Monument City Brewing: Three years after brothers Matt and Ken Praay got their start contracting out of incubator Peabody Heights Brewing, the duo is launching a space of their own. Set to open this Saturday, Monument City’s brand new Highlandtown facility features production space with canning equipment (signature releases including the popular 51 Rye and Battle IPA are now available in cans), as well as an industrial-style taproom with communal seating, interior greenery, and a Ping Pong table. The taproom will be open Thursday through Saturday offering flights, pints, and specialty brews only available in house. 1 N. Haven St., 443-529-8131
Charm Kitty: It’s no secret that being around pets can help reduce stress, and soon, locals will have a hub to unwind in the company of adoptable cats. Inspired by cat cafes all over the world, founder Cam Tucker is hoping to open Charm Kitty Cafe in Hampden’s Whitehall Mill later this year. In a partnership with the Baltimore Humane Society, the 1,150-square-foot space will feature roaming cats and local Zeke’s coffee. Aside from being a co-working space for students, the café will also host community events like cat yoga and movie nights. A Kickstarter campaign to cover costs of renovating the space with new furniture and supplies far surpassed its $5,000 goal in less than one day. 3300 Clipper Mill Road.
Clark Burger: It’s been two years since native Canadian James Clark brought his juicy burgers paired with authentic poutine to North Baltimore. Now, Clark is expanding his footprint with a second location in Little Italy. Clark Burger—whose flagship is adjoined with The Senator Theatre—will set up shop in the former home of Tortilleria Sinaloa on Central Avenue later in the spring. All of the spot’s signature menu items—including a variety of burgers, hand-cut fries, housemade sauces, classic poutine topped with gravy and cheese curds, and boozy milkshakes—will transition to the new space.415 S. Central Ave.
Manor Hill Tavern: This new project from Randy and Mary Marriner—the brains behind Victoria Gastro Pub and Manor Hill Brewing Company—debuted in soft-opening mode last week. Set in the former home of Diamondback Tavern in Ellicott City, the 235-seat restaurant features wooden accents, a custom beer tower, and a hand-painted mural of the family’s farm brewery off of Clarksville Pike. Under the helm of executive chef Chad Wells, the menu showcases dishes such as meatloaf meatballs with potato puree, bacon fat fries, and a signature burger topped with gouda, horseradish aioli, and a farm egg. 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, 410-465-8500
Fú Noodle House: A new Asian-fusion concept has landed inside Horseshoe Casino. Taking over the former Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi space on the second floor, this new eatery emphasizes authentic dishes inspired by the flavors of China, Vietnam, and Korea. The lengthy menu lists soups, sushi, and wok specialties like Pad Thai, kimchi-fried rice, and fried tofu. 1525 Russell St., 844-777-7463
Jimmy’s Restaurant: Last week, details were announced regarding what will become of this beloved breakfast and lunch institution in Fells Point under new ownership. According to the Baltimore Business Journal, new owner Rudy Keskin plans to implement nearly $500,000 worth of upgrades, dinner service, and 24-hour operations four days per week. Though Keskin is vowing to keep the restaurant’s name and continue to showcase local artwork, he will soon introduce a new menu featuring panini sandwiches, falafel, spinach pies, salads, and vegetarian options. Cosmetic changes will yield new flooring, custom-made furniture, outdoor seating, and granite counter tops. Though we’re unsure how the community will react to the upscale changes, here’s hoping that the legacy of the 70-year-old-spot will continue to shine through.801 S. Broadway, 410-327-3273
Cross Street Market: The past few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for Federal Hill residents invested in the redevelopment of the neighborhood’s decades-old public market. One month after Towson-based developer Caves Valley Partners (CVP)—the market’s sole bidder—walked away from the project, a modified plan has been introduced to revive the redesign. Reports from SouthBMore.com indicate that CVP’s Arsh Mirmiran reconsidered his decision to pull out of the deal after hearing feedback from the community. Pending the acquisition of an affordable market-wide liquor license, Mirmiran will move forward with a new plan that will allow tenants to remain in the market during construction. An official timeline for the modified redesign has not yet been set. Stay tuned for updates. 1065 S. Charles St., 410-686-6169
Bmore Together Culinary Showcase: Local grassroots organization BmoreTogether is living up to its name by uniting high school culinary arts students with area chefs at this event at Church & Co. on Monday, March 20. From 6-9 p.m., students from the National Academy Foundation in Baltimore City will partner with the likes of chef Ray Eugenio of Points South Latin Kitchen and chef Steven Grant of Cardinal Tavern to pair collaborative dishes with top-notch wine pairings. The reception will serve as a benefit for Muse 360 Art, a local campaign that provides artistic training to Baltimore youth. 3647 Falls Road, $60-75
Maiz Y Cacao: The latest installment of Clavel’s Sunday dinner series will fuse the talents of Jinji Fraser of Jinji’s Chocolate in Belvedere Square, chef Carlos Raba, and baker Jorge Sobral Martins. The seven-course meal on April 9 will emphasize nixamalized heirloom corn (aka Mexican corn that has been soaked, cooked, washed, and hulled) and raw cacao in various forms. Diners can also look forward to natural wine and mezcal pairings introduced by Clavel owner Lane Harlan. 225 W. 23 St., 443-900-8983, $75
Peter Beets at Sotto Sopra: World-renowned jazz pianist Peter Beets is making a one-night-only appearance at Sotto Sopra on Thursday, March 16. Feast on the Mt. Vernon staple’s modern Italian dishes (think warm octopus salad, pork ossobuco, and spinach and ricotta ravioli) while tapping your feet to the sounds of classic Chopin tunes with a blues spin. 405 N. Charles St., 410-625-0534, $15
Whole Hog Feast at Le Garage: This French-inspired spot on the Avenue in Hampden is hosting its third annual Whole Hog Feast on Wednesday, March 15. The evening’s special a la carte menu will highlight dishes incorporating different cuts of meat, including crispy pork belly, a whiskey-glazed pork chop, roasted ribs, and a pulled pork sandwich with pickled red onions. To sweeten the deal, the restaurant will be mixing up Baltimore Whiskey Company and Old Line Spirits cocktails and featuring a bevy of barrel-aged beers to pair with the feast. 911 W. 36th St., 410-243-6300
Mug’s Bistro: Just six months after reopening in Little Italy, this cozy spot known for its pizzas and meatball subs has shuttered its doors due to lack of business. Chef Todd Sheppeard took to Facebook to comment on the news. “I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart that supported me during my 6 month stint at Mugs' Bistro. Your love and generosity was not unnoticed,” the post reads. There’s no word yet on what will become of the vacant space. 300 S. Exeter St.