Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Neo Pizza; The Other One Brewing; Ekiben’s Little Jumbo Series

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Neo Pizza + Taphouse: The Annapolis-founded Neo Pizza + Taphouse—known for its artisan pizzas, shareables, craft beer, and cocktails—has opened another shop in Baltimore area, making that four Maryland locations total. Joining outposts in Annapolis, Columbia, and inside Mount Vernon Marketplace, Neo Pizza + Taphouse opened its doors in Owings Mills today near the Stevenson University campus on Owings Mills Boulevard. The new restaurant features a self-serve beer wall, where guests can use an electronic card, which only charges them for what they drink, to track their poured ounces. “I’m excited to grow in our home state and can’t wait to introduce Neo Pizza to the Owings Mills community,” said owner Leho Poldmae in a press release. “We’re in the perfect location next to Stevenson University, and we’ve hired a great team to open this location.”

Tia’s Italian Ice: Hampden recently welcomed a new purveyor of summer treats. Tia’s Italian Ice has made its debut on The Avenue (between Chestnut and Elm avenues), serving Philly-style Italian ice and a host of other delectables like milkshakes, soft serve ice cream, pizza pretzels, hot dogs, Jamaican beef patties, and funnel cakes. The non-dairy-based Italian ice comes in more than 25 flavors such as mango, strawberry lemonade, lemon, and a colorful rainbow flavor that’s sure to please customers of all ages.


The Other One Brewing Co.: Planning a summer getaway to Ocean City? A new microbrewery will open mid-summer on the first floor of a new development on 24th Street. The Other One Brewing Co. comes from the Taustin Group in collaboration with Nathan and Gina Todd, with Nathan—formerly of Backshore Brewing Co.—serving as head brewer. The microbrewery and taproom plans to have 30 seats inside, as well as outdoor seating in a courtyard shared by another Taustin eatery, BLU Crabhouse. Last week, The Other One revealed the first IPA that it will be brewing, with a Star Wars-inspired name: Return of the Brew Guy.


Old Bay Teams Up with Goldfish for Limited-Edition Snack: Did someone say “snack of the summer?” Yes, you can now snack on Old Bay-seasoned Goldfish, McCormick & Company announced this week. This limited-time flavor is now available wherever Goldfish are sold while supplies last. According to a press release, the two companies found that fans of the 18-herbs-and-spices blend were already enjoying the combo. So why not join forces and make the pairing official?

“We know our passionate fans often sprinkle Old Bay on their favorite recipes and snacks, including Goldfish crackers,” said Jill Pratt, chief marketing officer for McCormick & Company, in a press release. “With each handful, OLD BAY Seasoned Goldfish provides our most loyal fans with another fun, bold way to experience our popular spice blend.”


5/1-5/31: National Salad Month Activities from TasteWise Kids
TasteWise Kids has some fun activities planned throughout May to honor National Salad Month. The Baltimore nonprofit, which teaches food literacy skills and empowers kids to make informed, healthy food choices, has planned restaurant specials, virtual cooking classes, a scavenger hunt, an event at the Maryland Science Center, and more. “Our goal during May is to raise enough money to provide Baltimore kids and their families with 100 salad kits,” said TasteWise Kids executive director Wendy Jeffries in a press release. Designated salads offered at Atwater’s locations, Gertrude’s inside the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Coffee Coffee in Bel Air will allocate one dollar from each sold to TasteWise Kids. See the nonprofit’s website for more details.

5/14: Green Street Academy Fundraiser at STEM Farm + Kitchen
Popular plant-based R. House stall STEM Farm + Kitchen will host a fundraiser for Green Street Academy on Saturday, May 14, from 2-4 p.m. The event will take the form of a restaurant takeover, with students from the sustainability-focused charter school apprenticing at STEM. Proceeds will support the school’s agriculture program, which built a hydroponic greenhouse on campus during the pandemic. The school hopes to scale production of the greenhouse to serve STEM and sister-spot Molina Brick Oven Pizza, also located inside R. House.

5/28: Ekiben’s First “Little Jumbo” Dinner
This month, Ekiben will launch its Little Jumbo event series, which invites guest chefs to take the reins of the Fells Point location for one night. The name Little Jumbo is a nod to Jumbo Seafood, owned by Ekiben co-founder Steve Chu’s father. The dinners are meant to pay homage to a certain era of Ekiben’s development.

“Way back in the early days of Ekiben, Papa Chu used to graciously let Ephrem, Nikhil, and Steve use his restaurant, Jumbo Seafood, as a place to develop what eventually became the Ekiben staples you know (and love?) today,” Ekiben wrote on Instagram. “Those days were special. After hours, Jumbo Seafood would fill with friends and family, kicking back and workshopping new ideas over bomb-ass dinners and drinks…late into the night.”

The dinners will be held the last Saturday of every month. For the May 28 edition, from 9 p.m. to midnight, James Beard Award semifinalist Danny Lee—of D.C. restaurants CHIKO, Anju, and Mandu—will cook alongside Lucas Sin of New York eateries Junzi Kitchen and Nice Day. Menus will drop closer to the event.

FYI: Some unfortunate news for Baltimore’s church brewery: Ministry of Brewing confirmed this week that its popular Instagram account with more than 12,000 followers has been hacked. The brewery wants patrons to know that they should disregard messages from @ministryofbrewing. “Last weekend, the Ministry of Brewing Instagram account fell victim to hackers, and the sad result is we have lost touch with you,” the brewery wrote on Facebook. “Despite our best efforts, this account remains out of our hands.”

Ministry of Brewing says they’ll continue to try and regain control of the original account, but in the meantime, fans of the brewery should only follow @theministryofbrewing on Instagram. “We apologize for this, but we vow to make it up to you,” the brewery continued in its Facebook post. “Our social media accounts exist only for us to share our passion for craft beer and to connect with our amazing community.”