Food & Drink

Open & Shut: Local Spots Support Ukraine; Griffith’s Under New Ownership; Vegan Week Returns

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Local Bars and Restaurants Support Ukraine: New Baltimore purveyor Two Crabs Bakery will be churning out hamantaschen—three-cornered, fruit-filled pastries traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim—in support of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border escaping violence. Varieties include poppy almond, walnut, and raspberry apricot. The bakery will be donating $1 from each cookie sold to Polish Humanitarian Action and to World Central Kitchen. You can preorder now for pickup or delivery on Saturday, March 5. Two Crabs will also open preorders soon for hamantaschen next Saturday, March 12. Follow their Instagram page for updates.

At Perennial in Towson, Ukranian-born server Liliya Martynyuk—who still has family living there—has been collecting donations for relief organizations. If you are interested in supporting the effort, Martynyuk is sending non-perishable food, clothes, shoes, blankets, bedding, sleeping bags, tents, and first aid kits, as well as financial donations. She can be contacted at [email protected].

In addition, a statement released by Fells Point Main Street president Ginny Lawhorn—the owner of Friends and Family who has long been a champion for the local hospitality industry—earlier this week announced that Max’s Taphouse is working with Maryland-based distributor Interbalt Fine Wine & Spirits to make Ukrainian alcohol and beer products easily available to Baltimore City liquor license holders. And bar goers can do their part, too. Max’s, along with Fells Point neighbor Kooper’s, will be leading the charge by donating 100 percent of the net profits from their Ukrainian bottle sales to World Central Kitchen’s Chefs for Ukraine program—which is currently on the ground feeding refugees. The Fells Point restaurants hope to create a ripple effect with other surrounding establishments. 

Black Acres Roastery Extends R. House Stay: The Remington food hall has found its first business to participate in the R. House Residency—and it’s a familiar face. Black Acres Roastery, which has been operating at the R. House pop-up stall since mid-January, has taken over the former Ground & Griddled space for an additional six-month stay.  “Our time in the pop-up was a ton of fun, but it became clear that we needed to make a move…seven stalls down, to be exact!” the roastery wrote on Instagram. Patrons will be able to enjoy the artisan coffees, teas, locally sourced pastries, and breakfast sandwiches they’ve come to love, as well as an expanding food and beverage menu over the coming weeks and months. The expansion will also add a nitro cold brew on tap, plus seasonal draft lattes and new grab-and-go items. Black Acres’ full menu will be available starting March 4. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Griffith’s Tavern Under New Ownership: Next month, beloved Hampden watering hole Griffith’s Tavern will have new owners, according to the Baltimore Sun. The paper reports that longtime owner Rick Koehler—whose grandfather took over the bar in the 1950s from Griffith’s founder Buck Griffith—will retire and hand the keys over to Allison Crowley and Hannah Spangler. The duo don’t plan to change much when it comes to the historic bar, except the name. They tell the Sun that they plan to change the name to Melanie’s Griffith’s and hope to make the bar feel more welcome to “young restaurant workers and LGBTQ individuals.”

Vegan Ice Cream Line from Owings Mills Native Hits Sprouts: After Jenna Grossbart left her corporate career in her early twenties due to health problems, she found while on her road to recovery that she was missing her favorite treat: ice cream. The Owings Mills native was underwhelmed with the options already out there and found that some of the healthier ice cream brands often supplemented normal ingredients with harmful ones. After years of development, Grossbart, who is also a functional nutritionist, launched Holi Scoops in August 2021 in Los Angeles with business partner Camille Lasker.

The vegan ice cream line, available in three flavors, contains a unique adaptogen (certain herbs and mushrooms thought to have health benefits) in each flavor. For example, the Vanilla Being contains maca, a root that can help with hormone balance, mood, and energy. Other varieties are Double Chocolate Chipper infused with chaga (an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) and Conscious Coffee with lion’s mane (with benefits thought to be preventing anxiety, depression and diseases like Alzheimer’s). The plant-based ice cream will soon be available in select Sprouts stores across the country. It will hit Baltimore shelves on March 28.


Maillard Pastries: Hampden residents didn’t have to wait long for baked goods to return to the space at 3528 Chestnut Avenue after Full Circle Doughnuts closed last fall. This bakery from Charleston alum Caitlin Kiehl debuted in February, and after a brief hiatus last week caused by an unexpected electrical issue, Kiehl tells us she’s back up and running. Maillard will be open Saturday to Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Croissants are definitely the big draw,” Kiehl says. Expect such varieties as the classic butter, chocolate, ham and cheese, and morning buns (cinnamon sugar). Kiehl also typically offers an “everything” croissant, with cream cheese filling and everything bagel spice. But, alas, that notorious cream cheese shortage has hit Baltimore. “I’ve looked everywhere, and everyone is sold out,” Kiehl says. “So those won’t be on the menu this weekend.” But look out for that variety once a cream cheese supply is in. Patrons can also enjoy quiches, tartines, and java from Baltimore’s own Thread Coffee.


3/4-3/27: Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week
Started in 2017 by Baltimore restaurant owners Samantha Claassen of Golden West Café and Naijha Wright-Brown of The Land of Kush, Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week isn’t your typical weeklong dining promotion. For starters, the popular DMV-area event spans an entire month this go around. And it doesn’t provide the traditional prix-fixe menus. Instead, participating restaurants are encouraged to create a selection of affordable plant-based items to be offered throughout the month.

“We started it because we wanted a way to highlight all of the veg-friendly restaurants in our area,” said Claassen and Wright-Brown in a joint statement. “And it’s since grown to incorporate omni restaurants, who are now seeing that there’s a huge demand for plant-based dishes on their menu. The more we can influence restaurants to have a good variety of vegan dishes, beyond just a salad, the better.”

Along with Golden West Café and The Land of Kush, participating Baltimore restaurants include Miss Shirley’s Café, Sporty Dog Creations, Harmony Bakery, Molina Pizza, Stem Farm + Kitchen, Blondie’s Doughnuts, THB Bagelry + Deli, and Suspended Brewing Co. See the full (and expanding) list here.

3/5: Women’s History Month Celebration at Checkerspot Brewing
Celebrate women in the beer industry at Checkerspot Brewing, co-owned by brewer Judy Neff, this Saturday from 1-4 p.m., where you can hear two talks from beer historian Maureen O’Prey. One will cover the history of women in brewing (1:30 p.m.) while the other will discuss the beers that Checkerspot has recreated from 200-year-old recipes written by Mary Eaton (2:30 p.m.) The event will also offer three small-batch beers and a lunch buffet. General admission is $40. VIP is $70 and includes early entry and a limited 12-oz. bottle of Pernicious Mary—a 12.8 percent ABV ale brewed and barreled in March 2020, but made from a recipe dating back to 1822. A portion of proceeds will benefit local nonprofit The Well. Find tickets here.