In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Old Major; Amber; Roggenart

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Old Major: This new Pigtown hangout, cleverly named after the pig in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, is all about embracing the neighborhood. Aside from its name, the spot pays homage to the area with specialty cocktails made with bacon simple syrup, and eight varieties of local beer on tap. “Pigtown is really starting to rise,” says manager Jake Parry. “When Suspended Brewing opened here, it brought so many people to the area. That’s something that we want to continue.”    

The renovated, 75-seat bar—formerly the Cockeyed Cow Saloon—debuted earlier this month, and is planning an official grand opening party on Saturday, April 28. Bar-goers are invited to sip discounted drinks (everything from Union beers to a Baltimore iteration of a Manhattan made with Sagamore 83 and Baltimore Whiskey Company’s Szechuan Baltimaro) while challenging friends to games of Skee-Ball, pinball, and cornhole on the back patio. There will also be plenty of pub grub, including pizza, tots, wings, and, of course, bacon. 900 S. Carey St., 443-873-7363

Amber: Locust Point locals might find themselves wondering if this new destination is a coffee shop or a brewpub. The answer? It’s both. “Basically, you could spend all day here,” the eatery’s website quips. Amber opened its doors quietly on the bottom floor of the new Anthem House retail-and-residential property last week, offering Ceremony Coffee, 40 taps of craft beer, and a menu of sandwiches, salads, and entrees like curry salmon and pork loin chops. The space, designed by local firm SM+P Architects, boasts modern touches like custom wallpaper, black accents, and a barn door that connects the cafe to Anthem House’s luxe lobby. 900 E. Fort Ave., 443-835-4060

MOD Pizza: Joining the likes of Mi & Yu Noodle Bar and Moby Dick House of Kabob at The Rotunda in Hampden is this fast-casual pizza chain. The spot is officially cutting the ribbon on Thursday, April 19 at 12 p.m., and offering free pizza and salad to its first 52 customers to celebrate. All proceeds from opening day will be donated to national hunger-prevention organization Generosity Feeds. 711 W. 40th St. 667-217-1280


Cake by Jason: Local pastry personality Jason Hisley is putting the finishing touches on his long-awaited bakeshop in Timonium. Back in October, the former La Cakerie owner and executive chef announced that he would be parting ways with his former partners to start his own venture. And now, an official grand opening date for the new bakery has been set for Saturday, April 28. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m., and feature raffles, prizes, giveaways, and plenty of sweets to go around. Be on the lookout for Hisley’s signature cupcakes, donuts, pastries, and custom cakes. 47 E. Padonia Road, 443-504-7925

Roggenart: Last summer, Mt. Washington locals began making this Falls Road cafe a part of their daily routines—frequently stopping in for morning cappuccinos and authentic chocolate croissants. Soon, the European-inspired outpost will offer even more to love, as Roggenart is planning to open a second location at the Harbor Point development between Fells Point and Harbor East in the coming months. The cafe will serve all of its signature sandwiches, pastries, and fresh-baked breads in the new development, which also houses Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Honeygrow, and the recently debuted Plantbar. 5722 Falls Road, 443-835-4443


Brew House No. 16: New blood has taken over this brewpub inside an old fire station in Mt. Vernon. Baltimore Fishbowl reports that a new chef, as well as two fresh brewmasters, have come on board after original co-owner and head brewer Ian Hummel moved on from the restaurant last fall. To celebrate all of the changes, the staff is hosting a special relaunch party with all-day happy hour deals on Saturday, April 21. Aside from featuring a few new house beers—including a cream ale, pale ale, and IPA—the event will highlight reimagined bites like crab pretzels, wings, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, beer-battered onion rings, sliders, and tiramisu for dessert. 831 N. Calvert St. 410-659-4084


4/21: One-Year Anniversary of Sagamore Spirit Distillery
Raise a glass to this dynamic distillery, which premiered its 49,000-square-foot property in Port Covington exactly one year ago. Since then, the distillery has filled hundreds of rye whiskey barrels and welcomed more than 30,000 guests for tours. To celebrate its big birthday, Sagamore is throwing an outdoor bash this weekend featuring music, lawn games, food trucks, and ticketed tours of its production space. Soak up some sunshine and enjoy live tunes from Sly 45, as well as eats from Taco Bar Food Truck, Mexican on the Run, and Gypsy Queen Cafe. 301 E. Cromwell St., 11 a.m. -6:30 p.m., Free, 410-624-7488

4/22: Highlandtown Wine Festival
Back for its 14th year, this neighborhood event celebrates all things vino with tastings, food pairings, and even a homemade wine competition. Gather on the corner of Claremont and Conkling streets in Highlandtown to sip samples of homemade beer and wine, as well as releases from neighborhood hotspot Old Line Spirits. There will also be requisite eats from DiPasquale’s, an array of art vendors, and dancing in the street with a live soundtrack from Gavin Elder and The Lords of Hamilton. Claremont and Conkling streets, 1-6 p.m., $20-25.


HarborQue: After operating for a decade in South Baltimore, this neighborhood ’cue joint has shut its doors. Owner Kelley Stewart recently told The Sun that has she decided not to renew her lease at the South Charles Street space due to a decline in business. But this won’t be the last we see of the eatery’s brisket, cornbread, and signature “barbecue sundaes” topped with coleslaw and a pickle. Stewart plans to continue as a catering business and pop up at various festivals and food truck rallies in the area. There’s no word yet on what will become of the Federal Hill storefront. 1125 S. Charles St.