Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Church; Cava; Doozy’s Diner; Checkerspot Brewing

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Church: Now open Wednesday through Sunday from 5-10 p.m., this long-awaited cocktail bar from hospitality veterans Chelsea Gregoire, Marisa Dobson, and Martha Lucius made its official debut last night in Old Goucher. Its name is “a full circle moment” for Gregoire, the bar’s founder and hospitality director who holds a Bachelor of Science in religion and a Master of Arts in theology from Liberty University. The name is also meant to reference “a secular, playful gesture of gathering,” according to a press release. Located at 2219 Maryland Ave., Church’s opening menu lists 10 cocktails (including five spirit-free versions) that are modern interpretations of the classics and utilize housemade sodas, juices, and syrups. Expect offerings such as “The Host,” a large-format martini for four or five guests served tableside, as well as “St. Vincent,” a colorful brandy and concord grape beverage topped with mint foam.

“This being the first cocktail menu, I found myself ruminating on symbolism,” Gregoire said in a statement. “How has history employed this fruit, flavor, herb? How have societies around the world assigned meaning to these flavors? All of us rely on sense memories, and this was an opportunity to engage with memory in a warm and curious way.”

Church’s food menu will focus on plates meant for sharing. The dishes will be developed by culinary professionals accepted into Church’s chef residency, an experimental quarterly program meant to create “a new kitchen paradigm that fosters mentorship, experimentation, and Church’s vision of community.” The first three chef residents on deck are Dwight Campbell, co-founder of Cajou Creamery; Melanie Kerr, a former Chopped contestant and the mind behind spice line, catering, and cooking class company Chauncey’s; and Anna Kent, owner/operator of local vegan pop-up Tom Cat’s Kitchen.

And, in yet another nod to its community-focused mission, Church will also offer The Fellowship Hall, a meeting room that “will host an ongoing series of skill-sharing classes (think: banking, personal taxonomy, and Narcan awareness) and hospitality training, including mental health support, first aid workshops, and knife skills tutorials. The space will eventually be available for free reservation.

Cava: It’s finally happened. The first Baltimore City location of this fast-casual chain is officially open at 3900 Boston St. near Canton Crossing. Longtime locals will remember that we used to have a sit-down Cava Mezze restaurant in Harbor East (anyone else still mourning the penny mimosas offered during brunch?), but this fast-casual iteration allows diners to mix-and-match proteins (think: falafel, harissa chicken, and lamb meatballs) veggies, grains, and dips in a customizable bowl or pita. The Charm City location—joining others in White Marsh, Timonium, Columbia, and Owings Mills—is open daily from 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m. Now all we have to do is patiently wait for the new Shake Shack set to open next door.

Doozy’s Diner: A longstanding restaurant in Catonsville is open again—with a new name and look. Doozy’s Diner has opened (Tuesday-Sunday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.) in the former homer of Duesenberg’s American Cafe and Grill at 10 Mellor Ave. Spearheaded by a brand new team including chef/co-owner Steve Colegrove, his wife and co-owner/business manager Stephanie Colegrove, and general manager Christopher Santiago, the revamped space is “bright, comfy, and cheery with a splash of ‘70s funk,” according to a press release. The menu will offer American diner classics like smashburgers, milkshakes, and a variety of specialty omelets and sandwiches. But patrons can also expect New Mexican-style dishes as a nod to Colegrove’s heritage. Those items include sweet and savory stuffed sopapillas; “stuffed, stacked, smothered, and covered” enchiladas; and “ginormous” burritos. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options also abound on the menu. Doozy’s offers a heated, dog-friendly patio and a kids’ book nook. 


Checkerspot Brewing is Expanding: Big things are underway for South Baltimore’s Checkerspot Brewing. Founded by husband-and-wife team Rob and Judy Neff, the brewery announced this month that they’ve crossed the i’s and dotted the t’s on a new home—“only a few blocks away at 1421 Ridgely St.” they wrote on Instagram. Judy later told that their lease is up on Sharp Street at the end of June 2023, and this new space will allow the team to go bigger in production and square footage for the taproom and event spaces. “The space is exactly what we need,” she told the outlet.


9/30-10/2: Fells Point Fun Festival
One of the biggest draws for this annual throwdown on Fells Point’s main thoroughfare is always the food and beverage vendors on site. We’re partial to crab mac-and-cheese, but other popular dishes that can be found throughout the festive weekend include pit beef, fried dough, tacos, oysters, crab cakes, crab tots, crab arepas (thanks to Eat Arepi) and vegetarian options, too. Attendees can nosh on their favorites while enjoying performances from headliners Brett Dennen and The War & Treaty and browsing local shops. Admission is free, but we recommend purchasing drink tickets ahead at a discount (and to skip the traditionally long lines).

9/30: Oktoberfest 2022 at Lighthouse Liquors
Canton bottle shop and tasting room Lighthouse Liquors is bringing back its all-you-can-eat-and-drink celebration for Oktoberfest this Friday. A $65 ticket gets you unlimited access to festive fare like bratwurst, currywurst, schwenkbraten, fresh kraut, kartoffelsalat, and baked pretzels (vegan and vegetarian options will also be available), as well as, of course, 12 draft lines of Oktoberfest beers like Märzen and Festbier. Patrons can also enjoy free samples of some of the staff’s favorite Oktoberfest brews that came to the Baltimore market this year, as well as prizes and giveaways throughout the night. The event runs 5-10 p.m. Purchase tickets here.