A business owner has breathed new life into a longtime favorite Hampden restaurant. Patrick Ito and Dan McIntosh reopened McCabe's April 23. The 53-seat bar and restaurant at 3845 Falls Rd. closed a year ago under different owners.
Ito. who doubles as the restaurant's chef, says he has been updating the classic menu at McCabe's, known for its crab cakes, burgers and steaks, in order to add Hampden's hipsters crowd to the McCabe's devotees from Mount Washington and Pikesville. "We want to please the older customers and at the same time get a younger, fresher crowd without pushing either of the two away," says Ito.
The menu now includes several vegetarian options, including polenta lasagna with grilled vegetables and a fried eggplant sandwich with harisa tomato chutney and goat cheese. Lunch costs between $8 and $14, while a dinner entrée costs between $14 and $26. "Before it was a classic menu that was a little outdated. I made it trendier and more accessible to people," he adds.
Ito is relying on local bakeries and farms, including Stone Mill Bakery in Lutherville and Hampstead's Spring Hill farm for his meat. "We've put some thought into where the food is being sourced from," Ito says.
Neither owner is a stranger to the Baltimore business community. Ito has worked as a chef at Mount Vernon's Copra and Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point. McIntosh owns downtown live music joint Sonar.
The partners have spent the last eight months readying the place for customers, adding new paint, floors and redoing the bar and kitchen.
Ito declined to say how much the partners invested in the 800-square-foot restaurant. "It was more expensive than we thought and more difficult than we thought," he admits.
Ito and McIntosh say they chose Hampden because it is full of thriving retailers and restaurants. "I love the area. There's plenty of potential there," Ito explains. "It's the happening area now."
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Source: Patrick Ito, McCabe's
Writer: Julekha Dash