A reader sent the above picture of Spike Gjerde’s new restaurant Shoo-fly, which she snapped on Saturday. “It looked like they were having a staff run-through. The door was wide open and I couldn’t resist taking a picture,” she says in an email. “A guy came to the door and said that the restaurant would be opening “soon,” and that was the best he could tell me…”
It looks pretty cool, we think. In case you haven’t heard, the restaurant will inhabit the old Hess Shoe Store spot, which housed restaurant Taste for a few years and then Crush, which closed last year.
While we’re on the subject of Spike, the innovative chef gave a long interview that is worth a read to our friends at Eater:
Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde recently revealed that he is going to be adding a new member to his family of restaurants. In mid-September, Shoo-fly will join Gjerde’s acclaimed Woodberry Kitchen and buzz-worthy Artifact Coffee in the Baltimore dining scene. And Gjerde’s not just opening this “farmhouse diner” concept — a descriptor which he admits “doesn’t really mean anything.” He’s also moving all of the canning and preserving operations from his flagship over to the newer and bigger kitchen. And there are even more projects coming up beyond that (including retail, butchery, and beyond).
Eater caught up with Gjerde by telephone as he and his team drove out to look at soft-serve machines for Shoo-fly to see if they can make soft-serve work on Gjerde’s local sourcing ethos. “We get some amazing local milk, but the whole question about how to create a soft-serve mix based on local dairies is kind of up in the air. It hasn’t been done very frequently,” he explains. In the following interview, Gjerde explains all that he’s got in store for Baltimore, reflects on how “the energy is returning” to the city’s dining scene, and shares his philosophy on creating food systems and appreciating Chesapeake cuisine.
So congrats on Shoo-fly’s impending opening. This was sort of borne out of needing to open up space over at Woodberry Kitchen, right?
Yeah, that was definitely the kernel around which this organized itself. But it’s turned into something a lot more than that because we’ve gotten more comfortable in the space and the building has started to speak to us as it seems to when we get into these cooler older spaces. I think we’ve got something really fun with Shoo-fly.
Yeah, how did the “farmhouse diner” concept come about? Did you know that’s what you were going to put in there?
Not so much. We just kind of got in there and we were thinking about food that we love. I love a good diner as much as anyone, but for me there’s also this kind of ambivalence about the quality of ingredients used to make that kind of food. It ends up being a little bit of a guilty pleasure because I love a Western omelet, but at the end of the day I’m not sure I want to be eating those eggs or that particular sausage. So that was the thinking.