In Good Taste

Open & Shut: A Beer Garden Grows in West Baltimore; Ekiben, Chez Hugo, and Le Monade Host Pop-Ups and Collaborations

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Gangster Vegan Organics: A franchise of Gangster Vegan Organics will open in Cross Street Market on August 23. The menu will include items that are organic, unprocessed, raw, soy, and gluten-free. The spot is owned by husband-wife duo, James and Taneea Yarborough. Taneea is a survivor of ovarian cancer who switched to a plant-based diet as part of her wellness regime.


Ekiben Pop-Up at Fadensonnen: Steve Chu and his business partner Ephrem Abibe at Ekiben are launching a new Taiwanese noodle bar pop-up at Lane Harlan’s Fadensonnen in Old Goucher every Wednesday, for the next six weeks. The new project is called Ojichan, which means grandad in Japanese. Look for handmade wheat noodles with ground pork, scallions, and soy egg. The noodles are served cold to retain their bouncy texture and served with a warm broth. “Ephrem and I had a hankering for the super bouncy noodles we had in Taiwan, but couldn’t find in America, so we decided to make them,” said Chu on his Instagram page. The announcement of the pop-up led one Instagrammer to comment, “You guys are public servants.”

New Beer Garden: A beer garden is planned for the 108-year-old American Ice Building at 2100 West Franklin Street in West Baltimore. The space will include an events area and art hub under a proposed $18.7 million project, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. “It is a diamond in the rough,” Washington D.C. developer Ilay Alter recently told the BBJ. Alter has partnered with local developer Bill Struever who has rehabbed many area industrial sites including the Woodberry-Hampden area of Baltimore, where Woodberry Kitchen is now located. Alter opened a similar such space the Dacha Beer Garden on a vacant lot in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood in 2013.

Tapas Teatro: The beloved tapas spot in Station North is undergoing a renovation. A new bar area will create more space for a communal table, larger parties, and a new look.


7/25: La Cuchara Farm Dinner with the Maryland Farmers Market Association and Hex Ferments

La Cuchara is hosting a farmer’s market dinner in conjunction with the Maryland Farmers Market Association and Hex Ferments on Sunday, from 5-8 p.m. Dinner will include a map of the Saturday and Sunday Baltimore farmers markets showing where some of the ingredients for the meal are sourced from. Hex Ferments will provide cocktail pairings and a portion of proceeds will support the Maryland Market Money program, which provides matching dollars to low-income families who use their benefit at area farmers markets.

7/25: Col Bol Pop-Up at Grind House Juice Bar

Chef Carleen Goodridge of Le Monade will host a pop up called Col Bol, which means “cold bowl.” The event will take place this Sunday at 11 a.m. at Grind House Juice Bar on Saint Paul’s Street. Carleen is honoring her Liberian heritage with dishes like eggplant stew and cassava leaf and plantain porridge.

7/29: Chez Hugo Collaborates with Sacré Sucré

Chez Hugo Bistro will collaborate with Sacré Sucré pastry studio for a six-course tasting menu with all things sweet and savory. Each kitchen will present three courses. Look for dishes such as a blackberry crisp tuile with buckwheat cream, candied beets, and preserved summer fruit and fromage blanc and corn cheesecake with cornbread crumbs, pepper jam, fermented honey, and glazed fresh corn. The cost of the tasting menu is $50. The event runs from 7-9 p.m.

Happy Birthday to You!

Area restaurants celebrate big numbers.

City Café turns 25 on Sept. 4.

The Helmand turns 30 this fall.

Mt. Washington Tavern kicks off its 40 years in business celebration this November.