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Juice bar and yoga studio coming to Hampden

A juice bar and yoga studio are coming to Hampden in March, setting up shop next to the newly opened Belgian brasserie De Kleine Duivel.
Jukai Juice Co. and SOULshine Wellness Studio share an entrance, and once inside customers can go from one to the other without leaving the building. The 750-square-foot space is about equally divided between Jukai and SOULshine.

Jukai Juice Co.
Owner Kerri Namvary expects to open her all-natural juice store at 3602 Hickory Ave. in about seven weeks in the former Redman Lodge social club. SOULshine Wellness Studio Owner Sarah Hatton is eying a similar timetable for the yoga studio.

Namvary estimates she’ll invest $40,000 for a kitchen and small seating area. Eventually, she hopes to offer vegetarian and vegan options along with her all-natural juices. The storefront will allow her to consolidate her juicing operations in one place. Currently, the juice is produced in two separate commercial kitchens in Baltimore County and York County, Pa.
Jukai is named in honor of Namvary’s two kids, Julie and Kyle. Currently, she’s a one-woman business, though she may take on a part-timer. She started the business three years ago with stalls at local farmers’ markets and fridge space at the Green Onion in Hamilton. With the planned move to Hampden she plans to cut back on most of the markets, however, she plans to continue selling at Highlandtown and Fells Point. Jukai’s bestseller is the ‘Hulk,’ a blend of kale, pineapple, green apple, lemon, and ginger.

“My bigger picture is to offer nutrition on the go to everybody. I just feel like we would live in a better world if everybody was nourished,” she says.
Hatton estimates she’ll spend a bit less than $15,000 to open her yoga studio. The 2000 Towson University graduate moved back to the area from Dallas about a year ago and says she has found a niche in Hampden.
“You have some people who maybe are not from the city, like myself with a vision about bringing community together, whether it’s through art or yoga,” Hatton says.
Art studio Gallery 788 is another tenant in the building. It will be joined by a photography studio.
Reporter: Amy Landsman
Source: Kerri Namvary, owner Jukai Juice; Sarah Hatton, owner SOULshine Wellness.

Belgian brasserie De Kleine Duivel opens in Hampden

A Belgian brasserie opened Friday in a former social club of the Improved Order of Red Men Lodge at 3602 Hickory Ave. in Hampden.

De Kleine Duivel, which means “little devil” in Flemish, is just serving beer, wine, spirits, and small plates, such as paté, charcuterie, and cheese from the Green Onion Market in Hamilton. But the space has a full kitchen, which Owner Paul Kopchinski says he expects to open by late January. He will also offer live music in the coming months.

The 1,500-square-foot room seats about 15 at the bar and close to 50 at tables. The showpiece of the Art Nouveau-style space is the custom 40-foot-long bar made by a cabinetmaker and childhood friend of Kopchinski’s. 

Right now it’s just Kopchinski and one other employee manning the bar. He says he expects to hire about five servers when the kitchen opens.

Kopchinski plans to apply for an entertainment license so bands can play on the restaurant’s stage a few nights a month. “Nothing loud. Eclectic, acoustic music that would fit in with the theme and the atmosphere."

Kopchinski has been planning on opening his Belgian-themed brasserie since 2010. Two previous locations didn’t work out, and he ended up at the former lodge.

Kopchinski’s mom’s side of the family is Flemish and he still has family in Belgium, and he travels there often. De Kleine Duivel, “little devil,” is what his grandmother used to call him when he was a kid.
Reporter: Amy Landsman
Source: Paul Kopchinski, owner De Kleine Duivel

Nickel Taphouse opens in Mount Washington

About a year after opening his popular artisan pizza joint Birroteca, Robbin Haas has tackled his next restaurant venture in Mount Washington.

The Nickel Taphouse opened Nov. 20 in the former Blue Sage Café and Wine Bar space at 1604 Kelly Ave.

The 100-seat restaurant serves grilled oysters, mussels, burgers and roast beef served on kimmelweck rolls, topped with sea salt and caraway seeds. The sandwich is a specialty in Haas’ native Buffalo, N.Y. The restaurant also serves 32 craft beers on draft and about 50 wines. Menu items cost between $5 and $19. 

The 4,000-square-foot Nickel Taphouse is inspired by the places Haas used to frequent in his working class neighborhood. “They had great food and a lively bar crowd. These are places to hang out and stop in everyday.”

Haas, who is leasing the space, says he wasn’t looking to expand but a good business opportunity came along. He declined to say how much he spendt on the business.

“I like Mount Washington. I think there’s an opportunity for another restaurant there. I like it because it’s homey, it has a wide diversity of people. It has a great vibe to it.”

Located in the Jones Falls area, Birroteca serves pasta, calamari and other modern Italian fare. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Robbin Haas, Birroteca

City planning department approves $17M conversion of historic Hampden mill

Terra Nova Ventures LLC last month received approval from the Baltimore City planning office for the $17 million redevelopment of a Hampden mill into apartments, offices, restaurant and retail space.
The Baltimore developer expects to request building permits in early 2014 and begin construction on Whitehall Cotton Mill in the spring. Construction on the historic building will wrap up a year later, in spring of 2015.
David Tufaro, Terra Nova principal, says the building at 3300 Clipper Mill Road, about 100,000 square feet in size, will be divided into thirds for the different uses – one-third for apartments, one-third for offices and one-third for restaurant/retail. The plan calls for 27 rental apartments although he says it is premature to predict rents.
Though Tufaro is now calling the project Whitehall Cotton Mill, the name may change upon completion.
The building is located along the Jones Falls, where other former mills and factory buildings have been redeveloped in recent years. Among them is Mill No. 1, Terra Nova’s most recent project, the 1847 cotton mill that opened last month. Like 3300 Clipper Mill Road, Mill No. 1 contains apartments, offices and restaurant space.
Tufaro says the 3300 Clipper Mill Road building is adjacent to Mill No. 1. Distribution firm Komar Company owns the circa 1900 building and currently uses it as its headquarters. 
“It’s in the middle of the city and close to everything,” Tufaro says of the location. “And the buildings are different from other areas.” 
The Clipper Mill Road building and property was assessed at more than $616,000 in 2008. The building is located in the Hampden Historic District, and Terra Nova’s plan requires both federal and state historic approval.
Source: David Tufaro, Terra Nova Ventures LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash

Pikes Cinema Bar and Grille brings movies back to Pikesville

Movies have returned to Pikesville for the first time in 27 years with the Nov. 1 opening of the Pikes Cinema Bar and Grille.

Ira Miller, the owner and operator of the Rotunda Cinemas in Hampden, operates the new Pikesville theater in the historic Art Deco building that also houses the Pikes Diner & Crab House. The cinema consists of two, stadium-style theaters that seat about 75. The theater will show a mix of first-run films, art films and independent movies. 

Pikes Diner Owner Wil Reich has spent about $200,000 to renovate the building at 921 Reisterstown Road. The project also received $50,000 from the Baltimore County Department of Planning.

Miller came up with the idea of turning the front of the diner into a movie theater, Reich says.

"I’d like to take credit but I can’t. Miller approached me with the idea."

Reich subdivided the approximately 7,000-square-foot, circa 1930s building. Reich is turning the front portion, about 3,000 square feet, into the theater space.The rear portion remains a restaurant but with a new menu that serves a combination of seafood, burgers and Mexican cuisine.

The Baltimore County Council approved a zoning change in April that will allow movies to return to the location. The building originally opened as a movie theater in 1934.  It has gone through several changes since closing as a theater in 1986.
After an extensive renovation, it reopened as an Italian grocery store. It then became a kosher restaurant before Pikes Diner opened in the rear portion of the building. Pikes Diner last year changed its name to Pikes Diner & Crab House. The restaurant has a separate entrance; the marque from the original movie theater remains atop the front of the building.
Reich says that because the last movie ends around 11 p.m., the future Cinema Bar and Grill will stay open later than the current Pikes Diner to accommodate patrons. Reich also owns Jilly’s Bar & Grill, located across the street from the Pikes Diner, and it too will adjust its hours, he says.

Source: Wil Reich, Cinema Bar and Grill
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 

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 dog care business relocating to bigger spot

The relocation of a Hampden business gives neighborhood dogs something to bark about.
The nine-year-old Good Doggie Day Care will be moving from 3500 Ash St. to a larger space at 529 W. 29th St. by early July.
The 14,000-square-foot location gives business owner JoAnne Garrett 5,500 square feet of more space and 13 playrooms instead of six. The new space, which formerly housed the Hanover Uniform Co., has two floors with a large ramp for the dogs.
“The new location is much easier to get to, and it won’t crowd the dogs,” Garrett says. “Also, some of our dogs are aging, and we’ll have a place for our ‘older kids’.” The new location will have a “Senior Paws” area dedicated to older dogs.
Garrett employs 23 and will will hire one assistant manager, one evening assistant manager and four daycare attendants for the new location.
Good Doggie takes care of 50 to 100 dogs per day. Prices range from $20 for one half-day session to $28 for five full-day sessions. One-third of the customers come from the neighborhood while many also come from downtown, Garrett says.
Contact: JoAnne Garrett, owner of Good Doggie Day Care
Writer: Jolene Carr

Darker Than Blue owner eyes Rotunda and Charles Village project for new location

The owner of Waverly’s Darker Than Blue Café is talking to the developers of two of Baltimore City’s biggest residential and retail projects near Johns Hopkins University about relocating the popular restaurant to a bigger spot. And he’s cooking up plans for a new eatery at his current home on Greenmount Avenue.

Casey Jenkins says he is working with Artios Retail LLC, a Bel Air leasing and brokerage firm, to assist with the expansion by 2015. The business owner is looking at the Rotunda in Hampden and the lot at 32nd Street and Saint Paul Street in Charles Village as possible locations for the expanded Darker Than Blue.

“Our dream is to move to a large development,” Jenkins says, noting that a larger development will give the restaurant more visibility.

Jenkins opened the 85-seat Darker Than Blue at 3034 Greenmount Ave. seven years ago. The move will hopefully allow him to seat as many as 150 in the expanded location. The new Darker Than Blue will be more polished and upscale and have less of a mom-and-pop feel.

The restaurant will still serve Southern-inspired food, including catfish and grits and chicken and waffles. Jenkins will also continue to feature regular live jazz. A bigger restaurant will allow Jenkins to feature new items, including a rotisserie with ribs, pork and chicken. 

Virginia’s Armada Hoffler and Baltimore’s Beatty Development Group LLC are leading the redevelopment of the lot near Johns Hopkins University. Formerly a condo project called the Olmsted, it is now dubbed the St. Paul Street Project in Charles Village.

New Jersey’s Hekemian & Co. is leading the $70M Rotunda redevelopment in Hampden, slated to include a local grocer, apartments and restaurants when it is completed in summer 2015.

Meanwhile, Jenkins says he will open a new restaurant in the current Darker Than Blue location — most likely West Indian or Latin. Jenkins says he’ll probably open up the space a little more, and that the new place will be a bit more casual than Darker Than Blue. The as-yet unnamed restaurant would seat the same number of people.

Jenkins is in expansion mode. In May, he’s opening Birdland Sports Bar and Grill in Cedmont.
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Casey Jenkins, owner of Darker Than Blue and Birdland Sports Bar & Grill

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 

Clothing stores Sixteen Tons, Doubledutch moving into shared spot on the Avenue

Two independent clothing stores in Hampden, Sixteen Tons and Doubledutch Boutique are moving into a shared space on the Avenue next month.

The move will allow the two stores to share overhead expenses and carry a wider array of merchandise, Sixteen Tons Owner Daniel Wylie says. 

The two-story, 1,400-square-foot spot at 1021  W. 36th St. is the former home of Denova furniture store. Doubledutch — a women's clothing store owned by Wylie's wife Lesley Jennings and Sixteen Tons will retain their separate names and brands.  

Wylie says he hopes the central block on the Avenue, next to the Food Market — a restaurant named a "hot spot" by Open Table diners — will give both stores more visibility and foot traffic. For Doubledutch, it's a chance to move off Falls Road and onto Hampden's central thoroughfare, the Avenue. Wylie opened Sixteen Tons at 1100 W. 36th St. in 2010.  

Moving into a larger space will allow him to sell more shoes, accessories, shaving products and house wares. Diversifying his inventory will hopefully increase sales, Wylie says. If someone doesn’t want to buy a pair of trousers, maybe they might buy a table or shaving cream.

Wylie says he does not yet know how much the move will cost. He says the store is profitable, though sales fluctuate with the seasons. 
Learn more about Sixteen Tons in this video made by Shine Creative

Source: Daniel Wylie
Writer: Julekha Dash

David's Restaurant reopening in Hampden

After being closed for nearly three years, renovation is underway at a revamped David’s Restaurant and Deli in Hampden.

Restaurant owner David D. Morgan has submitted an application to the Baltimore City liquor board for permission to house a full bar and hold live music.

In October, the Hampden Village Merchants Association gave Morgan a conditional letter of support. The conditions being that the restaurant open within three months, and the ownership doesn’t immediately transfer to somebody else.

Community leaders say they are looking forward to seeing the vacant property at 3626A Falls Road put to use.

“This has been sitting vacant for several years,” says Benn Ray, president of the Hampden Village Merchants Association. Ray is also owner of Atomic Books, located next to David’s Restaurant. The block could use a viable restaurant, he says.

“Having that amount of real estate right next door being inoperable is not at all helpful.”

Ray says the space is essentially two properties: the former David’s and an old toy train store. He says construction is underway and it appears it’s to be shaping up as a sports bar and restaurant.

Morgan could not be reached for comment and Hampden community leaders say they do not know what kind of food the restaurant will serve. The old David’s Restaurant featured breakfast, burgers, and sandwiches.

The Hampden Community Council also voted support of the new restaurant’s new liquor license application.

The Baltimore City liquor board will hear Morgan’s request on or after Jan. 31. 

Writer: Amy Landsman
Sources: Benn Ray, President Hampden Village Merchants Association; George Peters, Chairman Hampden Zoning Committee

Acupuncture studio debuts in Hampden

A new business on the Avenue in Hampden allows visitors to try holistic healing on a budget.
Mend Acupuncture opened last month at 1008 W. 36 St. above Hampden Junque. Owner Sarah O’Leary offers $25 acupuncture sessions to clients in her 600-square-foot studio.
Mends houses six reclining chairs but O’Leary may be purchasing two more. She currently works with ten independently contracted acupuncturists. The Mends acupuncture procedure is a more modest version than your average, O'Leary says. It  focuses on areas from the elbows down and knees down and sometimes the ears and head.
O’Leary also owns Seeds Center for Whole Health and decided to open a separate drop-in acupuncture studio after noticing a growing interest in the healing technique. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat back pain, infertility and digestive difficulties while enhancing overall well-being.
“The acupuncture aspect really expanded, there was a two month waiting list at Seeds,” O’Leary says. “More and more insurance companies are covering it, but people who don’t have insurance can’t afford it.”
O’Leary says the low price is bringing a lot of newbies to acupuncture, many of whom are graduate students, artists and people who work in the hospitality business. Mend stayed open late along with other businesses on the Avenue for First Fridays during the holidays and administered 200 acupuncture treatments by the end of December.
O’Leary rented the space above Cafe Hon to open Seeds in 2007. Seeds offers services like reiki, massages and organic waxing. O’Leary enjoys being a business owner in Hampden, where it’s affordable and where there are fellow moms who own their own business. 

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Sarah O'Leary, Seeds

Breathe Books Hiring Former Louie's Pastry Chef For New Cafe

Hampden’s Breathe Books will add a café in February that offers beans, grains and greens.
Owner Susan Weis-Bohlen is spending $150,000 on the café, generated from area foundations and investors.
Vegan, vegetarian and Ayurvedic foods will be on the menu, in addition to café staples like scones and muffins. The new-age bookstore will also offer vegan cookies and cupcakes and raw macaroons, along with light meals like the Chick Pea Pick Me Up and Your Tart’s Desire and a daily blue-plate special. All treats will be made without white sugar and white flour. Weis-Bohlen is looking for local coffee products to sell at the venue at 810 West 36th St.
Joann Goshen, the former pastry chef of beloved Mount Vernon institution Louie's Bookstore Café will be working in the kitchen. Joining her will be Rene and Don Gorman, formerly of Pikesville’s Puffins Restaurant. Weis-Bohlen will also prepare dishes that conform to the Ayurvedic tradition. Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine that relies on food for its healing properties.
In addition to the chefs, Weis-Bohlen will hire three additional employees as the hours extend from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Breathe currently employs four.
The coffee bar will be in the front of the store, with a lounge area in the back, outdoor seating on the porch and as many as six tables upstairs. The store will carry magazines and international newspapers once the café opens.
Weis-Bohlen says she considered finding a new space for the café but decided to include it in her 750-square-foot store, a renovated house that already has a kitchen. She says she wanted to stay in Hampden because of the support from the community and the Hampden Village Merchants Association.  
Breathe’s café will bring in another source of revenue as more people turn to digital books. “Books themselves aren’t what they used to be,” Weis-Bohlen says. “Customers need a healthy, happy living. Food makes a bookstore more comfortable and casual.”
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Susan Weis-Bohlen, Breathe Books

Interior Design Firm Scouting for Office Space

A three-year-old interior design firm whose clients include Millennial Media and Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. is scouting for office space in Baltimore City and adding to its staff.

Kelly Ennis, founding principal of the Verve Partnership, says she is looking at Clipper Mill and other historic properties in the area with the hope of leasing a 2,000-square-foot office in January. “We’re looking for an office that reflects our brand — less formal but creative and professional,” says Ennis, who has been working out of her Hampden home. Ennis has hired Doug Kaufman of AGM Commercial Real Estate Advisors LLC as her broker. 

The six-person firm will soon add another designer and a project architect and grow to about 20 employees over the next three years. Ennis says she eventually would like to expand to other smaller cities, such as Denver and Pittsburgh.  

A Pennsylvania native, Ennis moved to Baltimore in the 1980s to get her BFA in interior architecture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She moved to Los Angeles for eight years, where she worked for HOK, the largest US-based architectural engineering firm. Locally, Ennis has worked for Gensler.

Ennis wanted to start her own firm because she wanted to design offices where the company’s brand is incorporated in its interior design. For instance, Verve blended a casual and corporate environment on behalf of Millennial Media, designing a “park like” area for flexible meeting space and a “jam room” for the staff musicians.

OmniTI, an IT services firm with offices in Fulton and New York City, wanted a space that fostered creativity. Verve incorporated graffiti and musical instruments in the office design. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Kelly Ennis, Verve Partnership 
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