Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young on Friday said Baltimore City is not ready to begin phase two of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan, which includes the reopening of indoor dining at half capacity.
Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced that starting at 5 p.m. Friday the state would lift more coronavirus-related restrictions, allowing restaurants to seat guests indoors with health restrictions. Maryland first entered the second phase of the state’s three-phase recovery plan on June 5.
It’s been nearly three months since the last installment of this column. While Baltimore restaurants as a whole never went completely dark during that time, and many restaurant owners and employees are working harder than ever, for restaurant guests, it’s been a quiet time at home.
For the restaurant industry, things are still far from business as usual and are changing rapidly, but glimmers of normality are starting to emerge: announcements of future openings, collaborations between chefs, new dates for postponed events and, of course, the upcoming return to indoor dining, albeit at reduced capacity.
So with that, Hot Plate is back! The column will run only every few weeks to start but hopefully sooner rather than later, both the restaurant industry and the column will be back to their regular schedules.
The good news is that already, there’s a lot to look forward to in the Baltimore restaurant world. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
Indoor dining, gyms, childcare centers, outdoor graduation ceremonies and more will be allowed to resume with restrictions, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday.
Hogan said that Maryland has seen “dramatic” declines in several coronavirus-related measurements, allowing the state to lift more restrictions under phase two of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” plan.
But he also cautioned Marylanders to continue protecting themselves against coronavirus.
“The fight against this virus is far from over,” he said. “In fact, now more than ever as we begin to come in contact with more people, we must all continue to remain vigilant.”
Baltimore County will close a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson to vehicle traffic on weekends to allow restaurants to expand outdoor seating into the street, county officials announced Wednesday.
Starting this weekend, the county will close Pennsylvania Avenue from York Road to Washington Avenue from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays as part of their Seats on the Streets initiative with the Towson Chamber of Commerce. Restaurants will be able to seat diners in the street from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the weekends.
The program will last through the end of the month and may be extended past June, officials said.
The Whitehall Market opened last week inside the Whitehall Mill, a historic flour mill in Hampden.
The former mill on Clipper Hill Road dates back to 1798 and the building is already home to apartments, offices and an oyster restaurant. Now, it has added a 18,000-square-foot food market and private events space to its offerings.
The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar will open for the season on June 14, albeit with fewer vendors and restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announced today.
George Marsh’s Heritage Smokehouse took a big step today toward operating as a full-service restaurant and tavern, when Baltimore;s liquor board approved its request for a seven-day liquor license at 5800 York Road, in Govans.