South Baltimore Business Roundup

| March 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

Grano Pasta Bar Opens

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.

Watch Grano’s feature on DDD:

Mother’s North Opens

Mother’s opened its third location, this time in Timonium. The new location will be called Mother’s North Grille and will take the place of a former Applebee’s at 2430 Broad Ave.

The Mother’s team is still working on a location in Howard County. It also opened Mother’s Peninsula Grille in Arnold in 2012 and last year renovated its original Federal Hill location.

Planit Adds Sheetz

Planit, a communications, marketing and interactive agency that is currently building a new office at 1400 Key Hwy. in Federal Hill, has added a popular gas station to its list of clients. Although Baltimore doesn’t have a Sheetz, Planit will now handle its public relations.

Sheetz, which is based in Altoona, PA, has more than 500 stores and 17,000 employees.

Large Federal Hill Property on the Market

717 Light St., a 9,075 sq. ft. building near the Key Hwy. and Light St. intersection, has hit the market at $2.4 million. The building was once the home of Cook’s Table.

From a Baltimore Business Journal article:

Broker David Paulson said the building could accommodate four residential units, one on each floor

There are currently offices located in the building, Paulson said, with an artist’s studio space on the ground floor.

Prior plans to expand the building’s space into a portion of a six-car parking pad located adjacent to the site on Key Highway close to the Maryland Science Center had been approved by the city, but the plans stalled amid the Great Recession, Paulson said.

Kevin Plank Partnering with Baltimore Water Taxi?

Baltimore Business Journal is reporting that Kevin Plank’s Plank Industries is in talks with the Baltimore Water Taxi about a partnership. From the article:

The CEO of Plank Industries said Thursday the firm is in active conversations with the Baltimore Water Taxi, led by CEO Michael McDaniel.

“We want to play a part in helping to connect the city, and water is one of many transportation methods we are working on,” Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, said in an emailed statement.

“Conversations about the nature, scope and timing of the potential partnership are ongoing and it would be premature to comment further,” he said.

Plank’s Sagamore Development has proposed three water taxi stops in its Port Covington Master Plan. Under Armour has also contributed funding for a free water taxi route that connects Tide Point in Locust Point to Fells Point.

Sotheby’s Opens Office

Monument Sotheby’s International Realty opened a new office in Federal Hill at 801 Key Hwy. at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Federal Hill.

Tom Ward Passes Away

Thomas H. Ward, a board member of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in Hollins Market and a former Board of Liquor License Commissioners Chairmen, Baltimore City Circuit Judge, and Baltimore City Councilman, passed away at the age of 89. Ward’s Baltimore career was profiled in The Baltimore Sun.

Potential Expansion for Convention Center

City leaders are hoping for a $600-million expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center. From CBS Baltimore:

“It’s very important that the state buys into that vision because it means so much to the city and economy,” said Mike Evitts, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

State officials will ask Governor Larry Hogan for a $3 million study to start and explore a $600 million expansion. That would double the center’s floor space and add a new hotel.

“If we’re successful with our goals, then we would produce more jobs and business opportunities,” said Baltimore Convention Center Executive Director Peggy Diakis.

The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper:

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 and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.