Baltimore Spirit Company is building a new cocktail bar next to its distillery in Union Collective; it is slated to open next year.

The fall is looking promising for Baltimore food lovers, with many new concepts opening and events on the calendar. While restaurant operations are still a bit unusual, thanks to COVID-related protocols and guidelines, there’s still a lot to do over the next few weeks. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & Announcements
Fuisine in Canton is finally opening its doors! On Sept. 8, 9 and 10, the restaurant will open for a series of dinners specifically for those in the neighborhood, and reservations will be open to all starting Sept. 11.

Friends & Family, in the former Sticky Rice space in Fells Point, opens to the public on Sept. 14. The restaurant – which bills itself as “sustainably-minded” and “plant-forward” with lots of gluten-free choices, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Alma Cocina Latina is moving. The Venezuelan restaurant will move out of its Canton space by Sept. 15 and while reopening timing and location are still in the works, the restaurant management has assured the community that it will reopen. In the meantime, its community meals efforts, Alkimiah, will continue to operate, but out of a different location.

Crepe Crazy will open in Cross Street Market in September. The creperie is part of a national chain; the local franchise owners have been vending at Maryland events and festivals since 2015.

Baltimore Spirits Company is building a new cocktail bar adjacent to its distillery in Union Collective. Construction begins this month and the bar is slated to open to the public sometime next year.

After several months of voluntary closure, Duck Duck Goose in Fells point reopens to the public on Sept. 4. The restaurant took the time off to rework protocols and processes to ensure safety overall.

Brewer’s Art has been open for carryout for a while but, thanks to new partitions creating space for outdoor dining along Charles St., the restaurant is now also welcoming guests to stay and eat or drink. 

An iconic Baltimore establishment has something new up its sleeve: Vaccaro’s has partnered with 1623 Brewing Company in Eldersburg, on a cannoli-inspired beer: Vaccaro’s Imperial Cannoli Stout.

Another Baltimore-area icon, Glen Burnie’s Sunset Restaurant, announced sad news last month: after six decades in business, Sunset will close its doors on Sept. 30. 

Renn Fest at Don’t Know Tavern
Though the region’s famous outdoor Renaissance Festival is on hiatus this year, Don’t Know Tavern is bringing some of that olde fashioned fun to the city, with several days of vendors, games, Renn Fest-inspired meals and lots of Charm City Mead for all to enjoy.

On Thursday, Sept. 3, Ang Pottery will pop up at the tavern and on Friday, Sept. 4, there will be a pop-up from Ye Old Gamery. Saturday, the Renn Fest culminates with a pair of pop-ups from Lemontopia and Tangled Kat Henna.

Pawpaw lessons
On Saturday, Sept. 5, head to Lake Roland for an outdoor talk about the pawpaw, the native Maryland fruit with a fascinating history and mild, banana-like flavor.

Busy at Das Bierhalle
On Labor Day, Das Bierhalle has several specials, including $35 all you can eat crabs and 50% off non-specials for all first responders.

But that’s not their only good news this week. On Sept. 10, the Parkville restaurant turns two and will mark the occasion with an all-day party featuring happy hour prices and half off pretzels from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Chaat Hour at Good Neighbor
Have you been to Good Neighbor yet? The Hampden coffee shop/retail establishment has been earning rave reviews for its atmosphere, goods for sale, and food. While you can stop in anytime, if you’re craving something special, visit during Chaat Hour on Friday or Saturday night; for $20, you’ll receive a drink and two chaat dishes (Indian street food) to be enjoyed on the Good Neighbor patio.

Heading outside with Topside
Topside, in the Hotel Revival, has put together some fun packages and options for outdoor dining.

The restaurant’s Picnic Backpack to-go is a package including a multi-course picnic for two, plus a reusable backpack with plates and utensils. Cocktails and/or wine can be added to the package.

Topside has also introduced Topside Outside, a new outdoor space overlooking the Washington Monument, and decorated with a mural by Will Watson, a local artist.

Premier on the Pier at Bo Brooks
Missing live music? Bo Brooks has put together a weekly concert series, with live music on its patio every Thursday from now through Oct. 1. Seating is arranged with social distancing in mind and there are drink specials to enjoy with the tunes.

Fun at Elkridge Furnace Inn
Elkridge Furnace Inn has a fun schedule planned for the next few weeks. On Sept. 10 and 11, the Inn will host back-to-back wine dinners featuring five courses paired with California wines. And on Sept. 15, guests can get seasonally-inspired with a “cooperative cooking experience” starting in the inn’s gardens, continuing to the kitchen and ending at the table, with a delicious meal and wine.

New cocktails
One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been the amazing cocktail creativity shown by local restaurants and bars. Cocktail menus (including to-go menus) continue to evolve and impress.

Until Conditions Improve, the new pop-up at Bluebird Cocktail Room, has just added a dairy-free option to its boozy shake offerings, and Bluebird has reintroduced an old Bluebird favorite, the Lyre Divine, made with lemongrass-infused rum, as a to-go option or to be sipped on the patio.

At The Food Market, new cocktails include the Remember Tiger King? – a coconut rum, blood orange, strawberry and watermelon concoction that riffs off the tiger blood snowball.

Mr. NiceGuy Cocktails is sweetening things up for the season with a series of pie-inspired cocktails. Currently on the menu: a bourbon pecan pie-inspired old fashion.

Sweet stuff
Johnny’s cookie of the month is back; this month’s new cookie option is a sweet-frosted lemon drop.

Beer Run is back in business
After a lengthy COVID-related hiatus, Manor Hill Tavern’s Tuesday Beer Runs are back! Every Tuesday, runners are welcome to stop by the Tavern between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to pick up a coupon for a free Manor Hill beer at the Tavern beer garden. Then, after a (solo) run on the Trolley Trail, you can head back to the beer garden to redeem the coupon and spend some socially distant, but fun, time with other runners.

Gearing up for football
Though NFL season will look different this year, without fans in the stands, at least for now, its return is still something to celebrate.

The Ravens’ season kicks off on Sept. 13 with a 1 p.m. game against the Browns – and local bars and restaurants will be ready to welcome fans. Many places, including CVP in Towson, Manor Tavern and, of course, Mother’s in Federal Hill, will have safely organized outdoor and indoor seating with clear views of TVs, specials and more.

This year, if you’re planning to head out for game day, consider calling ahead to reserve a spot; given new protocols and precautions, space will be at a premium this year.

Of course, the excitement in Baltimore will start before game day itself. This year’s first Purple Friday will be Sept. 11. THB will celebrate by selling purple Ravens bagels, starting that day and running through Sunday; purple bagels will be available every Friday through Sunday during football season.

Feels like fall
Speaking of THB, they are kicking off pumpkin spice season on Sept. 14. Its lineup will include a latte as well as pumpkin spice bagels and cream cheese.

The usual disclaimer
Business operations remain a moving target for Baltimore restaurateurs, as they update policies and opening hours to comply with government regulations and to make sure both staff and patrons stay safe and healthy. Before heading out, check in with your destination to make sure they are open and that you’re in accordance with their policies.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
Sept. 19: Baltimore Seafood Festival 
Sept. 25 & 26: Rum Dinner at Elkridge Furnace Inn 
Oct. 3: Trifecta Food Truck & Music Festival 

Kit Pollard

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