replace Giant grocery store, which moved less than two blocks away last year to the Greenspring Tower Shopping Center. It’s unclear, however, when MOM's will open. The first new retail shops at the Rotunda will open in 18 to 20 months, but Chris Bell, senior vice president of developer Hekemian & Co. Inc., says he is not sure whether MOM’s or what other retailers will be among them.

Nash says the store will employ between 50 and 60 and feature a “naked lunch” section similar to its Timonium store. This section will feature largely vegetarian fare, including salads, a black bean burger, a beet burger and other food items.

“We think it’s a great addition to the project,” Bell says. “Their customer is the customer we’re going for. These are health conscious, young professionals starting to populate Hampden. We think it will drive a lot of traffic to The Rotunda.”

Construction began this month on the much-anticipated Rotunda redevelopment that was stalled for years due to the recession. City officials and the developer will hold a formal groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The redeveloped Rotunda will include a total of 83,000 square feet of new retail, a 379-unit apartment building and 1,100 parking spaces. Bell says the retail makeup will likely consist of five restaurants, a gym, coffee shop, pet store and salons. The site is also home to the Rotunda Cinemas.

Shops at The Rotunda will face a central plaza that will hold farmers’ markets, music festivals and other gatherings, Bell says.

Bozzuto Construction Co. is the general contractor while the Design Collective is the project's architect.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Chris Bell, Hekemian & Co. Inc; Scott Nash, MOM's 



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

Sip-and-paint studio opening in Mt. Washington

Baltimore residents will soon have a place to learn how to paint while sipping a glass of chardonnay once the Painted Palette paint-and-sip opens its new studio in Mt. Washington Village mid-September.
 
Co-owner Becca Hauser says she and her partner Brooke Snyder signed a lease for an 1,800-square-foot space near the Mt. Washington Tavern and Baltimore Clayworks.

Hauser says they chose this location because Mt.  Washington is a close-knit community that supports local businesses and the arts. It is also accessible by both city and count residents and also by light rail. 

The paint-and-sip shop trend combines wine drinking with a painting workshop. The two-hour classes will cost $35 and students can bring their favorite bottle of wine.  

The entrepreneurs have been taking paint supplies and bottles of wine to birthday parties, corporate events and ladies’ nights for the past year. But they decided to lease a studio before their company's one-year anniversary.
 
“We feel that our client base has grown in such a way that it can support studio classes and I think it’s the right time to take things to the next level,” Hauser says.
 
The Painted Palette will likely host classes Thursday-Sunday, all of which will be open to the public.  And the duo will continue to host private parties and corporate events as they come up. 

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Becca Hauser



Yoga studio flexing its way to Locust Point

Locust Point residents will get a new place to practice their downward facing dog when BambooMoves Yoga opens in September.
 
Owner Monica Ott says that she wanted to bring a yoga studio to Locust Point after moving to the neighborhood earlier this year.

“I really wanted to bring a sense of a holistic approach of fitness and wellness to the neighborhood, which I thought was kind of lacking,” Ott says.

The 800-square-foot studio will be located at 1624 E Fort Ave. The space, which was formerly an organic nail salon, is currently undergoing some construction, such as repainting and redoing the floors to embody an “inviting, warm feel,” Ott says. The style will be modern vintage.
 
Though Ott privately owns the studio, it is part of the BambooMoves yoga collective, which is composed of four independent studios in the metro New York area. 
 
The Locust Point location will offer mostly yoga classes at all levels, with live music in the background. The style of yoga is Hatha Raja Vinyasa

Though a schedule is not yet finalized, classes will be offered seven days a week in the morning, midday and evening. For the first month, customers can purchase an unlimited membership for $30.
 
Ott says she hopes that the studio will build a sense of community in the neighborhood. “I want it to be very inviting, a place where you feel comfortable in any type of class,” she says.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Monica Ott, Bamboo Moves

Real estate broker opening grocery store in Oliver neighborhood

A Pikesville real estate broker is branching out, with plans to renovate a rowhome and open a grocery store in the city’s Oliver neighborhood in six months.

Janie Cauthorne, owner of Pikesville’s Real Estate Executives, will spend $100,000 to renovate the approximately 2,000-square-foot building at 1800 N. Bond St. The first floor will house the grocery store and a branch of her real estate firm. The second level contains two apartments.

She’s still working out the details, but Cauthorne hopes the as-yet unnamed store will specialize in organic food and will “promote healthy eating” in the community. She will privately finance the renovations.

She estimates that about five realtors will use the office, and the grocery store will employ five.

The building is currently vacant, but it has a history of retail. Cauthorne says zoning board records show the first floor of the building had been a grocery store since the 1940s. 

Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Janie Cauthorne, Real Estate Executives 

Ice cream store the Charmery opens in Hampden

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream on the Avenue in Hampden.
 
The Charmery opened at 801 W. 36th St. at the former location of the Chestnut Pharmacy July 20. The 1,400 square-foot, 15-seat store offers 16 flavors of ice cream made onsite, waffle cones and a dipping station. Flavors include Old Bay Caramel, Md. Mud and Lemon Stick. The Fat Elvis is a mixture of peanut butter and bananas. Other treats include vegan sorbets, homemade sodas and root beer floats. The Charmery will serve homemade hot chocolate in the winter.
 
Canton residents David and Laura Alima say they thought Hampden’s main drag was an ideal spot for an ice cream shop because there aren’t many other ice cream places in the area. The couple was also impressed with how supportive the neighborhood is of local businesses. 

The Alimas make most of their ice cream, brownies and cookies from local ingredients, like dairy, eggs and butter from Trickling Springs Creamery

It was always the couple’s dream to open an ice cream shop. The pair would visit area ice cream shops and carry a “black book” filled with ideas, Laura Alima says. Her husband attended the Frozen Dessert Institute in Missouri, which offers a course on running an ice cream store. Laura Alima will keep her job as marketing director for Timonium catering company Chef’s Expressions
 
The Alimas say they made a “substantial” investment in the shop, funded by a small business loan and personal savings. They signed a 10-year lease for the space and will employ nine part-time. The pair are applying for an outdoor seating license.
 
 
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: David and Laura Alima, owners of Charmery

Hampden skincare studio moves to Lauraville retail incubator

With her organic and vegan skincare products on the shelves, Shelley Birnbaum's ReNew Botanicals has become the first tenant in the Hamilton-Lauraville retail incubator.
 
Owner Shelley Birnbaum previously had a small skin care studio in Hampden, but wanted more space so she could add her retail line of products.
 
“I just had my skin care studio and that was by appointment only. I didn’t have retail or anything like that.  I was making my products at home. So I really was looking to have everything under one roof,” she says.
 
The Lauraville resident got in touch with Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street and ended up as the incubator’s first tenant, occupying 750 square feet last month.
 
Birnbaum has also launched a baby line called Baby Botanicals. Birnbaum declined to discuss her investment, but says she was helped by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
 
“It’s wonderful to be close to home. It’s exciting to be part of this project to help revitalize the Hamilton retail district.”
 
Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street is assisting Birnbaum by reviewing her business plan, helping her obtain permits, preparing financial statements and promoting her retail line through Facebook, email blasts and blogs. The incubator is a former volunteer fire station and one-time Hamilton Democratic Club at 3015 Hamilton Ave.
 
Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street purchased the 3,250-square foot building for $64,000 last year. Now, the first floor has been renovated and given new life as a place where small, local businesses can be nurtured until the owners are ready to move into a storefront of their own.
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Sources: Shelley Birnbaum, owner ReNew Botanicals
Regina Lansinger, director Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street

Ahoy Mateys! Entrepreneurs franchising pirate-themed bar and restaurant

The owners of the Mutiny Pirate Bar & Island Grille are setting sail for Howard County and have their sights set on franchising the concept nationwide.
 
The owners are scouting Howard County for a 3,000- to 4,000- square-foot spot, with seating for up to 150 customers, outdoor dining and good visibility. Brothers Rob Wecker and Steve Wecker spent about $200,000 to open the original bar and restaurant in Glen Burnie two years ago. 
 
Steve Wecker says the Howard County location should open within a year. That's also when they expect to have more details ready on their franchise plans, including how much it will cost. Howard County is where the others operate another restaurant, the popular Iron Bridge Wine Co. 

The Glen Burnie restaurant features 145 types of rum and Caribbean-influenced food. The signature dish is the Shipwreck Burger: a half-pound burger with a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich bun, spiced rum barbecue sauce, tempura onion rings, a fried egg, lettuce and tomato.
 
 “What we tried to do was create something that had a hook, that had a unique marketing program,” Wecker says. “We’re always looking for ways to make the package better, but it is at its core a classic bar and restaurant food with a Caribbean flair.”
 
As for franchising, Wecker says the pirate concept is a great hook that can easily be replicated in cities across the nation.
Wecker says the owners will get financing from banks and private investors. 
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Steve Wecker, co-owner Mutiny Pirate Bar & Island Grille
 
 
 

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.
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