Hot Plate: Big Softy at R. House, The Ready Room opens, Bill Bateman’s closes in Towson, National Rosé Day and more

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Big Softy returns to the R. House pop-up space June 10, for a week of crabby delights.

Cheers, Baltimore! With a multitude of events celebrating booze and (sometimes) food, this week is sure to be a festive one in and around town. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings and announcements

Music fans and Howard County diners have two new spots to choose from near Merriweather Post Pavilion. CURED Table & Tap and 18th & 21st, two separate restaurants in one space in the One Merriweather building, have recently opened. The restaurants are from Steve Wecker, co-owner of The Iron Bridge Wine Company, and former Iron Bridge manager Vince Culotta.

HoCo residents in the Turf Valley area have another new option to consider this week: Mad Chef Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant from the Grille 620 team, opens June 11 in the old Xitomate space.

The Ready Room, the new bar space at Old Line Spirits Distillery, officially opens Friday, June 8. 

Red Emma’s is moving from its North Avenue location to a larger space: the Mount Vernon building that formerly housed Ryleigh’s and Spike & Charlie’s. The bookstore café will remain open in the old space through June, then close and move during July and August.

Towsonites will lose a longtime local restaurant and bar this week: Bill Bateman’s announced it will close after business this Sunday.

Aldo’s will be closed on Sunday (just for that day) due to a temporary street closure for a party, which will make their valet unable to operate. To make up for the closing, the restaurant is offering all guests who dine at Aldo’s on Monday, June 11, a $25 gift card to be used at a later date.

Last week, we reported that Heavy Seas Alehouse is closing; this week brought happier news of the plan to replace the Little Italy restaurant. The space will become Blue Dog BBQ, a barbecue company now backed by the co-owner of Arnold’s The Point Crabhouse and Grill. They are hoping to open in July.

Rose all day – and month

June is National Rose Month and Saturday, June 9 is National Rosé Day. It really is the perfect time to sip pink wine, and local restaurants are ready to celebrate.

Chez Hugo will honor the grape all month long with a series of rosé tastings, held each Tuesday throughout June starting at 5 p.m. On Saturday, June 9, the restaurant will offer specials on rosé.

Avenue Kitchen & Bar is also getting in on the fun. The bar will host a tasting featuring 10 different rosés.

Mini Moon

Blue Moon Too, the Federal Hill location of the beloved Blue Moon Café, has a fun new summer activity for families with a kid-oriented breakfast series called Mini Moon.

Mini Moon will take place every Thursday morning, from now through mid-August, and will feature different kid-friendly themes each week, from a Salvador Dali lesson in partnership with Abrakadoodle, to a Creatures Great and Small with Port Discovery.

Friday nights at Power Plant Live!

Power Plant Live! has announced a new Friday night happy hour series this summer. It includes live music, boozy snowballs, pop-up vendor and special cocktails, including one made with local kombucha brand Wild Kombucha. The parties start this week, on June 8.

Feastival is Saturday

Feastival, the super fun party benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, takes place this Saturday, June 9, at The Sandlot.

The event includes food and drinks from some of Baltimore’s best spots, from Minnow to Hersh’s, and is always a blast.


HONfest, the two-day festival of all things hon, takes place in Hampden this weekend. One of the festival highlights is the shucking contest, sponsored by True Chesapeake Oyster Co., The Local Oyster and the Oyster Recovery Partnership.  Hampden is home to some of the city’s best shuckers–the crew at Dylan’s Oyster House knows what it’s doing –and competitors from outside the neighborhood are sure to bring their best, as well.

Soft shell season at R. House

It’s soft shell crab season and R. House is getting in on the action, with the return of Big Softy to the pop-up space. Big Softy will occupy the space from Sunday through June 17, serving up all sorts of Chesapeake crustacean goodness.

Prehistory at Foraged

This year is the 25th anniversary of a true classic: the movie “Jurassic Park.” The team at Foraged Eatery in Hampden will celebrate the dinosaur flick with a screening on Monday, June 11. The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets include a glass of sparkling wine. Plus, the kitchen will be turning out “movie theater foods” to pair with the show.

Baltimore takes NYC

If you’re in New York on Tuesday, June 12, stop by the James Beard House for a little taste of home. That evening, chefs from Atlas Restaurant Group will represent Charm City with a meal focused on “Baltimore Glitz.” The team includes professionals from Azumi, Ouzo Bay, Tagliata, The Bygone, Loch Bar and The Elk Room. The meal is sure to be spectacular.

Wine vs. Beer dinner at SoBo Café

On Tuesday, June 12, SoBo Café sommelier Bryan Coats will go head to head with Mike McDonald, the head brewer at Key Brewing, for a five-course dinner pitting wine against beer. Each course will be paired with a selection from Coats and McDonald, and the guests get to decide who did a better job.

Evening of Traditional Beverages at Homewood

On Wednesday, June 13, the Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins will celebrate its annual Evening of Traditional Beverages, a garden party that, each year, honors a different alcoholic beverage. This year, the theme is “Bubbles,” and the event is all about champagne and other sparkling drinks.

The evening will feature food from Woodberry Kitchen, a talk from Al Spoler of WYPR’s Cellar Notes and bubbly from several bottlers, including Old Westminster Winery.

Yappier Hour

Gunther & Co.’s next Yappier Hour event–a dog-friendly party on the patio, featuring fun pet swag and lots of water bowls–takes place this Thursday, June 12. Two dollars from each Tito’s cocktail purchased will be donated to BARCS.

Twilight on the Terrace at Gertrude’s

On Friday, June 15, Gertrude’s will host Twilight on the Terrace, an annual event held as a part of Baltimore Pride. The party will raise funds for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland and feature food and drink from Gertrude’s and Hendrick’s gin.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to for as summer kicks off:

June 16: New Chesapeake Kitchen Cooking Class at Gertrude’s 

June 25: Brewer’s Art dinner at Rye Street Tavern 

August 23: Summer Soiree at The Pendry 

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