Prima Dopo in Fells Point has announced new weekday lunch hours.
Prima Dopa in Fells Point has announced new weekday lunch hours.

From Preakness cocktails to giant meatballs, the Baltimore food scene promises to be a lot of fun this week. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & announcements

Local athletics powerhouse Coppermine is dipping its foot into the restaurant game. As part of Copper Union, a new adult social pickleball venture, the company will be developing a restaurant and bar concept, Fire in the Kitchen, to open alongside pickleball courts.

Prima Dopo Cucina & Cocktail House in Fells Point is now open for lunch from Wednesday to Friday.  

Gunther & Co. has also revived its Thursday and Friday lunch hours for the summer season.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel has announced a few new roles within food and beverage. Chef Shawn Shabazz will take over the Executive Chef role and Robi Francis-Kraft is the new food and beverage outlet manager. Both have years of experience in the industry and with the hotel.

The crew behind Peter Chang’s new Hopkins hospital-area dim sum spot shared this week that the restaurant, which has been in the works for months, will open in June.

More news has been released about Sally O’s chef/owner Jesse Sandlin’s new venture, Bunny’s Buckets & Bubbles. Bunny’s, which will open in the former Wharf Rat space later this month, will serve classic Southern fare – and Champagne.

Preakness weekend

With the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes scheduled for Saturday evening, Baltimore is dressed in Black-Eyed Susans – and ready for a party.

The Mt. Washington Tavern is a classic place to stop before or after the races or to stick around to watch if heading Pimlico isn’t on your agenda. The Tavern will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and there will be free shuttles between the restaurant and Pimlico on Friday and Saturday.

Old Line Spirits has a handful of cocktails created for Preakness on the menu at The Ready Room, its distillery bar, including the American Scofflaw, a mix of vermouth, grenadine, lemon juice, orange bitters and Old Line single malt whiskey.

Magdalena’s bar menu is also racing-inspired, with selections that draw inspiration from the famous Triple Crown year of 1937.

In honor of the races, Foraged Eatery has kept its mint julep on the menu through the weekend.

At Mama’s on the Half Shell, for every Black-Eyed Susan cocktail you order, you will be entered to win raffle prizes. The Canton spot will broadcast the race on TVs both inside and outdoors.

Fire Hero Chili Cook-off

On Sunday, Of Love and Regret will host its third annual Fire Hero Chili Cook-Off. The competition features a variety of chili entries, plus a silent auction, music, family-friendly games and more. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Highlandtown Wine Festival

Also on Sunday, the annual Highlandtown Wine Festival is back. The festival, which is organized by the neighborhood’s community association and DiPasquale’s Italian Market, takes place at 3600 Claremont St. It includes tastings of homemade wine, along with music, arts and crafts vendors, and food and drinks from a variety of Highlandtown staples, including DiPasquale’s, Sally O’s, Snake Hill and Mobtown Brewing.

Opera at Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra’s legendary opera nights are still going strong – and the next one is this Sunday. The monthly event is scheduled through the summer, so you can snag reservations now.

Feats of St. Anthony Italian Festival

Starting Friday, June 2, Little Italy will celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony with a big festival, open to the public. The party, which takes place on Stiles and Exeter streets in the historic neighborhood, includes live music, games, vendors selling Italian goods, a bocce tournament, an outdoor screening of “Moonstruck” and tons of Italian food, wine and beer.

Plus, over the weekend, guests can enjoy the festival’s annual Giant Meatball Contest (Saturday) and sausage-eating contest (Sunday).

Silver Queen Rum Dinner

Tickets for Silver Queen Café’s rum dinner have gone live. The June 10 dinner, which is the same day as the second annual Rum Fest at Hollins Market, will feature four courses of Caribbean-inspired fare, each paired with a rum cocktail. Dishes are likely to include creative plates like jerk-braised pork belly served with sweet potato puree, citrus slaw and lime-mango crema.

Popping bubbles

Graduates toasting their accomplishments at Perennial have an extra reason to celebrate. The Towson restaurant will provide a round of bubbly for the table (everyone 21+) – if you’re wearing your cap and gown.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

June 9: Sour Fest at Max’s Taphouse

June 10: Wine & Food Festival at the Fairgrounds

July 23: Tacopalooza

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