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Union Craft Brewing to Open Next Month

A new, locally brewed beer is coming to a pub near you.
After months of preparation, Union Craft Brewing in Woodberry will launch two styles of beer this month. The brewery also plans to open its tasting room to the public in mid-July. Union Craft is one of several new breweries and beer-themed restaurants to debut in the last year. 
On June 29, Union Craft Brewing will launch Duckpin Pale Ale and Balt Altbier, a German-style Altbier at a launch party at Max's Taphouse in Fell's Point. The beers will be on draft and also in specialty firkins, or small kegs, with slight variations to the original which make them one-off rarities, says Union Craft Brewing Co-owner Jon Zerivitz.
"I'm super excited, really nervous, but really ready to take the plunge into this. I'm feeling incredibly humbled and grateful for the support the city has shown us so far," Zerivitz says.
Following the launch, kegs of the two styles of beer will roll out to "better beer bars around the city," Zerivitz says.
The company launched with an $800,000 investment from private sources and Zerivitz says it has taken the whole investment to build the company.
Located in a 7,200-square-foot space in Woodberry right outside of Clipper Mill and near the Jones Falls River, Zerivitz says he found an ideal setting to start Union Craft Brewing.
"Manufacturing is often pushed to the outsides of the city. We tried to find a space within city limits. We have a reverence for Baltimore and its history, and Woodberry was ideal," Zerivitz says.
The space was at one time an annex for the original mill and has served a variety of different functions over the years including a furniture company and most recently a large-format sign company.
The tasting room will be open to the public and offer tastings, tours, and beer to-go.
Zerivitz started Union Craft Brewing with co-owner Kevin Blodger, an award-winning brewer with nine years of experience at various breweries in the area.
"Him and I collaborate on recipes…he uses his vast knowledge to make them come alive," Zerivitz says.

The company plans to brew about 1,000 barrels in its first year of operation. They expect to launch a seasonal as well as some special single-batch beers. 

"There is no limit to the number of styles we might produce except for fermentation capacity and demand for our flagship Pale Ale and Altbier. We do also plan to expand the flagship line," Zerivitz says.
Source: Jon Zerivitz, co-owner of Union Craft Brewing
 Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Fells Point Gets a Corner Grocer

Fresh, local produce is now just steps away for many Fells Point residents.  
Fleet Street Market, the brainchild of lawyer-turned grocer Claudette Torbey, opened this month at 2001 Fleet St. with a mission to provide fresh, local and organic foods for neighborhood residents.
For Torbey, the market is half about food and half about community. She saw the need for a neighborhood grocer and decided to pursue it hoping to improve the community along the way.
"I wanted fresh produce within walking distance. I live five blocks away, and I was frustrated to have to get in the car," Torbey says.

The owner says she is trying to source as many local products as possible in the 1,100-square-foot Fleet Street Market.
The store has everything from produce from Calvert Farms to local artisan producers supplying jams, granola and salsas.
There's all frozen pasta from Little Italy, fresh bread from Hamilton Bakery, milk from Trickling Springs Creamery, in addition to meat, cheese, sushi, cupcakes and other desserts. Torbey plans to make sandwiches on-site as well.
One comment on Yelp, a website that allows users to post reviews of local shops and restaurants, describes it as "Whole Foods meets corner bodega."
Tobey says the reaction from the community so far has been extremely positive.
"The neighborhood has really come out…people are saying hello, kids are here. I hope people enjoy shopping when they are here," she says.
Source: Claudette Torbey, owner of Fleet Street Market
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Belgian Beers and Waffles Coming to Former Chesapeake Space in September

The owner of a Belgian brasserie slated for the Station North Arts and Entertainment District says he is eyeing a September opening for De Kleine Duivel if construction stays on schedule.
The 2,700-square-foot restaurant will serve Belgian beer along with Flemish and French dishes, including a Flemish stew, moules frites and ratatouille, Owner Paul Kopchinski says. Patrons can also order Belgian waffles for dessert and Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Kopchinski says he’s not sure yet how much he will invest in the new restaurant at 1709 N. Charles St., but says he’ll meet the $200,000 threshold needed to get a new liquor license.
Kopchinski says he plans to hire about 20 to staff the restaurant, which will offer outdoor seating.
De Kleine Duivel will join Milk and Honey Market and one other restaurant in the Station North spot that has been vacant for a quarter of a century. Developer Ernst Valery says he expects all of the businesses to open in the fall. The city’s second Milk and Honey will operate as a café rather than a market. Valery says he couldn’t yet share any information on the second full-service restaurant that will open in the fall.
The new businesses will finally bring more activity to a dormant corner of the neighborhood that has been steadily gaining new eateries, art galleries and events, but will lose an anchor tenant in the fall when Everyman Theatre moves to the west side.
Kopchinski had originally eyed Hampden for his beer-themed restaurant before settling on Station North.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Paul Kopchinski, De Kleine Duivel 

Hamilton Hatches Retail Incubator

The Hamilton and Lauraville neighborhoods in Northeast Baltimore is known for its eclectic residents and top-notch restaurants.

But soon, it could be known as a place to shop some community leaders succeed in their vision of turning an old firehouse into a launch-pad for budding store owners. 

Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street purchased the old Hamilton Volunteer Firehouse at 3015 Hamilton Ave. last month for $65,000, says Regina Lansigner, director of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street.
The organization plans to renovate the 3,250 square-foot building and use the first floor storefront as a business incubator. Business mentoring services will be provided to prospective entrepreneurs, and the main street association will help businesses move into a new storefront location in the community.
The first floor of the building will be used as a retail business incubator and office space will occupy the second floor.
The building was recently hit by a car and suffered some structural damage, and Lansigner says renovations and the budget for the project are on hold until the repair estimates are received. The organization hopes to raise renovation funds through events, donations, and grants. 

"Those who are aware of our plans to incubate business are excited that we might be able to fill some of our small storefronts with the type of retail that will be useful to the residents.  We need clothing, shoes, and housewares," Lansinger says. 
Lansigner says a business incubator concept has been in the works in Hamilton for several years. The neighborhood farmer's market has been used as an incubator in the past.
The incubator should be open by next spring, Lansigner says.
Money to purchase the building was raised through appeals to board members, business owners, and neighbors who loaned money to the organization, Lansigner says.
Baltimore Main Streets are a part of the Baltimore Development Corp. and work to revitalize neighborhoods through promoting small businesses in communities across the city.
Source: Regina Lansigner, director of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street.
 Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

My Dear Vintage Opens in Hampden

A new boutique at 3610 Falls Road offers women another place to shop for vintage threads in Hampden.
My Dear Vintage opened June 2. Owner Brandi Foster rents the 200-square-foot space from entrepreneur Sue Caldwell above her shop Lovely Yarns.
My Dear Vintage sells fedoras, purses, dresses,  jackets, among other items, ranging from $3 to $65. The selection is a mix of both lesser-known brands and high-fashion designers Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermes. Pieces date from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Foster wants to keep My Dear Vintage in Hampden but look for a larger location as the physical store becomes profitable. Within the next few months, Foster plans to add apartment items to her collection. In the next year, she hopes to offer retro clothing for men and kids, which she says she  believes are in high demand but often overlooked by shops.
Foster named the boutique in honor of her grandmother who sparked her passion for vintage clothing and whom she affectionately referred to as “my dear.”
Foster originally established My Dear Vintage as an online store in the summer of 2010. Once she was successful, the former Pikesville native wanted to scout out a physical location for the boutique in Hampden.
“Hampden has really changed. It’s a great place with young hipsters who like to shop,” Foster says.
She now lives 3 blocks away from her shop and enjoys perusing the boutiques of fellow Hampden merchants like Avenue Antiques for household gadgets. She runs the boutique solo. 

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Brandi Foster 

Liberty Road Corridor Gets A Business Boost

The spotlight is on business along the Liberty Road corridor, thanks to the revitalized Liberty Road Business Association

New Executive Director Harold Reid says he is undertaking several new programs and initiatives for the 110-member group and for Liberty Road/Randallstown that will hopefully boost businesses.

The Liberty Road Business Association is working with the Liberty Road Community Council to implement an initiative by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz  to enforce signage and building code regulations for businesses along Liberty Road. The association and the council are also partnering to relocate the long-time farmer's market to a more visible site in front of the Randallstown branch of the county library.

"It has had various degrees of highs and lows in terms of management," says Reid of his association. "I'm trying to get it moving in a more business-friendly direction."

The association covers an almost nine mile-long stretch along Liberty Road from the City/County line at Northern Parkway to Deer Park Road in Randallstown. It is part of Baltimore County's community revitalization efforts, and Reid attends the county's monthly meetings for communities that fall under that designation.

"The association needed revitalization. It was dormant before Reid. He's brought a new vitality, a spark for businesses to work together," says Shirley Supik, executive director of the Liberty Road Community Council, an umbrella organization of businesses and 15 community groups in the area.

For its members, the association is hosting its first-ever job fair, called Employment Meet, on Thursday, June 14, to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Community College of Baltimore County- Liberty Center in  Randallstown. (Registration required by June 7.) Participants will have the opportunity to meet with and discuss job openings at several local companies in a variety of fields, including banking, health care, food service and IT.
Source: Harold Reid, Liberty Road Business Association; Shirley Supik, Liberty Road Community Council
Writer: Barbara Pash

Downtown Sandwich Shop Expanding to Hunt Valley

Workers in Hunt Valley will soon have another place to grab some grub.
Nalley Fresh, a fast-casual restaurant that serves salads, wraps, rice bowls, and burritos at its downtown location, plans to expand to Hunt Valley and additional locations in the area, says owner Greg Nalley.
The 3,000-sqaure-foot, 60-seat restaurant will open Sept. 1 in the Schilling Green II complex currently under construction at 225 Schilling Circle near the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. Nalley will employ at least nine employees at the new location.
Nalley says he believes that Hunt Valley is becoming a hot commodity for businesses planning to open and relocate and he hopes to serve the growing community of workers in the area.
The restaurant's first location on the ground floor of the Sun Trust building on East Baltimore Street downtown opened last March. The response to the location has been overwhelming, Nalley says.
In addition to the Hunt Valley expansion, Nalley says there is room to expand his business and he is currently considering several sites for additional locations.
Prior to starting Nalley Fresh, Nalley worked as the Executive Chef for the Maryland Jockey Club for close to 10 years. In 2002, he opened Harvest Table in Locust Point. He sold the business and later opened Nalley Fresh.
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]
Source: Greg Nalley, owner of Nalley Fresh

Chef Turning Hampden Grocery Store Into Restaurant

Once a grocery store, The Food Market's rebirth as a restaurant will happen just after Memorial Day.
After months of construction and a complete gutting and renovation, The Food Market plans to debut chef Chad Gauss' concept of chef-inspired comfort food in approximately two weeks in its new industrial-modern space, says General Manager and Co-owner, Elan Kotz.
Kotz describes the menu as known and approachable food, but executed from a chef's perspective. Dishes that Gauss prepared at other locations include Kobe beef meatloaf, linguine with crab meatballs, duck-fat fried cashews with fried catfish served on micro greens, and Heath bar crunch bread pudding. 
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant on the Avenue will seat 90 people, and will include a 14-seat bar. The restaurant plans to offer free valet parking and a dinner menu available until 1:00 a.m. The restaurant will employ approximately 45.
Prior to being a restaurant, The Hampden Food Market was a grocery store that also sold beer and lottery tickets.
Kotz and Gauss signed a lease to take over the space in June.
Kotz and co-owner Gauss were drawn to Hampden's originality and personality in a place that Kotz says is as much of a neighborhood as it is a destination for visitors. The boutiques, restaurants, and lack of big-box retailers gives Hampden a down-home feel, Kotz says.
Baltimore Magazine recognized Gauss, formerly executive chef at City Cafe, as the Best New Chef of 2010.
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]
Source: Elan Kotz, general manager and co-owner

$15 Million Apartment Complex Planned for Canton

A local development company plans to demolish existing warehouse space and build a new approximately $15 million, 57-unit apartment complex in Canton.
Plans for the four-story apartment with a sub-level parking garage at 1202 and 1220 S. East Ave. will go before the city's zoning appeals board June 26 for approval.
Ellicott City's Canton East LLC, based anticipates the start of demolition of the existing vacant buildings before the end of June and for construction to begin before the end of September. The apartment complex would then open March 2014, says manager of Canton East LLC, Ross Taylor.
The 56,000-square-foot building would include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments for rent. Square-footage on each apartment runs from 600 square-feet to 1,200 square-feet. Taylor says apartment prices have  yet to be determined, but the rents will be competitively priced with other rental buildings in the area.

Taylor says that rents for the apartments will be comparable to complexes like The Eden and Spinnaker Bay Apartments. The average price for a studio at these locations is $1,730 per month, the average price for a one-bedroom is $2,100 per month, and two-bedroom apartments average $2,800 per month. 

Taylor grew up in Baltimore and has lived in the Canton area for the past five years.  While on walks with his dog, he kept seeing the industrial buildings in the heart of a residential community and decided they were out of place and that he would redevelop the location. 
The units will wrap around a central courtyard that will include patio space with a grill, outdoor seating, and a dog run. Other amenities include a fitness and business center that will have a conference room, computer kiosk, coffee bar and kitchenette.
Taylor hopes to take advantage of the continued development in Canton including the upcoming Canton Crossing and the already popular Canton Square. He hopes to attract people who want to live in the area including employees at Johns Hopkins and those who work downtown.
This project will be Canton East LLC's first large project in Baltimore as the company works primarily out of Howard County. Taylor describes Canton East LLC as a family real estate company that develops commercial and residential properties.
Source: Ross Taylor, manager, Canton East LLC
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Cupcake Business Expands to Annapolis and Eyes Baltimore

Downtown Annapolis will soon have a new sweet spot.
JoJo's Cupcake & Cream expects to open May 25 on Main Street in Annapolis. The shop, which serves gourmet cupcakes and ice cream will be the company's fourth location in less than a year, owner Chris Wright says.
Wright invested more than $100,000 to get the 1,950-square-foot Annapolis location up and running.

After opening a shop last June in Easton, the company expanded to locations in Queenstown and St. Michaels. With its new location in Annapolis, the company will employ a total of 40 to 50 people including three bakers across its four locations. 
In the long term, Wright is interested in expanding closer to Baltimore and possibly franchising the venture. 
The Annapolis location has a party room that can be closed off for private events. Wright hopes to use the space for everything from showers to corporate team events.
Wright started the business with his wife in Easton where the couple lives with their young daughters. Wright's wife, a lawyer by training, creates the cupcake recipes and loves baking.
"I was trying to find something that would be really family friendly and fun for the girls, a place where they could grow up and learn a good work ethic," Wright says. "A lot has been done with them in mind."
The shop features 12 to 16 different cupcakes each day in their shops, the business has 68 different cupcakes that they rotate regularly. Some cupcake flavors include white chocolate raspberry, mint chocolate chip, butterscotch, banana pudding, and caramel apple.
The shop's ice cream comes from a local dairy, Kilby Cream, in Rising Sun.

Source: Chris Wright, owner
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Vintage Clothing Shop Opens in Hampden

A new Hampden shop selling vintage clothing and threads from smaller designers hopes to appeal to both men and women in their search for that perfect T-shirt or unique accessory.
Hunting Ground opened last month in a 170-year-old church on Falls Road near the Avenue in Hampden.
Co-owners Jessica Soulen and Jenna Hattenburg have years of experience working in retail and decided to open a store where both men and women can shop together. They were looking to fill a void in Baltimore.
"Guys especially have a hard time finding stuff in Baltimore," Soulen says.
The 1,100-square-foot Hunting Ground aspires to create a casual atmosphere where shoppers can find interesting items, and neat accessories. Additionally, the shop buys clothing from people looking to sell items. The store's owners sell items that fit into a modern wardrobe versus having costume pieces, Soulen says.
The shop wanted to work with small designers to acquire its new clothing. The shop carries no big labels or anything you could find at the mall, Soulen says.
Soulen says that she and Hattenburg wanted to open a shop in Hampden to be close to a major shopping destination for Baltimore locals, but they didn't want a narrow space on the Avenue for their shop. Instead, they waited for a spot with more space and ended up with what Soulen describes as a very unique, warm, and inviting location with big windows and lots of light.
After acquiring the property, Soulen and Hattenburg worked on building out the space starting in November.
"We did everything ourselves from building racks to painting. Everything is custom-made," Soulen says.
The new project for the owners is to establish their e-commerce site to extend their sales to an international market.
Source: Jessica Soulen, co-owner of Hunting Ground
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Blue Agave to Reopen After Renovations

 Federal Hill's Blue Agave will have a different feel when it reopens later this week.
New owners took over the Mexican restaurant last month and are wrapping up renovations to the 2,500-square-foot space. The two-week renovations began last week and during that time the restaurant has been closed, General Manager Adam Pashkevich says.

As part of the changes, the restaurant plans to open up the space by tearing down some walls, and making the exterior more inviting for customers. The restaurant will get new floors, a complete bathroom renovation, and a new bar surface, Pashkevich says.

While the changes won’t expand the space, Pashkevich says he believes more open space will create a better experience for guests. There will also be more server stations for faster food delivery.

Some changes will happen on the menu, such as adding fajitas, taking away less popular items, and some lower prices on food items, but the restaurant will stay true to its original concept of authentic Mexican food. The restaurant will also be open daily instead of Tuesday through Sunday. To accommodate the changes, some new staff will be added to the restaurant’s current staff of 20.

The new management previously worked at Macky’s in Ocean City, and each member of the team brings over 10 years of restaurant experience, Pashkevich says.
Source: Adam Pashkevich, general manager
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Entrepreneurs Promise Farm-to-Doorstep Produce

Two local entrepreneurs want to bring the bounties of Maryland's farms to your neighborhood, maybe even your doorstep.
Here's the concept: Friends & Farms goes out and gets the freshest produce, meat, dairy, and seafood from farms and suppliers around the region. Then they divide it all into a basket that you pick up once a week from a designated location in your area. They also plan to provide direct delivery to homes, says co-founder Tim Hosking.
In the works since last fall, the venture will launch May 31 with the first basket pick-up in the week of June 4. The company will start in Howard County and plans to expand to locations as far north as Baltimore City and County, and as far south as Northern Virginia, Hosking says.
Baskets will include two proteins, a myriad of fruit and vegetables, milk and bread every week, and occasionally items like eggs, bacon, herbs and spices. The food will have been picked, baked, or harvested within 24 to 48 hours.
They are priced more along the lines of Giant as opposed to Whole Foods or a farmers' market, Hosking says.
Hosking says he thinks that quality, freshness, and price will differentiate Friends & Farms from other retailers and markets. Large baskets designed for a family of four will retail at $76, while smaller baskets for two will run at $51. 
The company recently leased a 4,500-square-foot office and warehouse space in Columbia as its distribution base. It currently employs four full-time employees with plans to hire additional part-time workers.
Hosking and co-founder Philip Gottwals have both worked in areas of community development, food and agriculture and finance. They are hoping to better connect busy, working people with high-quality, fresh foods straight from the farm and sea.
"We really want to work in the food system, and many aspects of it aren't functioning well, some may even say it’s broken. We are putting our money where our mouths are with this project," Hosking says.
Friends & Farms will host a launch event May 31 at Boordy Vineyards in Hydes.
Source: Tim Hosking, co-founder of Friends & Farms
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Korean Fried Chicken Chain Eyes Howard County

The owners of a proposed BonChon Chicken in Ellicott City will go before the Howard County Liquor Board this week.
The 2,000 square-foot location at 3419 Plum Tree Drive is just off Route 40 and near near Serafino’s Italian Market and across from the Village Green Shopping Center.
The company specializes in Korean fried chicken, and currently has locations in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia as well as locations abroad including Korea.
The hearing will be another step towards the restaurant's planed opening, which will mark the company's first location in Maryland.
Min Bros. Inc, applied for the license, and the hearing is planned for May 8 at 6:30 p.m., according to the liquor board.
A previous hearing was held for the proposed restaurant in March, but the liquor board asked for the company's attorney, Linda Carter, to make corrections to provide more information for the board, says liquor board administrator, Denise King.
The application has since been amended, King says.
Min Bros. Inc. hasn't yet signed a franchise contract with BonChon Chicken, says a franchise consultant at the company's New York Office, but they are in negotiations and plan to open the restaurant "soon."
Source:Denise King, Howard County Board Liquor Board administrator
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

New Greek Restaurant Opening in Harbor East

Opa! Baltimore's tony Harbor East neighborhood is getting another new restaurant this summer. 

Greek restaurant Ouzo Bay is opening at 1006 Lancaster St., the same building that houses Charleston. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant seat 140 inside and 70 outside, according to a liquor license application Alexander Smith filed in Baltimore City.

The owners will invest at least $500,000 to open the Ouzo Bay, according to the liquor license application. The restaurant will serve modern Greek specialties, with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

Harbor East is home to Cinghiale, Arhaus Furniture, White House|Black Market and the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore. The area is getting a slew of new retailers this summer, including Anthropologie, J. Crew, Lululemon and MAC Cosmetics. The area and surrounding neighborhood of Fells Point have attracted a number of new eateries within the last year, including Waterfront Kitchen, Wit and Wisdom Tavern, the Inn at the Black Olive and Bond Street Social.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Baltimore City liquor board
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