Food & Drink

True Chesapeake Co. Opens ‘Bottle Shop’ during pandemic


True Chesapeake Oyster Co is closed to dining guests. However, the intrepid team is still determined to serve Baltimore! Starting this Friday-Sunday (March 27-29), guests can order and pick up a selection of wine, liquor, beer, swag + gift cards — all curbside.

All items have an even price, which includes alcohol sales tax and also a small contribution to our True Chesapeake Staff Fund. 100% of this contribution goes to our staff, as we strive to support them and help them to make a living wage during the COVID-19 Crisis.

On the price list, you will find the name of the item, some details, the all-inclusive price, and a note about what your contribution is within that price.

To order:

Email Chelsea, general manager and beverage director, at [email protected] with your order by 11:59 pm to pick up your order the next day between 2 pm and 6 pm.

At this time, if you would like to add an additional tip to your order (100% of which will go back to our hourly staff), please let Chelsea know, so she can include it on your invoice.

Chelsea will send you an invoice to pay online. We will not be accepting cash or payment at pickup at this time.

Chelsea will pick and pack your order, with gloves on, and package it once your order has been paid.

When you arrive:

Driving instructions: pull around to the smokestack side of 3300 Clipper Mill Road.

Text Chelsea (she will give you the number when you place your order) and pop your trunk.

Show us your ID! In the spirit of ensuring that we are only selling alcohol to folks of legal drinking age, put your ID against your window so Chelsea can review and give you a wave hello!

Chelsea carefully places your order in your trunk, and you are good to go!

Let’s get started!

La Cuchara sets up online market to sell eggs, produce and other staples during pandemic

The bar at La Cuchara

Starting this week, La Cuchara will use its sleek space in Meadow Mill to fulfill orders for an online market, allowing customers to buy items such as eggs, produce, milk and other staples online and pick them up to-go.

And they’ll carry a number of gourmet items sourced from local farms, including New York strip steak, aged goat cheese and raw unpeeled shrimp.

Hot Plate: How to support Baltimore’s restaurant industry during coronavirus

The Capital Grille is one of many local restaurants offering carryout options right now; the downtown restaurant is also selling uncooked steaks to take home.

For the second week in a row, this is not the usual, lighthearted installment of Hot Plate, sharing information about wine dinners and seafood festivals, as events are canceled and restaurants are no longer open in their traditional capacity, in an effort to flatten the curve and stem the transmission of coronavirus.

This is a challenging time around the world and in every industry. The restaurant business, with low margins and reliance on tipping and on customers gathering in one place to generate income, has been hit especially hard (though it is by no means the only industry suffering).

To understand some of what restaurants are dealing with right now, read this Facebook post from Clavel owner Lane Harlan.

So as lovers of Baltimore and lovers of restaurants, what can we do to help? There are a few things.

Baltimore Public Markets close until further notice under Hogan’s orders

Photo by jpellgen (@1179_jp), via Flickr

Baltimore’s public markets, including the famed Lexington Market, have closed until further notice in compliance with a series of executive orders that Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hogan ordered all enclosed shopping centers and entertainment venues to close, effective 5 p.m. Thursday. He also prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people and urged Marylanders who are not “essential workers” to avoid using public transit during the current state of emergency.

Grand Central nightclub, in danger of displacement, finds a new home

Photo by Ed Gunts.

After nearly three decades on N. Charles Street, Grand Central, one of Baltimore’s largest gay nightclubs, will move to a different spot within the Mount Vernon neighborhood so developers can construct an eight-story office building on the property it currently occupies.

Grand Central’s last day in its current location will be Sunday, April 5, and construction of the replacement building is expected to start later in the month, according to information posted on the bar’s Facebook page.

Hot Plate: Supporting local restaurants during challenging times and other Baltimore restaurant news

St. Patrick’s Day festivities will feel anything but typical this year – though local restaurants are working hard to continue to stay open.

While coronavirus concerns have led to school closures, events being cancelled and other cautionary measures, restaurants and bars are generally staying open–so far–and they need patrons now more than ever. It is definitely not business as usual out there.

Given the rapidly moving disease landscape, it makes sense to check with restaurants and other venues before heading out for specific events or even just to dine out. As we’ve all learned over the past few days, nothing is set in stone, and doing a little extra research is always helpful.

Charmery ice cream shop, Food Market restaurant coming to Downtown Columbia

Photo via

Two Baltimore favorites are coming to Downtown Columbia.

The Charmery ice cream shop is slated to open a fifth location–its first outside of the Baltimore area–in Columbia’s Merriweather District in summer 2020. Afterwards, The Food Market restaurant will open a location in Columbia’s Central District in late 2020, the Howard Hughes Corporation announced Tuesday.

Two new sweet beers: Wockenfuss-inspired stout from DuClaw, and a key lime pie IPA from Heavy Seas

Heavy Seas Beer is coming out with a Key Lime IPA, the third release in their Joose Cannon series. Image courtesy of Chris Gipple.

For folks stuck between after-dinner sweets and an adult beverage, two local breweries have sweet new beers that let them have their dessert and drink it too.

Heavy Seas Beer announced today its Key Lime Pie IPA, the third beer in its Joose Cannon series and the third release from its 15 Barrel Brewhouse in 2020.

Clavel chef Carlos Raba founds Guardian Baltimore jiu-jitsu studio with free kids classes

Right, Carlos Raba, owner of the newly opened Guardian Baltimore jiu-jitsu and yoga studio on Huntingdon Avenue, talks with one of the studio’s instructors during a Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar at the studio on Feb. 15. Photo by Isaiah Robert Winters.

Children pair off inside the newly opened Guardian Baltimore jiu-jitsu studio and try to cross one of their legs behind their partner to take their rival down.

As they fall, the students slam their hands against the mat–a trick that studio owner Carlos Raba says will stop their heads from hitting the ground–and the sound reverberates through the room.

Safety comes first for Raba as he teaches the kids to let themselves fall, rolling backwards, rather than trying to catch themselves with their arms or elbows, which could dislocate a shoulder or cause other injuries, he said.

“When we fall, we want to fall across the mat like we’re spilling across the mat,” he said, first describing the motion, then rolling backwards from a squatting position.

Hot Plate: International Women’s Day at Topside, Stags’ Leap Winery dinner and more

On Wednesday night, The Milton Inn showcases the wines of California’s famous Stags’ Leap Winery.

Crabs, oysters, mac and cheese: This week, the Baltimore food scene has a little something for everyone, including tons of ways to raise money for good causes while eating and drinking. Here’s a look at what’s coming up: