Pen & Quill to close for good on July 3

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The exterior of Pen & Quill. Image via Pen & Quill’s Facebook page.

Pen & Quill, a Station North restaurant known for its creative menu of New American fare, will close for good on Friday, co-owners Helmand Karzai and Naomi Hope Karzai posted on Facebook.

Opened in 2014, the business took over the former home of the Chesapeake Restaurant, a fabled dining destination that was one of the top spots in the city during the 1950s and ’60s.

In their note today, Helmand and Naomi recalled how they were struggling to come up with a name and landed on Pen & Quill, the name of the Chesapeake Restaurant’s piano lounge. It was often stylized as “P&Q” as a nod to the expression “mind your p’s and q’s.”

“Naomi has always subscribed to the idea that manners are the easiest form of kindness and generosity – of hospitality,” they wrote.

The owners did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A restaurant called The Chesapeake, paying homage to the history at 1700 N. Charles St., opened in 2013 but lasted for less than a year.

The Karzai family, which also owns Afghan restaurant The Helmand and sister restaurant Kabobi, as well as Pen & Quill’s neighbor Tapas Teatro, took the space over shortly after that.

Over the years, Pen & Quill, with its close proximity to Penn Station and close proximity to the Charles Theatre and other Station North attractions, has been the home to “post-movie reviews, pre-show cocktails, waiting on a train snacks” and all sorts of other events.

“We have celebrated and commiserated right along side you,” Helmand and Naomi wrote. “We hope, that in some small way, our being here has helped to make your day a bit brighter. We love you, Baltimore! Mind your P’s & Q’s.”

Brandon Weigel


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