Idle Hour: After taking an 18-month hiatus to repair structural damage, this beloved Riverside haunt reopened its bumper sticker-collaged doors earlier this week. With the help of two fundraising events and an Indiegogo campaign that received an outpouring of support from the community, the dimly-lit hangout is officially back up and running. The structural issues have been addressed, and regulars will be happy to hear that, beyond that, alterations haven’t been drastic. “We’re such a small bar,” co-owner Brendan Finnerty told us last January. “But, no matter what happens, we’ve created a community and I’m proud of that.” We’re excited for Idle Hour to pick up where it left off, with plenty of vintage vinyl and Chartreuse to go around.201 E. Fort Ave., 410-468-0357
BRD: The latest tenant to join the pack at R. House—Remington’s yet-to-open communal food hall—is this concept from former investment banker Alex Janian, who recently left the hedge fund world to explore his passion for comfort food. BRD, which stands for baked, roasted, and deep fried, will serve artisanal chicken sandwiches and wings with a focus on seasonal ingredients. In addition to the signature dishes, the menu will highlight house-made slaws, salads, and iced teas. BRD will join other local merchants BeBim, Arba, Urban Pastoral, Stall 11, and Ground & Griddled in the 50,000-square-foot space when it opens this fall. 301 W. 29th St., 443-347-3570
B-More Kitchen: Speaking of communal food halls, this in-the-works incubator is readying for a grand opening in mid-July. Set in a 28,000-square-foot former car dealership in Govans, B-More Kitchen will serve as a launch pad for budding food business to get their startups off the ground. The state-of-the-art commercial kitchen will provide more than 50 members with the space and equipment needed to mass produce their made-from-scratch goods. The first wave of makers to sign on includes farmers’ market favorites Bottoms up Bagels, Trisha’s Almond Toffee, and Wholesome Nibbles. 5604 York Road
La Folie Wine Bar & Steak Frites: The owners of Tavern on the Square recently brought on local restaurateur Bill Irvin, who previously owned Falafelicious in The Shops at Canton Crossing, to give the O’Donnell Square mainstay a makeover. Inspired by Irvin’s trips to Paris, the rebranded space will debut as French bistro concept La Folie Steak Frites on June 29. As its name suggests, Parisian steak—cooked sous-vide and finished on the grill with butter sauce, wine, and herbs—and frites will be the signature dish. Other offerings will include classic burgers, mussels, and a hand-picked wine list. 2903 O’Donnell St., 410-935-9463
Order & Chaos: Local marketing and communications agency Planit recently announced that its new 30,000-square-foot office space on Key Highway will feature an adjoining coffee shop. Slated to debut in August, Order & Chaos will be open to the public and serve gourmet coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and custom brews by Locust Point-based Pfefferkorn Coffee, alongside a variety of light fare. 1414 Key Highway
Rachel New American Cuisine: Chef Barry Fleischmann, who owns local catering company Scratch Mill Kitchen, is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in South Baltimore this fall. Situated in the former home of Breadbangers on Fort Avenue, the three-floor building will seat upwards of 100 guests and feature a menu of seafood and chicken dishes with Chesapeake influences. Named after his daughter, the new restaurant will be used as basecamp for Fleischmann’s catering business, and he will also host cooking classes in the kitchen. 554 E. Fort Ave.
Ocean City Brewing Company: Later this summer, Owings Mills locals will be able to get a little taste of the beach in their own backyard. Ocean City Brewing Company, known for its wide variety of Eastern Shore-brewed ales and IPAs, will soon open its third taphouse location in the former Playoffs Bar & Grill space on Reisterstown Road.The restaurant will feature upwards of 100 global craft beers to accompany its pub grub-filled menu that lists crab dip, mini quesadillas, eggrolls, flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches. 11706 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills
Fells Point Tavern: With influence from his children, Kali’s Court owner Vasilis Keramidas recently decided to transform his fine-dining den into a laid-back bar offering local beer, live music, and upscale bistro fare. Now in soft-opening mode, Fells Point Tavern will offer a live music lineup four nights per week and host special events in its greenery-filled outdoor courtyard. 1606 Thames St., 410-276-4700
NEWS & EVENTS:
Mulberry Madness: Throughout June, the Baltimore Orchard Project has been raising awareness about Charm City’s underutilized mulberry trees by hosting a number of harvests and information sessions around town, and this week, eight restaurants in Hampden are supporting the initiative by spotlighting mulberry recipes of their own. Throughout the weekend, stop by local businesses to find sweet treats like mulberry crepes from Ma Petite Shoe, mulberry ice cream from The Charmery, mulberry snowballs from Play Cafe, mulberry gin cocktails from Zissimos Bar, and mulberry pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies.
D. Watkins Collaborates with Taharka Bros.: Local author D. Watkins is teaming up with Taharka Bros. to create an ice cream flavor inspired by his recently released memoir, The Cook Up. The flavor—which will make its debut at Watkins’s book signing at Red Emma’s this Saturday, June 25—fuses apple carrot cake ice cream with pecans, cinnamon, and cream cheese frosting. Each ingredient is symbolic (the apples are a nod to knowledge and education, while the pecans represent planting seeds and self-discovery), and the flavor itself continues Taharka’s mission of using its ice cream as a mechanism for social change. Red Emma’s Bookstore, 30 W. North Ave., 7:30 p.m., 410-602-7585