South Baltimore Business Roundup

| January 9, 2017 | 2 Comments

Rachel Opens on Fort Avenue

Rachel New American Cuisine opened at 554 E. Fort Ave. in Riverside at the former home of Breadbangers, Tuscan Fresh, Ullswater, Sly Fox Pub, and Soigné. Owner Barry Fleischmann, who has spent several decades in the catering industry, completed an extensive, mostly cosmetic renovation of the interior and exterior. The restaurant’s first floor includes a bar and 65-person dining room. There is also an additional second floor dining room which will be used for private parties.

The menu features many locally-sourced items as part of its small plate, sandwich, dinner salad, dinner plate, and dessert offerings. Fleischmann is a fan of smoking meats and said they will be used in many of the dishes. Rachel’s sandwiches will include a house-smoked turkey, a smoked pork loin, a Baltimore take on a Cubano, and Fleischmann’s specialty meatloaf with blueberry ketchup and roasted onion relish on Challah bread which he described as “the best around.”

Small plates include a meat and cheese platter, shrimp fritters, and smoked meats. Dinner plates include roasted cornish hen, roasted chicken, grilled duck breast, crab cakes, rockfish, beef medallions, and eggplant. Rachel’s will also offer a chopped salad and smoked salmon salad.



New Stairs at McHenry Row

A new set of stairs has been constructed connecting McHenry Row to Key Hwy. near the intersection of McComas St. This stairwell increases the accessibility between McHenry Row and Cruise Maryland terminal at the Port of Baltimore.

28 Walker, developer of McHenry Row, is also in planning for a new Marriott Hotel at the complex which is expected to attract cruise passengers.


Definition Salon Opens in Federal Hill 

Definition Salon & Blow Dry Bar opened at 1001 Light St. at the former home of the Law Offices of Fisher & Kaplan. Definition performed a renovation of the space and opened last month. Its hair services include blowouts, cuts, and color, as well as makeup services.

Renovations Begin at Harborplace

Renovations have begun on the Pratt Street Pavilion at Harbor Place. Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation purchased the Harborplace at the Inner Harbor in 2013 and laid out renovation plans in late 2015. The exterior will have less awning and greenhouse structures. The new design includes a blackened steel frame, timbered wood, and a terra cotta or metal panel system.

On the interior, the Pratt Street Pavilion will undergo the most dramatic changes. The building will be turned “inside out” by eliminating the mall-style layout. First floor tenants would go all the way through from the street to the harbor and be accessible from either side.

The layout for the upstairs includes restaurant spaces on each side for Pizzeria Uno and Tir Na Nog, but the large interior space in between would become The Market at Harborplace. Popular urban markets around the country were used as inspiration. With large windows on The Market, Ashkenazy said the activity that will be seen facing Pratt St. The Market will also have large outdoor dining decks on the harbor side.

Work on the Light St. Pavilion will has not yet begun. This pavilion will see less changes to the interior.

From the Baltimore Business Journal:

During the renovation of the Pratt Street pavilion, the main restaurants inside will remain open, including Uno Pizzeria and Grill, the Cheesecake Factory and M&S Grill.

Other tenants, such as the candy store It’s Sugar and The Sport Shop, have temporarily moved over to the Pratt Street Pavilion.

Renderings courtesy of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation



Sagamore Rye New Release

Port Covington’s Sagamore Spirit now offers Cask Strength Rye Whiskey along with its 83-proof rye. From a press release:

Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Rye Whiskey is an American straight rye whiskey with a unique mash bill and proofing process. Sagamore Spirit ages two different rye mash bills – a high rye and a low rye – and then blends them to make their proprietary recipe. Each barrel ages to a slightly different proof, which means every bottle will have a unique proof, close to 111 or 112. A ladle of Sagamore Farm spring-fed water is added for a touch of smoothness. Sagamore drives this water 22 miles from the limestone spring at Sagamore Farm to their bottling facility at City Garage in Port Covington. 100 percent of both Sagamore’s 83-proof rye and Cask Strength Rye uses this distinct water.

The Cask Strength Rye Whiskey is aged just under four years and costs $73.99 for the 750 mL bottle.

Photo courtesy of Sagamore Spirit


New Barber Shop in Locust Point 

A new barber shop opened at a previously-vacant retail space at 1400 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point.

Workbench Partners with Maryland Public Libraries 

Port Covington’s Workbench partnered with Maryland Public Libraries to launch an online makerspace for libraries throughout the state. From a press release:

“The role of libraries has changed. They are no longer solely facilities for lending and borrowing books,” said Liz Sundermann-Zinger, project lead on behalf of Maryland libraries. “They are dynamic spaces where the community can connect, engage, learn and teach using technologies that build excitement and expand opportunities. Our partnership with Workbench will allow us to engage even more people in this work by offering an online community for people who like to create, while building a statewide foundation of technology literacy.”

The Maryland Libraries maker space provides access to activities and lessons, and lets users discuss and share projects and upload their own ideas. Combined with the libraries’ growing collections of maker technology and tools, this online maker space will build mastery and foster creativity and innovation for beginners and experts. It will also serve as a hub for educators seeking innovative technology curricula.

The partnership is part of Workbench’s ongoing work to connect students, educators, makers and edtech companies.  Workbench provides access to hands-on, project-based learning that turns students into makers and helps educators teach with anything.

“Libraries are quickly becoming ground zero for innovation,” said Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench. “Our platform expands opportunities for making and project-based learning and we are thrilled our first library maker space is from our home state of Maryland.”

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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.