Holy Frijoles Set to Reopen on The Avenue this Month

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Holy Frijoles in October 2016, image via Google Street View

Hampden’s much-missed Mexican eatery and bar is set to make a triumphant return in August.

In a Facebook update on July 15, Holy Frijoles management wrote that they would announce the grand reopening plans in August. Well, we’re here, and while a date remains elusive, Baltimore magazine has a few details.

Lauren Cohen reports the bar and restaurant has been gutted and renovated significantly since a freak electrical fire set the bar ablaze in the early morning hours of Aug. 15, 2016. Owner Geoffrey Danek told the magazine his revamped establishment will have a new carryout window up front with a dedicated “express taco menu” and a larger kitchen with some major equipment upgrades in place of the old dining space. The dining area will now occupy the space next door, which has been expanded. Danek also mentioned a few new additions to the restaurant menu.

It’s only been a year, but the immediate vicinity around Holy Frijoles has changed. Restaurant-wise, the 21-year-old Mexican joint now stares at the Avenue Kitchen & Bar, which replaced Le Garage across the street, and is greeted by new competition nearby like the Five and Dime Ale House down on the corner of Elm and 36th streets and the high-class Bluebird Cocktail Room on Hickory Avenue and 36th. (Another small scenery change: Brightside Boutique, also across the street, has replaced the Greenberries children’s clothing store.)

Fortunately, much will reportedly remain the same at Holy Frijoles, namely the relaxed atmosphere, pinball machines and staple dishes like nachos, burritos and chimichangas. Cohen reports Danek and friends even salvaged some of the artwork and tile that survived the fire, as pictured in the July 15 Facebook update.

“We are who we are,” Danek said. “Years ago, when the neighborhood started getting fancier I was embarrassed that we were just this taco place. But then I realized, you have to just be true to yourself and do it well.”

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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