Shop & Eat

Hotel Revival announces Justin Vaiciunas as new executive chef

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Hotel Revival’s new executive chef Justin Vaiciunas. Credit: Grace Clark.

Chef Justin Vaiciunas, a Detroit native and previous contestant on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” has been named the executive chef at Mount Vernon’s Hotel Revival, the hotel announced today.

The previous executive chef, Scott Hines, returned to the kitchen at B&O American Brasserie late last year.

Baltimore City not ready to begin phase two of state’s coronavirus recovery plan, Young says

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Photo by Wally Gobetz, via Flickr

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.

R. House to reopen patio on June 18, seek minority-owned business for new stall

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Photo via Johns Hopkins University.

R. House is opening up its patio on Thursday, June 18, for patrons to enjoy dining al fresco, the Remington food hall announced today.

Service starts at noon and the market will use social distancing measures and increased sanitation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hot Plate: Restaurants are coming back, but it’s far from business as usual

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We are looking forward to seeing empty tables – like the ones at Chez Hugo Bistro (above) – safely filled with diners enjoying great meals.

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:

Maryland to allow reopening of indoor dining, gyms and more

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

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 to allow outdoor dining on Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson

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Baltimore County will close Pennsylvania Avenue from York Road to Washington Avenue on weekends to allow restaurants to expand outdoor seating into the street, county officials announced Wednesday. Screengrab via Google Street View.

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.

Old Bay hot sauce returning to stores next week after selling out earlier this year

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Old Bay hot sauce will return to stores as early next week, McCormick & Co. announced Wednesday. Photo courtesy of McCormick & Co.

If you weren’t able to get your hands on a bottle of Old Bay hot sauce before it sold out earlier this year, your second chance is here.

Old Bay manufacturer McCormick & Co. announced Wednesday that its limited edition hot sauce will return to stores along the East Coast as early as next week.

Whitehall Market opens in historic Hampden mill

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A food market has opened inside the historic Whitehall Mill building in Hampden. Screengrab via Google Street View.

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.

Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar set to open June 14 with restrictions

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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 gets a liquor license

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Photo by Ed Gunts.

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.

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