The Sandlot opens for the season on Saturday, May 5, with a party featuring a new Monument City Brewing beer.

Not all of this week’s restaurant news is good–-a couple tough closings have recently been announced. But we have a big party weekend ahead of us, Baltimore, and a lot to look forward to for the rest of the month.

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings and announcements

There’s no way to get around it: last week was a difficult one for the Baltimore restaurant scene.

On Monday, Corner Charcuterie in Hampden closed its doors, citing the “deteriorating health” of owner Bernard Dehaene. Tuesday, Modern Cook Shop announced it would close after dinner service on Saturday, May 5, and Charles Village Pub (in Charles Village) experienced a serious grease fire and has closed indefinitely. Just after those announcements, the Macaroni Grill building in Timonium caught fire (fortunately, no one was hurt, as the building has been vacant for several years). And on Wednesday, Fork & Wrench reportedly closed.

There is some good news coming out of the city this week, though.

The crab house opening in Broadway Market next year now has a name: The Choptank. The restaurant will be a collaborative effort from the folks at Atlas Restaurant Group (Ouzo Bay, Loch Bar, Tagliata, etc.) and the team behind Captain James Landing in Canton.

Cilantro, the locally owned, fast casual spot downtown, has refreshed its look and changed its name to Pitamore. Its Mediterranean menu hasn’t changed, though, which is good news.

Head outside

It’s the time of year when annual outdoor events return with a (happy) vengeance.

On Saturday, May 5, Sandlot will open for the summer season. The outdoor space will celebrate warm weather with a pig roast and the release of Monument City Brewing’s Pagoda Pale Ale.

At Boordy Vineyards, Good Life Thursdays have returned. Every Thursday from May through September, Boordy hosts a farmers’ market stocked with excellent vendors, plus live music. Bring a blanket, buy some wine and dinner while you do your shopping and spend the evening.

This Saturday is the first Fells Point Farmers’ Market of the season. The market, which takes place in Broadway Square, is now in its eighth year.

Every Thursday in May, The Manor Tavern will have live music on the front terrace.

The sweet outdoor patio at Maggie’s Farm has officially opened.

Cinco de Derby

Saturday is a busy day, with parties around town honoring both the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo.

Some of the area’s biggest Derby parties are at The Chasseur, the Mt. Washington Tavern and Ryleigh’s Oyster in Timonium.

At The Chasseur, the Derby party takes over the whole block. Beyond getting you access to food, drinks and music, tickets will also benefit a charitable cause: the St. Francis Neighborhood Center.

The Ryleigh’s party includes specials on mint juleps and Sagamore Whiskey crushes, plus Derby-inspired dishes, live music and a “best hat” contest voted on by the crowd.

During all of Triple Crown season, the Mt. Washington Tavern will feature race-inspired drinks and food. This Saturday, the Tavern will also have street tacos and drink specials all day for Cinco de Mayo.

Papi’s Tacos celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a huge afternoon party at Harbor Point. Cinco in the City will include live music, tons of tacos (plus other food) and lots of drinks. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Egypt at R. House

On Sunday, May 6, chef and author Aida Mady will be at R. House, teaching a class and preparing a meal in the R. House dining hall. The ticketed event is a fundraiser for Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc.; the money raised will go toward collaborative projects between children in Baltimore and sister city Alexandria, Egypt.

Wine, Women & Shoes

On Sunday, May 6, local nonprofit The Red Devils will host Wine, Women & Shoes, a charity event benefiting breast cancer families.

The party, taking place at the Delta Hotel in Hunt Valley, will feature a fashion show and clothes and shoes from numerous retailers, as well as small plates and, of course, wine.

Night Brunch at Wet City

On Wednesday evening, The Night Brunch will pop up at Wet City, with a brunch-inspired menu, drink specials and music from DJ Impulse.

Mother’s Day is coming

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it tends to be a busy restaurant holiday, so if you’re planning to take mom out for brunch or dinner, now’s the time to make those reservations (especially if you’ll be celebrating with a large group).

If you’re considering ordering in a catered meal, now’s the time to plan. Classic Catering’s website includes multiple options for brunch, dinner and dessert, ranging from a smoked salmon torta to strawberry rhubarb pie.

Salt Tavern is offering a three-course prix fixe “Mom’s Night Out” dinner on May 11 and 12.

Minnow’s three-course brunch will be Mediterranean-inspired.

The Elephant is offering an à la carte menu and a small gift for moms to take home.

Cinghiale will have its full à la carte menu plus specials, as will Petit Louis, Lupa, Bar Vasquez and Johnny’s.

Charleston, open for Mother’s Day, has a special three-course tasting menu and cheese and desserts.

Mt. Washington Tavern will have a buffet and à la carte options for Mother’s Day brunch.

Rusty Scupper is celebrating with both a jazz brunch and a special Mother’s Day dinner.

16 on the Park‘s special brunch menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

La Cuchara’s Basque-inspired three-course brunch and dinner menus are sure to be lovely.

At Wit & Wisdom, brunch will be a buffet, including a special kids’ bar and a station where the little ones can make Mother’s Day cards.

Hersh’s will be open for brunch, so catch them while you can. This will be the last time they’re open for brunch during 2018 (unless you book a private event).

The French Kitchen in the Lord Baltimore Hotel will have a southern soul-themed menu for brunch, accompanied by live jazz music.

At The Sandlot, a B. Willow florist crafting station will help attendees put together special bouquets for moms, plus Charm City Meadworks will be doing a mini-can takeover featuring a mead created just for the event.

Café Troia will have a special brunch menu and will also be open for Mother’s Day dinner.

Towson Tavern will also offer a special menu.

Atlas Restaurant Group’s restaurants in Harbor East–Ouzo Bay, Azumi, Tagliata and Loch Bar–are open for brunch, lunch and dinner, and will have Mother’s Day-oriented specials in addition to their regular menus.

At Cunningham’s in Towson, moms can enjoy a brunch buffet and a complimentary mimosa.

At Tark’s, the brunch buffet will be free for kids under 5.

The Brewer’s Art will offer a special brunch menu that looks terrific (strawberries & cream doughnuts!).

Ampersea’s Mother’s Day celebration includes a four-course dinner plus a cruise of the harbor.

Cosima is debuting some new spring cocktails just in time for Mother’s Day brunch.

Sotto Sopra’s à la carte menu will be available on Mother’s Day, plus some seasonal specials.

Mother’s Day brunch at The Manor Tavern will feature a brunch buffet menu; a special à la carte menu will be available for dinner.

At The Milton Inn, a three-course brunch can be accompanied by seasonal cocktails.

At Encantada, moms can choose from a special brunch menu and a “create your own” salad bar.

Birroteca will offer its complete brunch menu, along with a handful of specials that sound great. Plus, all moms will receive a special treat from the pastry chef!

Aldo’s is open for brunch, with a menu featuring classic dishes, bubbly cocktails and live jazz.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

May 20: Brewscape at Birroteca 

June 3: Tacopalooza at La Food Marketa

June 15: Twilight on the Terrace at Gertrude’s

Kit Pollard

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