Food & Drink

Partial restoration plan approved for former Martick’s building

A rendering for the proposed open-air concept in the old Martick’s building with the roof partially restored. Courtesy of Chris Janian.

The vacant building that formerly housed Martick’s Restaurant Francaise will be partially restored but left open to the elements as an outdoor dining space, part of a plan blessed by a nephew of the late restaurateur Morris Martick and approved today by Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.

The preservation commission voted 9 to 0 to accept a proposal from the building’s owner to use the outer walls of the former restaurant to enclose an open-air patio that could be used as dining space for a to-be-created restaurant next door.

Hogan calls on local jurisdictions to better enforce guidelines at bars, restaurants

Gov. Larry Hogan on June 10 announced that indoor dining would be allowed to resume, gyms will be allowed to reopen June 19, and the Maryland is lifting restrictions and other businesses and activities under phase two of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan. Screengrab via Facebook Live.

On the heels of sharp increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations Tuesday morning, Gov. Larry Hogan called on the leaders of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions to strictly enforce coronavirus-related restrictions on bars and restaurants, saying some establishments are “flagrantly violating the law.”

The Urban Oyster to close on July 26, hints at future reopening at new location

The Urban Oyster, the Locust Point oyster bar, is closing July 26, the restaurant’s owner announced on Facebook on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Urban Oyster’s Facebook.

The Urban Oyster, a Locust Point restaurant known for its chargrilled oysters and other seafood selections, will close its doors on July 26, but owner and chef Jasmine Norton hinted at reopening the business at a yet-to-be determined new location.

Pen & Quill to close for good on July 3

The exterior of Pen & Quill. Image via Pen & Quill’s Facebook page.

Pen & Quill, a Station North restaurant known for its creative menu of New American fare, will close for good on Friday, co-owners Helmand Karzai and Naomi Hope Karzai posted on Facebook.

Opened in 2014, the business took over the former home of the Chesapeake Restaurant, a fabled dining destination that was one of the top spots in the city during the 1950s and ’60s.

Hot Plate: Bottoms Up Bagels opens, new Whitehall Market vendors, al fresco dining expands and more

Guinness Open Gate Grewery has reorganized its outdoor area to make social distancing and safe enjoyment of the space easy.

Though the reopening of the Baltimore restaurant scene hasn’t been all smooth sailing, the past few weeks have brought some good news in terms of openings, collaborations and upcoming events.

Here’s a look at what’s happening locally:

Van Hollen, Cardin and Va. senators call for relief for oyster and clam businesses

Workers in Cambridge, Maryland cull oysters ready for market at Choptank Oyster Co (J.F. Meils/Capital News Service.)

Maryland U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin joined Virginia U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in calling on the USDA to send $16 billion in aid to oyster and clam farms along the Chesapeake Bay to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baltimore grant program to reimburse restaurants for outdoor dining permit fees

Photo via the Governor’s Office/Flickr

The city has launched a grant program to reimburse the fees restaurants had to pay to start or expand outdoor dining during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today.

The Small Business Rebate Program will pay back up to $800 to eligible restaurants for the cost of outdoor dining permits.

How NBA vet Rex Chapman helped the Ouzo Bay video spread like wildfire

Image via the Atlas Restaurant Group’s Facebook page.

On Monday night, after video from a Black woman showed her son being denied service at Ouzo Bay because of his attire, even though a white boy who was similarly dressed had just finished his meal, the restaurant’s owner, Atlas Restaurant Group, released a statement promising to change.

The company called the incident “disturbing” and pledged to revise its controversial dress code, which critics had already decried as racist, so it doesn’t apply to children age 12 and younger.

Atlas apologized to the woman who posted the video, Marcia Grant, and her son, Dallas, and said the manager seen enforcing the dress code had been placed on indefinite leave.

LGBTQ-friendly Night Shift 2.0 in East Baltimore closes permanently

Night Shift 2.0 in East Baltimore. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Night Shift 2.0, the East Baltimore nightclub that opened last September¬†with the goal of creating an “adult entertainment experience” where anyone in the LGBTQ community would feel welcome, has closed for good.

Managers posted a notice on Facebook to thank staffers and patrons and say they won’t be coming back after the state-imposed shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It is with a heavy and sad heart to announce that whenever the Coronavirus pandemic is over, Night Shift 2.0 will not be reopening,” the message said, in part.

Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria opens Towson location at Shops at Kenilworth

New Orleans-based fast-casual restaurant chain Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria has opened a new location at the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, marking its first location in the Mid-Atlantic region. Photo courtesy of Greenberg Gibbons.

A pandemic may not be ideal circumstances for opening a new restaurant, but New Orleans-based chain Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria is moving forward with a new location at the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson.

“The restaurant industry has always been known for literally taking lemons and making lemonade,” Charles Arinder, a manager at Felipe’s home office, said in a statement. “And it is our hope that the Towson community and Baltimore County neighbors see our resilience and dedication to being a true part of the community, even when it’s hard.”