Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Plaka; The Local; Bramble Baking Co.

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Plaka Restaurant & Bakery: A famous corner of Greektown is home to a new all-day concept from the owners of G&M Restaurant. Plaka has taken over the space at 4718 Eastern Ave., once home to Acropolis, which was considered an institution in the neighborhood until it shuttered in 2019 soon after the passing of owner Dimitrios “Jimmy” Avgerinos. Plaka owner Dimitrios Zoulis plans to carry that torch, in the sense that he wants Plaka to ultimately be a vibrant gathering place for the community. (The name “Plaka” is even a nod to Athens’ oldest city, which resides under the Acropolis.)

“With the loss of Acropolis, there was a void in that corner of Greektown,” Zoulis says. “We’re involved in real estate, and we saw an opportunity. We went through a few scenarios, but we thought what was missing was what Acropolis used to offer the community. We wanted to take that and tell the next chapter of Greektown and…bring back some of that fervor.”

A menu packed with Greek delicacies, with many ingredients sourced directly from Greece, will surely do the trick. Patrons can expect a robust selection of mezze for the table, including baked feta in phyllo dough drizzled with thyme-flavored Greek honey and grilled octopus marinated with olive oil and oregano. Other classics to look out for include the moussaka, homemade pork gyro, lamb chops, and handmade stuffed grape leaves—aka dolmades—inspired by a traditional recipe from the Greek island where Zoulis’ family hails.

Plaka also has a full-fledged bakery serving baklava, spanakopita, and trigona panoramatos (a phyllo cone filled with pastry cream and topped with pistachios), among other sweet and savory goodies. Zoulis says a daily brunch is on the horizon, with featured items like a bougatsa French toast and loukoumades served with fried chicken—a Greek play on chicken and waffles.

Pair that fare with a light, airy renovated interior decorated with stucco and pieces from the Mediterranean, and “you really feel like you’re transported to the shores of Greece,” Zoulis says.

Bunny’s: Chef Jesse Sandlin, also behind Sally O’s in Highlandtown and The Dive in Canton, has unveiled her latest venture in the old Wharf Rat space in Fells Point. At Bunny’s, the chef will highlight Southern-leaning fare, focusing on fried chicken and bubbly beverages—a pretty perfect pairing, if you ask us. Expect sparkling and still wines and cocktails, plus other dishes like a smashburger, shrimp and grits, Baltimore crab rice, waffle fry poutine, and pimento cheese croquettes. The interior received a facelift that includes retro furniture and colorful custom bunny murals by local artist Kait K Designs.


The Local to Take Over The Curious Oyster and Wayward Bar + Kitchen in White Marsh: Bittersweet news out of White Marsh. Sister restaurants The Curious Oyster and Wayward Bar + Kitchen shuttered their Avenue locations on June 12, with the owners sharing on social media that these closures will allow them “to focus on other business endeavors.” But here’s the good part: the properties will remain locally owned. Chef/owner Zack Trabbold, of popular Harford County restaurant The Local, will take over the spaces to transform them into a second location of his elevated comfort-food spot—which famously sources all ingredients within a 10-mile radius.

“We always knew we wanted to do more,” Trabbold says. “This location seemed perfect for us. We have a big following from this area already, and it’s not far [from the original The Local]—about 12-15 miles a part. We love The Avenue, and we love this space. We also have really good relationships with some of the businesses here already.”

Trabbold adds that the new restaurant will be able to hold double the amount of diners than the Harford County spot. He and his team will transform the Curious Oyster side into the formal dining room, while the Wayward side will house the bar and lounge. Diners can also expect a raw bar, charcuterie station, multicourse chef’s experience, and private event room dubbed the Bourdain Room (after Trabbold’s favorite chef, the late Anthony Bourdain). Upstairs will house the Sagamore Lounge, where guests can learn more about the local spirits brand.

The bar/lounge portion aims to open in July, while the dining room is slated to follow suit in late August or early September. “There’s going to be changes as we go, but we don’t want to hold people up from experiencing what we’re going to do,” Trabbold sums up.


6/12-6/19: AFRAM Restaurant Week
Baltimore’s beloved festival celebrating Black art, fashion, food, and culture returns to Druid Hill Park this weekend, and with it, comes its annual Restaurant Week at more than 20 participating Black-owned restaurants all over town. This year, organizers are partnering with local foodie Simone Phillips of @charmcitytable to curate the list of spots, which will all be offering AFRAM-themed eats and treats. Check out the jerk hot dog at Hot Dog Central, honey jerk wings at Happy Hour Heaven, seafood club at Cafe 1908, red snapper at Papi Cuisine, and a special AFRAM ice cream flavor at Cajou Creamery. Browse the full list of specials, here.

6/18: Woodberry Kitchen x Blacksauce Kitchen Father’s Day Pop-Up
Looking for weekend plans with dad? Woodberry Kitchen and Blacksauce are collabing for a family-style Father’s Day feast on Saturday. Expect Blacksauce meats and biscuits paired with Woodberry Kitchen sides. Chef-dads Damian Mosley and Spike Gjerde will be manning a carving station, serving up smoked brisket, smoked pork pozole with dried chiles and cilantro, gin-glazed pork ribs with an allspice citrus rub, and rye whiskey-glazed chicken wings. The menu also includes Blacksauce biscuits and spreads, frisée salad with feta, spring waldorf salad with cherries and pecans, shiitake wok-fried rice, twice-baked potatoes, and mac ‘n cheese—plus bourbon chocolate pie for dessert. Tickets are $60 for adults and $30 for children under 12.


Bramble Baking Co.: Hamilton bakery Bramble Baking Co.’s last day of service at its brick-and-mortar shop will be July 16. Baker-owner Allie Smith recently posted a statement on Bramble’s website, sharing that “the light chaos of making from-scratch goods each week has meant that I’ve neglected to be intentional in some key ways, and I’ve built the bakery up in a way that isn’t personally sustainable.”

Smith also said in the statement that she had been striving for “more shared ownership and responsibility” at the bakery, but that “someone needs to step up to get everyone there. As many a food business owner before me, I’ve simply run out of steam and chronic health issues abound.” There’s no word yet on what will become of the bright Harford Road shop, which Smith opened in September 2021 and was previously home to Batch Bake Shop and Hamilton Bakery.