Shop & Eat

Hot Plate: Sally O’s, Water Song Yunnan Kitchen and other spots open, restaurants celebrate seasonal ingredients, wine dinners and more

Bluebird in Hampden has reopened as a burger, dog and boozy shake pop-up called “Until Conditions Improve.”

August just might be the best time for dining out in Maryland. From peaches to corn to tomatoes to locally-caught crab and tuna, restaurants are celebrating the bounty of the season. Though dining out continues to look different than it did in the past, local restaurants are making the most of the situation with pop-up outdoor spaces and special menus.

This week, there’s plenty of room for optimism, with the announcement of several new spots opening and fun events on the horizon. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Water, crabs and history: 9 1/2 Hours in Dundalk

Dundalk Town Center

People are staying closer to home these days, but there’s still lots to do in the region. 9 ½ hours is a new feature with suggestions for local day trips.

So you’re in the mood to get out on the water and eat some crabs. Annapolis and the Eastern Shore are obvious choices. But have you considered Dundalk?

The post-industrial waterfront community on the East Side of Baltimore County seems perpetually poised for rebirth, with an authentic tank-top-and-tattoo personality that occasionally serves as a regional punch line. It’s also got miles of waterfront, cool breweries and restaurants, and a heck of a history.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery marks two years with two new beers

Courtesy of Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe is turning two on Aug. 3. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the brewery to cancel events and limit the size of crowds, the production of delicious beer has continued on.

To celebrate its second anniversary, the brewery is releasing two new beers–including one inspired by a favorite Baltimore summer treat.

Lexington Market to reopen July 30 with restrictions

Photo via Lexington Market/Facebook

Lexington Market, the largest of Baltimore’s public markets, is set to reopen on July 30 with a 50 percent cap on capacity to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Going forward, the market will only be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until further notice.

Eat Local during Baltimore Restaurant Week – Now through Aug 2


Baltimore is a delicious city and a pandemic can’t hold us back from celebrating food and eating local. From July 24 – August 2, enjoy 10 days of outdoor dining and takeout deals with Baltimore Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week may be a little different this year as each establishment handles social distancing unique to their business model, but it will be just as tasty. Check out the 60+ amazing restaurants offering outdoor dining and takeout deals!

Hot Plate: NiHao and Hungry Like the Wolfe open, Ekiben and Johnny Spero collab, and more

Produce boxes and other goods, like cheese, sausage and wine, are available for pickup and delivery from Tablefield Grocery, which partners with Maryland Food Bank to support the food bank’s efforts to feed locals in need.

Despite the uncertainty of coronavirus, the Baltimore restaurant scene continues to stay busy, with openings and additions, events and collaborations. Here’s a look at what’s happened recently and what we can look forward to over the next few weeks:

The Village of Cross Keys is officially back under local ownership

Courtesy of Caves Valley Partners.

After 16 years of out-of-town ownership, The Village of Cross Keys is back in local hands.

“Time to Unlock the Potential,” says a blue and white sign next to the front gatehouse, bearing a giant key similar to ones on the Cross Keys logo. “Now Under Local Ownership. Caves Valley Partners.”

More than two years after it first expressed interest, Caves Valley Partners completed its acquisition of the commercial assets of Cross Keys yesterday and immediately disclosed plans to upgrade and expand the mixed-use community at 5100 Falls Road.

Baltimore to restrict indoor dining, require everyone to wear a mask in public

Photo by Wally Gobetz, via Flickr

Starting Friday, Baltimore City will once again restrict indoor dining at restaurants and bars and require residents age 2 and older to wear a face covering anytime they leave their homes and social distancing is not possible, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today.

The new guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 take effect at 5 p.m. on July 24. Restaurants and bars will still be able to have diners outdoors with socially distanced seating, and offer carryout and delivery.

“These restrictions are being reinstated to protect the health and well-being of Baltimore City residents,” Young said.

Hampden home goods store Trohv is closing

Trohv, a home goods store in Hampden, will be closing, owner Carmen Brock announced on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Trohv Instagram.

Trohv, a home goods store on The Avenue in Hampden, will be closing its brick-and-mortar shop for good, owner Carmen Brock announced on Tuesday.