Atlas Restaurant Group plans to open a moderately-priced restaurant with a “Chinese concept” at the Village of Cross Keys in fall 2024.

The Atlas Restaurant Group is coming to the Village of Cross Keys.

Atlas and Caves Valley Partners announced Tuesday that Atlas plans to open a moderately-priced restaurant with a “Chinese concept” at Cross Keys in the fall of 2024.

“We are incredibly excited to bring this new Chinese concept to the Village of Cross Keys, an area my brother Eric and I have fond memories of visiting while growing up,” said Alexander Smith, Founder and CEO of Atlas Restaurant Group, in a statement. 

“Our team is committed to delivering an exceptional dining experience unlike anything else in the area, and we are confident that this restaurant will become a beloved destination for food enthusiasts and families alike.”

With about 7,000 square feet of space on two levels, the as-yet unnamed restaurant will be in a newly-constructed building adjacent to the existing Village Shops in the mixed-use community at 5100 Falls Road. Patrick Sutton is the interior designer.

Atlas said it is conducting a nationwide search for an executive chef to join its team at Cross Keys and that its Director of Asian Cuisine, Chef Alisher Yallaev, will be consulting on the menu.

“With his extensive knowledge and expertise, Chef Yallaev will bring an authentic yet approachable culinary experience to guests, highlighting the diverse flavors and techniques of Chinese cuisine,” Atlas and Caves Valley said.

The restaurant will have an expansive indoor/outdoor rooftop space, with a full bar and nightly live music. The interior design will combine “industrial elegance and modernity.”

Sutton said he plans to create a space that complements the culinary journey, immersing guests in a “visually captivating” environment.

“This property will dig deeper into elements of Asian culture and design than the stereotypical Chinese-American restaurant interior,” he said in a statement.

 “With an emphasis on handcrafted textural elements of wood, stone, and steel, the proposed design weaves wooden screens, hammered steel, and unique and dramatic industrial lighting along with garden elements, both in a private ground level courtyard and a second-floor terrace. The overall effect is meant to transport diners into a space that feels soulful and culturally rich, yet immediately comforting and approachable.”

Designed to accommodate up to 200 guests, Atlas’s restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner service. It’s one of several new dining spots that Caves Valley, the master developer of Cross Keys, is introducing to the Village Square shopping area, along with the recently-opened Easy Like Sunday and an “upscale American restaurant” called Cece’s Roland Park that is being designed by Rebecca Jones.

“We are excited to add this fresh Asian concept from Atlas Restaurant Group to the talented roster of food and beverage tenants at Cross Keys,” said Arsh Mirmiran, the principal at Caves Valley Partners who is leading the redevelopment of the project.

 “Along with the already thriving Easy Like Sunday, the Cordish Companies’ planned Cece’s Roland Park, and additional new tenants that will be announced in the coming months, Cross Keys is well on its way to becoming the preeminent neighborhood dining destination in North Baltimore,” Mirmiran said. “To have both a Patrick Sutton-designed restaurant and a Rebecca Jones-designed restaurant at the entrance to the project is going to be particularly special.”

Cross Keys was originally developed in the 1960s by James Rouse, the visionary founder of The Rouse Company. Caves Valley acquired the shopping and office portions of the community in 2020 and has launched a comprehensive redevelopment, including the recently-completed renovation of the Village Square. Still to come are 350 apartments as well as new retail and office buildings.

Atlas Restaurant Group is a Baltimore-based, national hospitality group led by Alexander Smith and his brother and co-owner, Eric Smith. Founded in 2012, the group has restaurants in Maryland, Texas, Florida and Washington, D. C., with more than 2,000 employees in all.

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.