Baltimore restaurateur Charlie Gjerde says his team is “coming down the home stretch” for its anticipated Papi’s Tacos location in Hampden, and is tentatively eyeing an opening in mid-March.
The eatery and bar, being built out of the space at 3820 Falls Road that for decades housed Dmitri’s Tavern, will have space for 110 customers and a setup similar to its sister, flagship Fells Point location, with a bar side and a dining side. Gjerde said the property “needed a complete overhaul, so we went down to the bare walls and started from scratch.”
Everything inside is thus brand new, said the restaurateur, who runs several other restaurants with his wife, Lori, and sister-in-law, Carrie Podles, including Wicked Sisters just up Falls Road, Alexander’s Tavern in Fells Point and Huck’s American Craft in Brewers Hill.
The new space is larger than the original Papi’s, allowing more room for events and, uniquely, the ability to serve al pastor tacos, in which meat is cooked over a spit and apportioned for tacos freshly cooked. And with the 25-space parking lot out back, they’re planning an outdoor Cinco de Mayo party, complete with live music.
But before they can open, Gjerde’s team still has to obtain a liquor license, for which they have a transfer hearing scheduled next Thursday. They also need to obtain all necessary permits from the city, which means they don’t have an exact opening day just yet. But it’s approaching soon.
“People are definitely anxious for us to get open and so are we, obviously,” Gjerde said.
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