Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Limoncello Pizzeria; Mobtown Ballroom & Cafe; Fells Point Tavern

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Limoncello Pizzeria: Locust Point residents might remember Limoncello’s pizzas, which became incredibly popular as a takeaway invention during the shutdowns and restrictions of 2020. When the pandemic waned and Limoncello reopened, they were taken off the menu as the spot returned to regular sit-down service. But staffers routinely received feedback that the square slices were sorely missed. 

Fast forward to now, and Limoncello Pizzeria—an entire sister-concept dedicated to the pies—is set to open Feb. 20 in the corner space adjacent to the flagship restaurant on East Fort Avenue. The spot will serve Southern Italian-inspired gourmet sandwiches, salads, and those much-missed artisan pizzas topped with imported meats and cheeses. (A favorite from the pandemic days was the “Original Grandma,” topped with smoked mozzarella, parm, stripes of zesty sauce, and a pesto drizzle.) Constructed by local firm Urban Built, the sleek interior is also an ode to the owners’ native Naples, highlighting wood paneling, stonework, booth seating, blue tiling, and pops of yellow. The space also features an open kitchen for views of all the dough-tossing action.

Atlas Restaurant Group Announces Izakaya Concept: This week, Atlas Restaurant Group shared that it plans to open a Japanese izakaya concept in late 2024. Housed in Harbor East’s historic EJ Codd building (formerly home to Bar Vasquez and the future headquarters for the Atlas’s corporate offices), the 3,000-square-foot restaurant will be connected to another forthcoming Atlas concept in the building via a custom-built tunnel. “Guests will [be able to] seamlessly transition between the distinct atmospheres we have curated,” Atlas president Alex Smith said in a press release. “We want the corner of South Caroline and Aliceanna to regain its landmark status and infuse exciting energy that will benefit the city as a whole.”

Izakaya, which translates to “dine-in sake shop,” is a traditional Japanese bar that also serves affordable snacks and other fare. Expect a menu of popular Japanese dishes like hand rolls, sashimi, nigiri, and crudos from chef Timur Fazilov, who you might recognize from Azumi, which is also in the Atlas portfolio. On the beverage side, there will be cocktails and a selection of Japanese sakes and beers.

Roggenart: A new location of this European-inspired pastry palace—which got its start in its now-closed Mt. Washington digs before moving on to open three cafes in Howard County and one in Towson—is headed to Mt. Vernon. Roggenart’s return to Baltimore City will be made official in March, when it debuts on the ground floor of City House Charles—formerly the hallowed home of Grand Central Nightclub. Similar to its other outposts, the cafe will offer a menu of fresh-baked pastries, breakfast sandwiches on buttery croissants, signature omelets, oven-baked melts, and cast iron-pressed sandwiches. “Our new Mt. Vernon location is the perfect detour on the way to work for a quick cup of coffee or a bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant,” owner and managing partner Brody Tennant said in a statement. “We cannot wait to meet our new neighbors.”


Mobtown Ballroom & Cafe: Mobtown Ballroom has officially pressed play on its next chapter in Station North. Best known for offering everything from square dance and swing dance to honky tonk and Lindy Hop programs in Pigtown for the past 12 years, the dance hall recently moved to the former home of Red Emma’s and Secret Sauce Co. inside North Avenue Market. Not only does the larger Station North space allow the team to carry over all of its arts programming (and expand with even more live music and entertainment) but it also allowed owners Sarah Sullivan and Michael Seguin to launch a daytime food and beverage program. Now open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., the cafe features coffees and teas, house baked goods (think: crumbly coffee cake muffins and caramelized onion and gruyere scones), breakfast biscuits, salads, and hearty sandwiches like a rare roast beef with cheddar and horseradish sauce. 

The Urban Oyster: ICYMI—chef Jasmine Norton’s new restaurant officially opened Feb. 2 on the Avenue in Hampden. Billed as the nation’s first Black female-owned oyster bar, the latest iteration of The Urban Oyster, which previously operated as a pop-up and had a storefront in Locust Point, offers seafood-forward favorites and fun revivals of classic dishes, including lobster corndogs, red snapper nuggets, chargrilled oysters (a favorite from Norton’s ghost kitchen days), and deviled eggs topped with a fried oyster fritter. The 2,200-square-foot space features a coastal tavern look and seats up to 50. 

“We are beyond excited to be the latest addition to Hampden’s exciting food scene,” Norton said in a press release. “I am so happy to have found our new flagship location for Urban Oyster, and we want everyone to feel at home here. Our mission is to reinvent our seafood culture with sincerity and fun, to give back to this community and to our great city.” 


2/16-2/18: Union Collective’s “Weekend of Wood” Anniversary Celebration
Hampden’s local maker haven Union Collective will celebrate its fifth anniversary this weekend. Dubbed the “Weekend of Wood” (which is the traditional material for fifth-anniversary gifts), the three-day celebration will kick off with a progressive dinner featuring six of Union Collective’s businesses, including Carroll & Son Fine Foods, The Charmery, and Baltimore Spirits Company. The weekend will also highlight a wood makers’ mart on Saturday and the brewery’s ninth-annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday.


Cheezy Mike’s: This late-night comfort food spot inside Mount Vernon Marketplace will close up shop on Feb. 16. From local DJ Mike Boggs (aka Mike Jointz), Cheezy Mike’s debuted in 2020, aiming to remix classics of carryout favorites like melty grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesesteak egg rolls, and pretzel bites. “It’s been a wonderful 4.5 years; I’ve learned a lot, and I appreciate you all supporting the business,” Boggs said in an Instagram video announcing the closure. “I’m going to move on to the next chapter in my culinary adventure.”

Fells Point Tavern: According to the Baltimore Banner, this Fells Point watering hole on Thames Street has shuttered its doors amid claims from employees that they have not been paid for several weeks. The outlet reports that staffers have filed a complaint with the Maryland Department of Labor. Fells Point Tavern was formerly Kali’s Court until it rebranded in 2016 as a new generation took charge of the family business, which is run by Kali’s Restaurant Group.