Pizza bar Locals Only is now open at 25 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill. The new business fills a space that was recently Pretty Awesome Live Music (P.A.L.M.) and Social Pub.
Locals Only is a concept by Federal Hill hospitality veteran Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler was a partner at The Charles in Federal Hill before the ownership group sold it to a new owner in recent weeks. Wheeler also worked at Mad River in the same building.
When coming up with the concept for Locals Only, Wheeler was inspired by pizza bars in Chicago that he described as “fun, playful, and lively.”
Wheeler is friends with the landlord at 25 E. Cross St. and, when presented the opportunity, he saw it as a chance to create a concept of his own. He said ha has always liked the building’s open concept and garage doors that give it curb appeal as well as an indoor/outdoor feel.
The placement of the televisions at Locals Only was done so everywhere on the main level has a view of the game. Wheeler knows the value of the Orioles and Ravens in Federal Hill and mentioned the impact sports betting has on sports viewership.
Wheeler and his team spent the last few months doing a cosmetic renovation of the space. The exterior is now white and has “KEEP IT ON THE LO” and “LOCALS ONLY” written in a black script.
Locals Only has a second floor bar and patio that is available for private parties.
The building’s wood-fired pizza oven has been in place since it was Social Pub. Wheeler is working with Chef Cory Pastor on the menu that includes fast-cooking Neapolitan pizzas as well as the “Not Pizza Menu” that includes different appetizers.