Baltimore Retail Roundup

| March 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

CorCycle Opening Downtown

Downtown is gaining a spin studio as CorCycle is opening at 115 N. Charles St. in a building now called The Vault. The historical property was formerly the home of Central Savings Bank and is currently being converted to 24 apartments and 12,000 sq. ft. of retail. Construction is currently underway at CorCycle and it is expected to open this Spring.

Blaze Pizza Opening Downtown

Blaze Pizza will soon be opening downtown at 600 E. Pratt St. in the former 2,900 sq. ft. home of Famous Footwear. From an article in The Baltimore Sun:

Blaze Pizza was founded in 2012 in Irvine, Calif., by Elise and Rick Wetzel, who also co-founded Wetzel’s Pretzels. The restaurant serves custom 11-inch pizzas cooked to order in minutes in open-flame ovens.

The restaurant chain has 105 locations in 25 states and Canada, and is backed by high-profile investors, including NBA star LeBron James, Maria Shriver and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

Pop Tacos Getting a Storefront

Mexican/Korean-fusion restaurant Pop Tacos will relocate from its space in Cross Street Market in Federal Hill to a storefront at 17 E. Cross St. The property was formerly an M&T Bank before it was renovated and subdivided into two spaces. Pop Tacos will take over the one space formerly occupied by Stuggy’s, and most recently Hot Spot, and will neighbor The Local Fry, which occupies the second space. Pop Tacos will be closing in Cross Street Market on March 26th and hopes to reopen in its new 1,000 sq. ft. space by the June timeframe.

Pop Tacos will be adding Korean dishes to its permanent menu and hopes to increase its catering capacity with its large new kitchen.

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Ruby 8 Opening at McHenry Row 

McHenry Row in Locust Point is gaining a new restaurant as Ruby 8 Noodle and Sushi Bar signed a lease with 28 Walker Development for the 4,200 sq. ft. restaurant space vacated by Umi Sake at 1702 Whetstone Way.

With an expected early-May opening, this will be the second Baltimore City-area location for owners Chil and Joyce Chong, who have operated their Asian-Sushi restaurant at the Horseshoe Casino since summer 2014. Ruby 8 Noodle and Sushi Bar is expected to employ approximately 40 full and part-time employees.

According to General Manager Lisa Chung, the McHenry Row restaurant will be configured as a “more upscale, modern, and contemporary version” of the Horseshoe Casino with a greater emphasis placed on sushi, Asian cocktails, and eighteen taps featuring local and imported beers. In addition, Ruby 8 will be adding a raw bar serving fresh oysters, clams, and crab claws. The restaurant will include nearly 130 seats.

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Chaps Pit Beef Opening a Second Location 

Popular East Baltimore BBQ restaurant Chaps Pit Beef, owned by Bob and Donna Creager, is opening a second location with hopes of many more in the future. Chaps will be taking over a 2,400 sq. ft. Gino’s in Aberdeen at 1013 Beards Hill Rd.

Chaps recently signed a deal with MBB Management to help franchise its restaurant. From an article in Baltimore Business Journal, quoting Mark Ludes of MBB:

Ludes said opening the second location was part of the franchising process. Although the Aberdeen location is owned by the Creagers, it will act as an example of what a franchisee could hope to open, he said.

“A potential franchisee could come in and know exactly what their store would look like in the Harford County/Baltimore area,” said Ludes.

Ludes said Chaps has “several groups” interested in opening a franchise, but are waiting on the Aberdeen location to open first, so they can see hands-on what to expect.


Maria’s of Hampden Opening

The former Angelo’s at 3600 Keswick Rd. in Hampden, which became 36th Avenue Pizza in 2014, will become Maria’s of Hampden according to a banner on the property. Angelo’s relocated to 3838 Roland Ave. and is now named Angelo’s Pie in the Sky.

The Beehive Salon Coming to Federal Hill 

Four Seasons Hair Salon will be closing at 1039 S. Charles St. as a result of the sale of the building, but stylist Kimberly Manchester will be opening her own shop, The Beehive Salon, nearby. Manchester is hoping to open the new salon in April at a vacant storefront at 1316 Light St. in Federal Hill.

Manchester has been working and living in the area for 15 years and will be bringing stylist Brenda Govea of Four Seasons along with her to The Beehive Salon. Manchester found the new space through the help of one of her clients who is a realtor. Manchester is working on a mostly cosmetic renovation of the space while also working on obtaining the permits needed to set up the new business. Manchester described the aesthetic of the new shop as comfortable and “somewhere in between mom-and-pop and upscale.”

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Lock N’ Key Escape Room Coming to Federal Hill 

The popular escape room experience has hit Federal Hill as Lock N’ Key Escape Room is opening at 1118-B Light St. It will open in a 2,400 sq. ft. space that was formerly an office for Keller Williams.

The owners described the Lock N’ Key experience as live, interactive, and incredibly focused on team building. Teams of four to eight people will go into a room and have to figure out puzzles so they can escape. Themes will include a zombie run, CIA secret agent, and bank heist.

Lock N’ Key will have three escape rooms that are approximately 400 sq. ft. each. Two rooms can also be used in conjunction for a head-to-head team competition.

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Old Bank Barbers Opening in Remington

Growing Hampden barbershop Old Bank Barbers is opening a second location in Remington called Old Market Barbers in a vacant storefront at 201 W. Lorraine Ave.

Grano Pasta Bar Opens in Federal Hill 

Federal Hill now has its second new restaurant that was previously featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD) as Grano Pasta Bar has opened at 1043 S. Charles St. at the former home of Gyro Express. The show also featured recently-opened Blue Moon Café at its original Fells Point location.

Chef and co-owner Gino Troia’s Grano Pasta Bar is a casual, open kitchen-style pasta restaurant where diners select the sauce and pasta of their choosing. Grano’s original location is on The Avenue in Hampden and the owners also own the more formal Grano Emporio in Hampden.

President St. Space Available 

The former home of Maryland Messenger at 409 S. Spring St., located in Jonestown/Little Italy across the street from Power Plant Live and visible form President St., is for sale. The property is 17,000 sq. ft. and listed for $1.3 million.

Maryland Messenger relocated to 3922 Vero Rd. in Halethorpe.


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Creator and owner of Incept Multimedia, the company behind The BMore Stoop and Resident of South Baltimore and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.