Jinji Chocolate: This local chocolate purveyor has been blessing the community with its ethically sourced sweets from a stall at Belvedere Square for a decade. Now, co-founder Jinji Fraser is ready to open a new brick-and-mortar shop at a previously announced location at 3100 Greenmount Ave. in the Waverly neighborhood this October. Jinji Chocolate will now have a long-term home with an expanded menu of chocolate drinks, local treats, and handcrafted sweets. Designed by Fraser and her team, the 1,000-square-foot space is painted lavender and features a counter for drink-making and chocolate-tasting, as well as a small retail area, and a back-of-house production space that will also be used for workshops and demonstrations.
To start, drinks on the menu will include warm beverages—like Jinji’s signature drinking chocolate and hot chocolate—and cold beverages like egg cream, chocolate milk, and “cocochata” (a combo of the Mexican-and Spanish-style traditional horchata). On the food menu, expect pots de creme, seasonal truffles, peanut butter-stuffed Turkish figs, date poppers, and classic fudge in varieties like peanut butter and salted caramel. The shop will also work with local bakeries like Doppio Pasticceria, Motzi Bread, and Wow Vegan Treats to provide daily cookies.
“Our journey from home kitchen to Belvedere and now to Waverly has been about telling a more authentic story of what chocolate is, one handcrafted creation at a time,” Fraser said in a press release. “This new home is a love letter to all the people who support what we do, a space for taking a moment, trying something new, and appreciating all that brought us here.”
Adee’s Coffee Roasters: There’s a new place for a pick-me-up in Fells Point. Adee’s Coffee Roasters will officially debut this Sunday, October 1 at 1625 Fleet St., roasting its blends on site. The concept comes from Ayda Abraham and her family, who are originally from Ethiopia and aims to bring the country’s coffee culture to Charm City. “Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, so we have quite a bit of background with coffee and how it’s processed—we’re coffee addicts basically,” she says with a laugh. “We’ve always wanted a small business, and we felt like it was the right time.”
The name Adee’s is a combination of her family members’ names, as well as a nod to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Abraham signed a lease for the space, formerly a mattress store, in April 2021. With the help of local woodworkers, artists, and other vendors, she has transformed its more than 3,000 square feet into what will hopefully be a hub for the community. Abraham encourages patrons to stop by to work (there’s plenty of seating, and outlets, available) or bring in their little ones, as there’s also a small seating area for kids, as well as a kids’ menu.
The daily menu will feature signature drinks like lattes, including a pumpkin spice variety for the season; the Fells Tonic, an espresso tonic drink; Ethiopian teas; and smoothies. When it comes to the food, expect items like avocado toast, smoked salmon toasts, baked goods, and acai bowls. Every first Saturday of the month, the shop will host a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
To boot, attached to the space is a flower shop, Adee’s Tulips. “Flowers make everyone happy, and we’ve seen coffee shops and plants go together,” Abraham says. “It’ll be a one-stop shop for coffee and flowers.”
Initial hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Abraham hopes to eventually extend them as she pursues a license for beer and wine, but she’s in no rush: “Our main goal is the coffee.”
The Chicken Lab: Yet another food spot is on its way to Harbor Point, the mixed-use development located halfway between Harbor East and Fells Point. In early 2024, The Chicken Lab will open a new location on the ground floor of the Constellation Building facing the district’s Central Plaza. The Korean fried chicken concept debuted in late 2021 at Cross Street Market and specializes in South Korean gang-jeong crispy chicken, which mixes pieces of double deep-fried chicken with sweet and spicy sauce, vegetables, and fried rice cake. This new grab-and-go location will be open for lunch and dinner, with an initial menu that also features rice bowls, sandwiches, and salads. This is one of a handful of tenant announcements from Harbor Point developers this year. Charm City Poke & Mochi is now open, while Baltimore mainstay Attman’s Delicatessen is currently on track to open before the end of the year. Sartori, a new Italian concept from Edward Bosco of Verde, is scheduled to debut fall of 2024.
Codetta Bake Shop: Owner Sumayyah Bilal signed a lease this week for a home for her bakery downtown at 10 S. Howard St., according to The Baltimore Banner, aiming for a spring 2024 opening. Leaving behind her music and teaching career, Bilal launched Codetta in the fall of 2020 and has operated as a ghost kitchen in Federal Hill ever since. (Pick-up and walk-up orders can be made at her outpost at Light Street Presbyterian Church.) The shop is known for decadent desserts like its bestseller cookies ‘n cream cheesecake and one-of-a-kind cupcakes. In 2021, Codetta was one of five Black-owned businesses selected for a Downtown Partnership grant program designed to help Black entrepreneurs.
Common Ground Bakery Cafe: ICYMI, this Hampden gathering spot reopened Sept. 18 under new ownership: its employees. Back in July, the cafe’s previous owners ceased operations “effective immediately” overnight, giving no notice to the workers who suddenly found themselves unemployed. They quickly formed a worker-owned cooperative—their Instagram account, @commongroundworkers, is now the official account for the cafe—followed by weeks of negotiating and community outreach. (Read more about their journey to ownership, here.)
The reopened cafe still serves up its signature breakfast staples, coffee, and baked goods, but newcomers and regulars alike can expect an expanded list of vegan and gluten-free items. Events are on the docket, as well, including an upcoming patio movie night on Sept. 30. Fittingly, the featured screening will be The Take, a 2004 documentary about Argentinian auto workers who occupy their abandoned factories and convert them into worker-owned cooperatives.
9/29: Moon Festival at Peter Chang Baltimore
Tomorrow marks the annual Mid-Autumn Festival in China, a significant celebration in Chinese culture also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. To celebrate the holiday here in Charm City, head to Peter Chang’s newest outpost, Peter Chang Baltimore, located on Ashland Avenue near Johns Hopkins Hospital. For $59, patrons can enjoy all-you-can-eat authentic Sichuan cuisine, including traditional mooncakes, plus live music and cultural performances. Purchase tickets, here.
10/4: Atwater’s Catonsville Wine Dinner
This local farm-to-table chain is bringing dinner service back to its Catonsville location next week. For $95 per person, experience a four-course meal with seasonal plates and wine tastings featuring selections from Maison Prosper Maufoux (a historical wine estate in Burgundy, France). The menu will feature cheese, oysters, halibut, duck, and a selection of desserts.
10/15: Finca Torremilanos Wine Dinner at La Cuchara
One wine dinner not enough? In two weeks, Basque Country-focused restaurant La Cuchara will host a special meal with vino from Spanish wine estate Finca Torremilanos. Expect six pours paired with seven courses that include fare like hamachi crudo, foie gras torchon, and wood-grilled lamb shoulder. Tickets are $149 per person plus tax and gratuity.