In Good Taste

Wit & Wisdom Closing Next Month to Make Way for Atlas Restaurant Group Concept

Longtime executive chef Zack Mills shares fond memories of the Chesapeake staple.

By Lauren Cohen | December 4, 2018, 1:01 pm

-Courtesy of Wit & Wisdom
In Good Taste

Wit & Wisdom Closing Next Month to Make Way for Atlas Restaurant Group Concept

Longtime executive chef Zack Mills shares fond memories of the Chesapeake staple.

By Lauren Cohen | December 4, 2018, 1:01 pm

-Courtesy of Wit & Wisdom

It’s going to be a bittersweet New Year’s Eve at Wit & Wisdom in Harbor East. As the fireworks fall over the Inner Harbor on December 31, Michael Mina’s waterfront tavern inside the Four Seasons Baltimore will serve its final Chesapeake fare.

Beginning January 1, Atlas Restaurant Group will transform the space into a new dining destination that is expected to open mid-2019. The yet-to-be-announced concept will be Atlas’ fourth inside the hotel, which also houses Azumi, Loch Bar, and the scenic Bygone on the top floor.

"We are honored to operate a fourth concept in the hotel,” said Alex Smith, founder and president of Atlas Restaurant Group in a statement. “The addition of another unique restaurant will make the hotel a dining and entertainment destination unlike any other in the region.”

Former executive chef Zack Mills joined the Wit & Wisdom team six months after it opened in 2011, and quickly stepped into the role as executive chef months later. Though he left the restaurant in June to open True Chesapeake Oyster House, Mills is quick to point out that his years at Wit & Wisdom were essential to his growth, especially as he prepares to open his own spot.

“I owe my career to that restaurant,” he tells us. “It’s hard to put into words how much it’s meant to me over the years and what it will continue to mean to me in the future.”

Aside from its stellar wine program, the tavern was best known for its dishes that showcased Eastern Shore seafood—a philosophy that Mills, an Anne Arundel County native, was happy to continue.

“It was always our goal to showcase the Chesapeake to the best of our ability and simply do Maryland cuisine justice,” Mills says. “And if our story resonated with just a couple of people, then I think we did our job properly.”

Throughout his five-year stint in the kitchen, Mills recalls the special wine dinners, charity events benefitting No Kid Hungry, and cooking alongside Mina himself—whom Mills describes as being one of his greatest mentors.

Above all, he says he will miss the tight-knit team of cooks, sous chefs, and managers—many of whom he still keeps in contact with.

“I see restaurants as living beings,” he says. “And the lifeblood, bones, and the heart of the restaurants are the people in them. Those people will definitely be in my heart for the rest of my life."




Meet The Author

Lauren Cohen is the digital senior editor at Baltimore, where she covers food, events, lifestyle, and community news.



You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Without Reservation: Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf

We check in with area restaurants in these troubling times.

On The Town

Old Line Spirits Donates Proceeds from New Whiskey to Industry Workers

All profits from the rum-finished whiskey will benefit the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: The Return of Snowball Season

Plus, a farewell to three city restaurants and our best carryout bites of the week.


Food & Drink

Review: Goldberg's Bagels

Goldberg’s New York Bagels lives up to its name.

In Good Taste

Sergio Vitale Leads Charge to Offer Open-Air Dining in Little Italy

After pushback from the mayor, Aldo's owner talks what's next for the neighborhood.

Food & Drink

Burger Kings

With four locations—and still counting—locals are flipping for the patties at Abbey Burger Bistro.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party

Frustrated by Trump, Hogan Lands 500,000 COVID-19 Tests from South Korea: First Lady Yumi Hogan helped negotiations with South Korean suppliers.

Art of Baltimore Project Showcases Digital Works Throughout Downtown: Campaign supports local artists while illuminating the city for essential employees.

How to Support Small Businesses Amid Pandemic Panic: As foot traffic slows due to coronavirus, owners worry about lasting impacts.

Grocery Workers Manage to Keep Morale High and Give Back Despite Long Hours: Managers and employees are working in overdrive to keep communities fed.