Wit & Wisdom to close New Year’s Day, Atlas Restaurant Group to take over with new concept

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Photo via Wit & Wisdom/Facebook

The Four Seasons’ popular new American restaurant Wit & Wisdom will shut down in the new year to make way for a new concept from Atlas Restaurant Group, the Harbor East hotel announced this morning.

Atlas, which already operates The Bygone on the 29th floor and Azumi and Loch Bar on the ground floor of the Four Seasons, as well as nearly a half-dozen other high-end restaurants around Harbor East, will add a new restaurant to its concentrated territory, according to a release. It will open in the Wit & Wisdom space in the middle of next year. Other details will be announced at a later date.

“After delivering a top culinary experience in Harbor East these past several years, we look forward to transforming this space in the hotel, for guests and locals alike,” Four Seasons general manager Beverly Magee said in a statement.

Wit & Wisdom opened in 2011 as a much-hyped tavern concept from James Beard Award-winning San Francisco chef Michael Mina, serving new American cuisine in a chic setting with views of the Inner Harbor. Former Baltimore Sun restaurant critic Richard Gorelick gave it a mixed review at the time of its premiere—”exquisitely considered food competes for attention with perfunctory offerings,” he wrote pointedly—but three years later, he revisited his take, writing that the restaurant had “settled into an impressive groove, and the kitchen is flourishing.”

In its seven years, Wit & Wisdom has become the equivalent of a staple restaurant for the young Harbor East neighborhood, popular for holiday specials and earning nods in particular for its wine selection.

Its former executive chef, Zack Mills, left earlier this year to pursue his own venture of opening True Chesapeake Oyster House, in partnership with The Local Oyster and True Chesapeake Oyster Co., at Whitehall Mill in Hampden. Wit & Wisdom’s former lead sommelier, Julie Dalton, also left last fall for a position in Texas.

The space will now be taken over by the growing high-end restaurant group run by Alex Smith, grandson of the late waterfront developer and H&S Bakery owner John Paterakis Sr.

“We are honored to operate a fourth concept in the hotel,” he said in a statement. “With the success of Bygone, Azumi and Loch Bar, the addition of another unique restaurant will make the hotel a dining and entertainment destination unlike any other in the region.”

In Wit & Wisdom’s absence, The Bygone will begin serving breakfast in 2019, the Four Seasons said.

Kit Pollard contributed reporting.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
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