Gypsy’s Grilled Cheese Pub Opens in Federal Hill

| May 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Since retiring after 20 years and one day with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), Rick Willard has been quite the entrepreneur. In 2011 toward the end of his tenure with the BPD, where he was a detective sergeant with the Southern District, Willard started the GrrChe food truck, one of Baltimore’s first food trucks which specialized in grilled cheese. GrrChe won City Paper’s best food truck award in 2012 and Baltimore Magazine’s best food truck award in 2014.

Willard later sold the truck and along with business partner Kevin Hoff, another former BPD officer with the Southern District, started Gypsy Vape in 2014. Specializing in electronic cigarettes, Gypsy Vape has two locations in Catonsville and Odenton. Willard and Hoff discovered an available space at 1400 Key Hwy. in Federal Hill while looking for a third location. Both were familiar with the property when it was a former “cop bar” called Wrodens. The space was more recently the former home of The Sushi Place and Feisty Goat Pub.

While they initially eyed the space for a pub where they could serve a menu similar to that of Willard’s former food truck, as well as a store for selling vape supplies, they decided that having an area for selling wines, craft beers and cheeses would be a better fit for the space after speaking with many members of the surrounding communities.

Gypsy’s Grilled Cheese Pub is now open from 10am-12am on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and 10am-1am Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gypsy’s serves grilled cheese sandwiches on Texas toast, including their lobster mac and cheese and jumbo lump crab cake mac and cheese, as well as burgers, salads, soups and more. Behind the bar, Gypsy’s has seven microbrews on tap as well a selection of wines and liquor.


Photo courtesy of Gypsy’s Facebook Page

Gypsy’s is currently constructing the area for to-go wines, cheeses and beers, which should be open in the next two to three weeks. This area will have its own check out section.

Gypsy’s has a capacity of 65 as well as an outdoor seating area facing Key Hwy. Willard and Hoff expect to have about four to six people working at the pub at a time.

Willard told that they are excited to be open and to be on a strip that is attracting a lot of real estate investment.

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.