Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Madrid Spanish Taverna; Our Time Kitchen; Waffie

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Madrid Spanish Taverna: Marylanders will soon be able to get a taste of Spain by way of Howard County. This Roswell, Georgia-based restaurant, which serves imported Spanish wines and tapas, plans to open its second location in Columbia on July 8. Diners can also expect cocktails, sangrias, and paellas, as well as imported delicacies like hand-carved Iberian ham, salchichón, and chorizo. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring our delicious tapas and unique ambiance to Columbia,” said founder Abe Ruiz in a press release. “Madrid Spanish Taverna is the result of many years of travel, research, and restaurant experience. Our goal is to transport guests to Spain. We want them to feel the energy, enjoy the music, and fall in love with the cuisine.” To start, the Columbia location at 8874 McGaw Road will be open for dinner service every day from 4-11 p.m.

Our Time Kitchen: Their time has arrived! Our Time, from founders Kiah Gibian (of Wilde Thyme) and Catina Smith (of Just Call Me Chef), will host a grand opening July 7 in Old Goucher. The shared commercial kitchen—which supports minority women and people of marginalized genders who want to build food businesses in an affordable space—is a project two years in the making. The accessible model includes a by-the-hour rental program of its kitchen spaces, a to-go window, cooking and business classes, and, soon, a rentable food truck. “We’re really excited,” Smith tells us. “We’re finally here.”

Gibian and Smith gutted the early 20th-century building at 117 W. 24th St. and are ready to unveil a completely renovated first floor, which features two kitchens and a baker-specific area with a 60-quart mixer and convection oven. There’s also a to-go area and window for the businesses to be able to sell food directly to customers, as well as a retail space with garage doors to sell wares to the public or to rent out for events and classes. And sometime soon, in the back of the building, Gibian and Smith plan to create a courtyard-like area with a rentable food truck, picnic tables, and string lights.

What patrons might first see, though, is a vibrant mural painted on one side of the building by artist Jaz Erenberg. Smith says the artwork, “Braiding Seeds,” was inspired by the stories of enslaved people braiding seeds in their hair as a means of survival during the transatlantic slave trade. “We knew how impactful that would be,” Smith says of the mural. “It’s a conversation piece for sure. That’s why it was super important for us to have that piece of the facade done.”

As for the grand opening event on Thursday at 6 p.m., expect an official ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a ticketed reception, with a performances by the Fatal Attraction Step Squad, ChangaMusic, and saxophonist Will Spence. “We’ll allow people to come in, take a tour of the space, and Kiah and I are going to cook up some goodies for people to eat,” Smith says, “as we pop some bottles!”

Can’t attend the event? Donations to support Our Time’s mission are collected, here.


Max’s Taphouse Awarded Grant for Small Historic Businesses: Exciting news dropped today regarding Fells Point’s beloved beer bar. Max’s Taphouse is one of 25 historic small restaurants across the country that has been awarded $40,000 from the Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program. Now in its second year, the initiative was created by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

The announcement of the grant cites how Max’s—which owner Ron Furman opened in 1986—led by example in the earlier days of the pandemic: “A few days before mandated closure of bars and restaurants were put in place, [Max’s] voluntarily closed its doors to protect local patrons. The business called on other bars in the area to do the same, and more than 15 joined in.”

These grants are meant to support historic small restaurants as they emerge from a difficult few years and navigate challenges like labor and rising food costs. Overall, the hope is that the funds help them to continue serving their communities.

Flying Dog Brewery Launches Canned Cocktail Line: Just in time for summer, Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery has teamed up with New York’s Saranac Brewery and Boston’s Harpoon Brewery to create a line of premium canned cocktails—under a partnership dubbed Right Coast Spirits. The first release, Vodka Whips, are made with vodka, fruit, and “a fresh whipped finish.” Inspired by Maryland’s beloved Orange Crush, Vodka Whips have started to hit shelves in four flavors: orange, wild berry, watermelon, and pineapple.

“Each of our breweries are constantly finding ways to push the envelope when it comes to creativity, flavor, and ABVs, so we knew our first distilled spirits venture had to reflect those passions,” said Flying Dog’s chief marketing officer Ben Savage, in a press release. “Our teams of brewers worked tirelessly to create really incredible flavor profiles that almost make you forget you’re drinking a 7.5 percent ABV canned cocktail.”

Vodka Whips will initially be available across 15 states on the East Coast where liquor products are sold. Orange and mixed berry will be available in four-packs of 12-oz. cans, and all four flavors will also be included in an eight-can variety pack. 

“Not only has our partnership been beneficial for product development, but also for distribution,” said Harpoon CEO and co-founder Dan Kenary, in a press release. “We have the ability to spread the availability of the product into each of our markets. With the ready-to-drink category exploding, we are excited to launch our canned cocktail as quickly as possible.”

Two More Vendors Announced for Lexington Market: The vendor list for the historic market’s new building, expected to open this fall, continues to grow. Last week, Lexington announced that ​​Lumbini and Sunnyside Café will join the lineup of previously announced concepts. Longstanding Napelese fusion eatery Lumbini will open its second location at the market, serving up its signature masalas, samosas, naan, lumbini, paneer, and mango lassi. Meanwhile, Sunnyside Cafe will bring a brunch-style menu of fun items like Cap ‘n Crunch berry French toast and snickerdoodle pancakes, plus egg sandwiches, seafood stuffed omelets, fried chicken, and crabby fries.

“Both of us have childhood memories of coming to Lexington Market,” said Kristian Knight-Miller, who co-owns Sunnyside Café with her husband, Charles, in a press release. “Charles and I were both born and raised in Baltimore City, and our mission is to give our fellow Baltimoreans and anyone visiting the market the best brunch experience they’ve ever had while celebrating life and family through our recipes…When an electrical fire wiped out our entire business on Monument Street last September, we still didn’t quit. We are Baltimore strong. Together, as part of this amazing, tenacious community, we will thrive and our dreams will live.”


Waffie: This Hampden sweet shop announced on Facebook that its last day of service will be July 31. Located on The Avenue, Waffie specializes in made-to-order waffle sundaes and other Liege-style waffle-and-ice-cream creations. In 2019, Yelp named it No. 97 on its list of Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States. 

“Our lease is coming to an end, so we made the hard decision to close our physical location,” Waffie wrote on Facebook, alluding to the possibility that the business might continue on in a different capacity. “When we created Waffie back in 2017, we didn’t expect to be loved by so many. We’ve made so many lifelong friends, memories, and shared so many laughs together. We’ll miss you so much.”