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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 

Under Armour opens Tide Point visitor center

Under Armour wrapped up a seven-month construction of a visitor center this month, the latest expansion of the sportswear giant’s Tide Point campus in Locust Point.

Designed by Ziger/Snead, the glass-enclosed 4,260-square-foot building incorporates dark gray metal panel and red steel-plate railings. It is located on the site of the former Harvest Table café.

The building is a welcome area where every Under Armour employee will greet guests, according to a spokeswoman for the company. It’s also a place where school groups and athletic teams visiting the campus can gather, according to Ziger/Snead’s description of the project. The visitor center does not include a retail store. 

In February, the company opened an 8,000-square-foot Brand House retail store in Harbor East. It expects to eventually expand its Locust Point campus by 400,000 square feet

Writer: Julekha Dash

Hard Rock Cafe sets the stage for live music and new menu after renovation

Baltimore’s Hard Rock Café is ramping up for more live music and a new menu following a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Located in a converted power plant building, the 16-year-old restaurant features a 65-foot-high lighted guitar that has become an iconic symbol of the Inner Harbor’s transformation from an industrial waterfront to an entertainment destination. But as longstanding Baltimore restaurants faced more competition, many have refreshed their properties and reinvented their brands. Morton’s the Steakhouse, the 13th Floor  and Mt. Washington's Pepe Pizza are among some of the restaurants that have been renovated in the past year.

The 200-seat Hard Rock received a spruced up patio, new terrazzo and wood floors, rock memorabilia and sound system as part of its makeover.

“It has more of a sleek, contemporary look to it with a lot of lights hanging down at different levels,” says David Miller, director of operations for Hard Rock International. “It’s got a lot of life to it with a lot of vibrant colors that pop and make a great statement.”

The remodeled stage is also now the focal point of the café, featuring a red wall lined with speakers and the Hard Rock Cafe logo in the middle.

“The intent is to have ongoing live music,” both inside the restaurant and on the pier, Miller says.

The Hard Rock Café celebrated its new look Oct. 1 with a private concert featuring Las Vegas indie rock band Imagine Dragons. The band smashed 16 guitars, representing each year that the Hard Rock has been open.

Kitchen managers and corporate chefs at the Orlando, Fla., chain's headquarters are in the process of tweaking its menu and will unveil its new offerings in February.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: David Miller, Hard Rock 

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

Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland to build research and science center in East Baltimore

The state's two major research institutions, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park , are partnering to build a research and science center in East Baltimore opening September 2014. The state is spending $27 million and Hopkins is contributing $3 million toward the $30 million public/private venture whose goal is to make Maryland’s universities and private industry more competitive in the sciences.

The High Performance Research Computing Facility will consist of multiple buildings on land leased from Hopkins on its 350-acre Bayview Medical campus, at 4940 Eastern Ave. Expected to break ground in November, the center will be set off from other buildings and have its own separate entrance. The universities will finish site design this month and then bid the project to vendors. 
 
While the facility is unique in Maryland, other states, notably Massachusetts and New York, have launched similar data centers. Hopkins' vice provost of research Scott Zeger says the facility will allow the two universities to compete in scientific fields. Last year, faculty and administrators at Johns Hopkins and UMCP formed a scientific governing group to oversee the facility. 
  
“We are building a world-class facility,” he says, that will spur public/private partnerships in scientific research and hopefully create spinoff companies. 

The High Performance Research Computing Facility will be used for fields whose solutions require “extreme computation,” says Zeger. These include big data, cybersecurity, language processing, genomics and molecular chemistry.
 
The center will consist of a small administrative building for the four to five people who will operate the facility and smaller buildings to hold the computing and storage equipment. The center will initially consist of one building to hold equipment but there is room on the site for up to five such structures. 
 
Zeger says the construction of subsequent buildings depends on state funding, federal grants and partnerships with other universities in the region and private industry. The facility's operating cost is put at $3 million to $5 million per year, and Zeger expects partnerships and other funding to defray the cost.
 
According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, money for the project has been designated in the capital budgets for FY 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Source: Scott Zeger, Johns Hopkins University
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
  
 
 

 
 

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

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

MICA opening $16M dorm next month in Bolton Hill

Students at Maryland Institute College of Art looking to live on campus will get new digs next month. The Bolton Hill art college is opening a $16.3 million residence hall as enrollment grows and unveiling a $3 million renovation of its residential complex.
 
Located at 130 McMechen St., Leake Hall will house 240 students in 62 units. Part of the college's newly named Founder's Green Residential Complex, Leake Hall will include a performance space, lecture hall and artist studios. 

Renovations to the residential complex include a new entrance at the John H.B. Latrobe House and a new student lounge, a grill-style dining facility and expanded laundry facilities at Margaret F.S. Glace Hall. Baltimore architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht designed Leake Hall while Ayers Saint Gross handled the renovations. MICA financed the construction and renovations primarily through tax exempt bonds issued by the school and the Maryland Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority.
 
MICA has been updating and expanding its campus its facilities and housing in recent years to accommodate its student growth. Renovations to Studio Center, a complex for graduate programs on North Avenue, wrapped up last fall.
 
In 2008, MICA debuted its $30 million Gateway complex at the intersection of North Avenue and Mount Royal Avenue.  The dorm houses 215 students in apartment-style housing.
 
MICA enrolls nearly 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. Enrollment grew 16 percent last year. 
 
 
Source: Jessica Weglein, MICA’s director of public relations
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, Alexandra@bmoremedia.com
 
 

Developer of Metro Centre at Owings Mills receives liquor licenses for three restaurants

The developer of The Metro Centre at Owings Mills has moved one step closer to bringing restaurants to the multimillion-dollar residential and retail project.  

David S. Brown Enterprises' application to the Baltimore County liquor board for three restaurants to serve alcohol at the site was approved Monday.
 
The company is in various stages of negotiations with prospective restaurant tenants, says the developer's attorney David Mister. 

For restaurants coming into a big project like this, they need to be able to say, "‘Yes, you will have a liquor license,'” says Mister, of Mister, Winter & Bartlett LLC.
 
The liquor board’s Chief Administrator, Michael Mohler, says Metro Centre would control the licenses until close to completion of the project, then likely transfer them to the restaurant operators.
 
A decision on license requests is ordinarily granted at the conclusion of the hearing. Asked before the hearing if he expected the licenses to be granted, Mohler said “there was no reason not to grant” the licenses.
 
Located near the Owings Mills subway stop, so far a six-story building housing a branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and Community College of Baltimore County and an adjacent parking garage have opened. Two five-story buildings with retail on the street level and 232 apartments above and a four-story office building are expected to open this fall.

More construction is to come. When completed, Metro Centre will encompass more than 1.2 million square feet of office space; 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; 1,700 residential units; and, a 250-room hotel. Maryland and Baltimore County have spent more than $57 million on the infrastructure; the rest is privately funded.
  
Baltimore County has a limited number of liquor licenses, the number depending on the population in each of its 15 election districts. Mister says on-site restaurant licenses were available in the 4th election district, Metro Centre’s district, and the decision was made to apply for three simultaneously.
 
Sources: Michael Mohler, Baltimore County Liquor Board; David Mister, for David S. Brown Enterprises
Writer: Barbara Pash

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 

Downtown Baltimore event space getting a facelift

The new owners of the Grand Historic Venue in downtown Baltimore is giving the ornate property a $500,000 facelift and adding new menus to modernize the event space in the next six months.
 
“We want to kick it up a few notches,” says Amy O’Connell director of sales and marketing.
 
The owners will start the renovations to the Grand in about 90 days and wrap up in six months, O’Connell says. The space will get new lighting and furniture so it looks more chic and modern. The Grand also has a new Food and Beverage Director, Cecil Rajendra, who will update the catering menu within the next 30 days to offer more farm-to-table, local and international fare, O’Connell says. The Grand hosts banquets, weddings, conferences and other events. The former Masonic Lodge debuted in 2006 after a $27 million renovation. 
 
The facelift comes after Garrison Investment Group and Chartres Lodging purchased the event space and attached hotel, which it renamed the Embassy Suites Downtown Baltimore. Formerly called the Tremont Plaza Hotel, the hotel officially became the Embassy Suites June 17. The Hilton brand property received a $14 million renovation, including new rooms, an updated lobby and lounge areas and new amenities so it looks more contemporary. It also got a new restaurant, B’more Bistro, which specializes in Chesapeake Bay cuisine.
 
The goal of the rebranding, O’Connell says, is to appeal to the “Hilton traveller,” someone who expects a certain level of quality from the Hilton brand. 

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Amy O'Connell, Embassy Suites
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