The Baltimore Herb Festival takes place in Leakin Park on Saturday.

Summer is — unofficially — upon us and things are appropriately hot on the Baltimore culinary scene. This week brings fun events, several new spots opening, and a lot of beer. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & announcements
Pikesville caterer and market Gourmet Girls is opening a café out of its Old Court Road digs. The café, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, officially opens on June 1.

There’s a lot happening right now at Mount Vernon Marketplace. Unfortunately, longtime vendor Between Two Buns is closing after business on Sunday, May 29.

However, in happier news, Centre Bar will open on Friday, June 3 and to celebrate its grand opening, the bar will have happy hour specials all day long.

De Kleine Duivel, the Belgian beer bar in Hampden, will close next month. The space won’t remain empty for long, though: Bluebird Pub, a reprise of the casual spot owned by the folks from The Bluebird Cocktail Room, will open shortly after the beer bar’s closing.

Baltimore magazine reports that Little Donna’s, the Midwestern-inspired spot taking over the Bank St. building that formerly housed Henninger’s, is set to open very soon. The menu will include everything from pierogis to pizza to sauerkraut with Ostrowski’s sausage.

Sadly, Bottoms Up Bagels’ brick-and-mortar location in Harwood will close its doors after business on Sunday. The BUB team has plans for the future, though, so Baltimore certainly hasn’t seen the last of their bagels.

Brew at the Zoo
On Saturday and Sunday, head to the Maryland Zoo for its annual beer festival (and fundraiser), Brew at the Zoo. Both days, the Zoo will be even more fun than usual, as ticketed guests have the opportunity to taste over 80 different beers, browse food and craft vendors, listen to live music – and hang out with the animals.

Baltimore Herb Festival
Home cooks and gardeners can head to Leakin Park on Saturday for the annual Baltimore Herb Festival. The festival features over 50 plant and garden vendors and gardening lectures, plus lots of non-herb fun, including bands, rides for kids, and local food trucks.

The festival is a fundraising project that supports the preservation of the Winans Chapel, an 1859 chapel on the Leakin Park grounds.

Beer & ballet
On Wednesday, Ministry of Brewing hosts Beer & Ballet – a ballet class with a side of beer. The class promises not to be stodgy at all, with a soundtrack of 80’s and 90’s hits and lessons appropriate for dancers of all skill levels.

First Friday in Hamilton
June 3 is the first Friday of the month, which means local neighborhoods host fun events and promotions.

In Hamilton, the first Friday celebrations include deals at Silver Queen Café. The Harford Road restaurant will have $10 crushes and is offering $2 off an appetizer with the purchase of an entrée.

State beer petition
The folks from Flying Dog are petitioning the state to name the brewery’s Dead Rise Summer Ale the first ever official state beer of Maryland. Their rationale includes a couple points, including that the beer is made with Old Bay and that a portion of its proceeds benefit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ True Blue Program, which raises awareness for the local crab industry.

If you’d like to throw your support behind the campaign, you can sign a petition asking Governor Hogan to award the designation.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
June 4: Baltimore by Baltimore Festival at the Inner Harbor 
June 11: Chesapeake Seafood Festival 
June 18: Solstice Festival at Old Westminster Winery

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.