Nori, new sushi restaurant and bar, coming to old Corner Bar space in Hampden

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Hampden’s new sushi bar, Nori. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

Less than two months after the Corner Restaurant and Charcuterie Bar abruptly closed up shop, a new sushi bar is taking over the vacant space in Hampden.

Nori, announced by a bright new sign outside, is busily setting up this week. The venture comes from Chil Chong of Pikesville. Chong and his wife, Joyce, own Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi, located in South Baltimore’s McHenry Row and formerly at a spot inside Horseshoe Casino that now houses Fu Noodle House.

Chong could not be immediately reached by phone. State records show he obtained a business license for Nori last week, forming the firm “Nori Food LLC” on June 19. He’s listed as the restaurant’s resident agent.

Inside 850 W. 36th Street on Tuesday, a small crew was busy renovating the main bar space and cleaning out the kitchen. Lee Chong, who identified himself as a friend of Chil’s, said with all of the work required for the kitchen and main restaurant area, Nori likely won’t be open until at least next month.

Lee Chong said that beyond sushi, the eatery will also offer Korean fare like bibimbap, as well as noodles, rice dishes and other appetizers.

The back bar inside Nori. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

There may be a wait for the main bar and seating area, but the bar in back—formerly The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar, and more recently the members-only Elmwood Social Club cigar and martini bar before it closed in April—appears ready for its debut, with new lighting and decor already up. Lee Chong said it could be open later this week, as soon as Thursday.

The Corner closed in late April. Owner Bernard Dehaene made the announcement on Facebook, citing his “deteriorating health” and a need for time to prepare for multiple surgeries, “as well as mind body and health.”

The Belgian-born chef opened the restaurant in 2011, offering a European-inspired menu with unique meat specialties (to share for two: a roasted pig’s head or a 40-oz. Tomahawk rib eye) as well as a popular happy hour menu with great prices for relatively high-end snack fare. He later renamed it Corner BYOB, and had adopted the longer Corner Restaurant and Charcuterie Bar title by 2015.

He called the Corner’s six-year run “one hell of a rollercoaster ride not to be forgotten.” He’d been seeking to sell the business since 2016.

Ethan McLeod
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