A Recap of All the Federal Hill Business Changes From the Last Year

| February 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

It’s been a busy past year for Federal Hill business news. Below is a recap of every change that has happened since the beginning of 2017.

Note: While the boundaries of “Federal Hill” vary slightly among different groups and associations, for this recap SouthBMore.com will use the boundaries of to the north at Key Hwy., to the south at Fort Ave., and to the west at Hanover St.

Several new businesses were added in the South Baltimore Neighborhood, which is just outside of the business district, since last year. These businesses include Minnow, Baltimore Soup Company, Hair of the Dog Pub + Grub, and a new Italian concept which will take over the former Federal Hill Carryout.

The Stadium Square development, which is underway in Sharp-Leadenhall and the South Baltimore Neighborhood, will add 75,000 sq. ft. of retail to the area.

Checkerspot Brewing Company will also open a 10,000 sq. ft. brewery and taproom this year adjacent to the South Baltimore Neighborhood and M&T Bank Stadium.

Additional retail, including a grocery store, will also be included in a new redevelopment on the 1800 and 1900 blocks of S. Hanover St. 

Stay up to date on all business and retail news in the South Baltimore Peninsula by following Locust Point news here, Riverside news here, South Baltimore Neighborhood news hereSharp-Leadenhall news here, and Port Covington news here.

Click on each business link for more coverage of the changes

Closed and Replaced

Mark Cottman Gallery: Mark Cottman closed his art gallery at 1014 S. Charles St. in June 2017 after seven years. Cottman told WJZ that he will produce art at his home and continue to participate in art shows, and that he is looking to get into standup comedy. The 1,040 sq. ft. space is now the home of CJKollective.

Otto Turkish Cuisine: Otto opened in Spring 2017 1043 S. Charles St. and closed in Fall 2017. Otto took over for Grano Pasta Bar, which closed in January 2017 and still has a location in Hampden. The space is now the home of Ruben’s.

Felici Cafe: Felici Cafe closed in October 2017 at 1035 Light St. but still runs a catering business. Felici’s former space will become the new home of Diablo Doughnuts, which will relocate from a shared space in Fells Point.

Nationwide: Nationwide Insurance closed its office at 1057 S. Charles St. The space is now the home of Echoes Vintage.

Wok & Roll: Wok & Roll closed at 1025 Light St in late 2017. Its former 1,000 sq. ft. space will become the new home of Urban Deli.

That’s The Point Needlecrafts: That’s The Point Needlecrafts closed in March at 1005 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Owner Gayle McClure and her family are relocating out of state to be closer to family.

Thistle Butter Collective: Thistle Butter Collective opened its doors at a 500 sq. ft. space at 1005 S. Charles St. in October 2017 but later closed in January 2018. Thistle Butter Collective still has an online boutique and will host pop-ups as it searches for a new home. The space briefly had a ‘for rent’ sign but it has since been removed and renovations are currently underway. It was previously That’s The Point Needlecrafts which closed in March of 2017.

BB&T: BB&T closed its location at 215 Key Highway in 2017. Construction is currently underway for a new business that has not yet been announced in BB&T’s former space.

Closed and Currently Vacant 

The Bridal Suite: The Bridal Suite has closed its boutique at 1126 S. Charles St., however it still offers bridal services and its Farrah Covington Bridal line, according to its website. Its former retail space and building is currently for sale.

Fat Larry’s: Fat Larry’s closed in October 2017 at 1026 S. Charles St. due to personal health issues for owner Larry Davidov, who also noted that business never came back to its previous levels after the Baltimore unrest in 2015. Fat Larry’s was able to sell its equipment and its six-day tavern liquor license is in the process of being transferred to the new location of Shoyou Sushi. Fat Larry’s former space is currently for lease. The landlord informed SouthBMore.com that they were in negotiations with a couple different restaurant concepts for the space that did not move forward.

WoodKnott: WoodKnott opened a custom furniture and housewares business at 912 S.Charles St. but left the space in the Fall 2017 and relocated to a studio in the area. The space currently has a ‘for lease’ sign in the window.

Millennium Plumbing: Millennium Plumbing has closed its office at 1055 S. Charles St. The company remains in business but no longer needs the Charles St. space, according to Federal Hill Main Street Executive Director Hillary Chester.

American Apparel: American Apparel closed at 1125 Light St. in April 2017. Its former space is currently available for lease. All American Apparel stores around the world were closed after the company was purchased in a bankruptcy sale by Gildan. The leasing agent at 1125 Light St. informed SouthBMore.com that negotiations have been underway for concepts at the space, but it is currently still available.

Closed – Cross Street Market

Mondawmin Chicken: Mondawmin Chicken closed its stall in June 2017 after 23 years at Cross Street Market. CVP told SouthBMore.com the closure was related to personal health issues with the owner. The stall is now the temporary home of Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls, which will eventually have a permanent stall at the market.

Tian’s Teriyaki: Tian’s Teriyaki closed its stall at Cross Street Market last year. The space is now the temporary home of Smoke, which will eventually have a permanent stall at the market.

Big Jim’s: Big Jim’s closed its Cross Street Market stall after 38 years of business. In a Facebook post Big Jim’s owner Anna Epsilantis said that Cross Street Market’s new development team Caves Valley Partners (CVP) and Big Jim’s “have mutually agreed to part ways.” Big Jim’s still owns a 7-day Beer/Wine license. That license can be transferred to a new location or sold to another business in Federal Hill or Baltimore City. The space remains empty as the market begins redevelopment.

Closed and Currently For Sale

Boiler Room: Boiler Room closed at 27 E. Cross St. over the summer and will be available for sale at a February 28th auction by Alex Cooper. It was open for about 18 months. Boiler Room was opened by the team at Bookmakers Cocktail Club which remains open.

Metropolitan: Metropolitan closed at 902 S. Charles St. at the end of 2017 after 13 years, saying in a Facebook post that “the last few years have been difficult for our business, our city and our neighborhood.” The two-story business is currently listed for sale.

For Sale, Still Open 

Regi’s American Bistro:  Regi’s is currently listed for sale for $600,000. Regi’s will remain open while the restaurant is for sale and owner Alan Morstein is searching for smaller restaurant opportunity. He is eyeing properties in North Baltimore.

Stalking Horse: Stalking Horse, along with its 7,386 sq. ft. building at 26-30 E. Cross St., will be offered at a Ten-X auction on March 19th. Stalking Horse remains open and will continue to stay open if a sale is not made. It has been open for 11 years. The auction has a minimum reserve of $700,000. The ownership team is looking to focus on its Ropewalk brand of restaurants that started in Federal Hill.

Photo from the listing


SoBotanical Apothecary + Aromatherapy: SoBotanical opened a new retail store at the long-vacant 48 E. Cross St. property in January 2017. Theresa Cangialosi, who has spent 30 years in aromatic and holistic health studies, closed a space at 14 E. West St. that was open by appointment only to open this new store. 48 E. Cross St. was completely renovated by Cangialosi and husband Greg Cangialosi.

Federal Hill Ace Hardware: Federal Hill Ace Hardware at 1214 Light St. expanded into the adjacent space at 1228 Light St. This space was formerly home of Warrior Emporium which closed in 2016 and relocated to Lansdowne. The expansion added about 3,500 to 4,000 sq. ft. to Ace making the store about 12,000 sq. ft. total. Work began in January 2017 and the expansion was completed in the spring.

Astrology Boutique: In April 2017, Astrology Boutique relocated from 1049 S. Charles St. to a larger space at 1033 S. Charles St., the former home of Buyer’s Edge which  closed its Federal Hill location in early 2017. The retail space at 1049 S. Charles St. has a ‘for rent’ sign on the front.

The Flower Shop: The Flower Shop relocated to a storefront at 1206 Ridgely St. in Pigtown/Carroll-Camden Industrial Area.

Shoyou Sushi: Shoyou Sushi is currently under construction on a move and an expansion from 1504 Light St. to a bigger space less than a block north at 1450 Light St. The new Shoyou will be more than twice the size of the current restaurant, increasing from about 700 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft. It will have a larger, brand new kitchen and the seating capacity will increase from 22 to about 43. The new Shoyou has applied to transfer the former Fat Larry’s six-day tavern liquor license. Shoyou remains open at 1504 Light St., where it has made its home since 2017. The new Shoyou is expected to open early this year.

Urban Deli: Urban Deli, which opened at 1448 Light St. in 2016, is relocating four blocks north to 1025 Light St. in Federal Hill. Urban Deli’s new 1,000 sq. ft. space is at the former home of Wok & Roll, which closed in 2017. Urban Deli owner Laura McCormack told SouthBMore.com that a larger space was needed for her growing catering business. The expanded Urban Deli will also have expanded hours, staying open until 8pm or 9pm each day. Urban Deli will reopen around March 1st after closing its former location at the end of 2017. Its former location is now home to Blooming Deli.


One Star Country Club: The former No Way Jose Cafe was rebranded in October 2017 as One Star Country Club. The team from Blue Agave bought No Way Jose Café, located at 38 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill, in February 2016 and spent much of 2017 brainstorming a new concept and completing renovations on the building. One Star “puts a twist on the country club culture, and provides a fun and interactive environment for guests to enjoy,” according to General Manager Don Messinese.

In Bloom: Liv2Eat closed for less than month at 1444 Light St. and came back as In Bloom under the same ownership of Cecilia Benalcazar and Kevin Perry. The rebrand included some renovations and updates to the menu.

The Charles: Mad River closed in May 2017 and reopened in October 2017 as The Charles. The original owners of Mad River – River Partners, LLC based in New York City – launched the bar and restaurant in 2004. David Yike and Andrew Wheeler joined on as operating partners in 2016. The 5,100 sq. ft. space underwent a complete renovation, and a new higher-end food and drink menu was added. Wheeler and Yike told SouthBMore.com that the goal is to have a more mature setting at The Charles. The Charles has 60-plus employees, more than double that of Mad River.


101 Deli Bar: 101 Deli Bar opened in September 2017 at the former 1,400 sq. ft. Forever Yogurt space at 1118 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Forever Yogurt closed in 2016. 101 Deli Bar will is operated by the team of Andrew Dunlap, Michael McDevitt, and Sean White who also own Banditos Bar & Kitchen and Wayward Smokehouse. 101 Deli Bar’s menu includes smash burgers, sandwiches, charcuterie, milkshakes, cocktails, local beers, and natural wines.

The Outpost American Tavern: The Outpost American Tavern opened in February 2017 at the former Porter’s Pub at 1032 Riverside Ave. Porter’s closed in 2014. The Outpost is owned by neighborhood resident Chris Frisone and Seung Cho, who previously worked at Cross Street Market. The team at The Outpost will be advised by the owners of Blue Agave and Don’t Know Tavern.

Crossbar Der Biergarten: Almost four years after its initial proposal, Crossbar Der Biergarten opened in March 2017 at 18 E. Cross St. Crossbar took the place of four former rowhomes that were once occupied by the bar Turner’s and Lanasa Produce, which relocated to Pigtown. All of the properties had been vacant for several years. Three of the four rowhomes were demolished and a new facade was built with bricks from the former buildings. Crossbar features a German-style indoor beer garden with a 36 ft.-high clear roof, wood tables that were used at Oktoberfest in Munich, and a ficus tree.

Echos Vintage: John Ward opened Echoes Vintage in an approximately 1,000 sq. ft. shop at 1057 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. The space was formerly an office for Nationwide Insurance which closed in 2017. Echoes Vintage sells men’s and women’s retro clothes and costumes that are at least 20 years old, including some items dating back the early 1900s.

CJKollective: CJKollective opened a new 1,040 sq. ft. women’s boutique at 1014 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill in October 2017. The space was previously home to the Mark Cottman Gallery, which closed in June. Co-owner Courtney Jackson, a United States Navy veteran, started the CJKollective mobile boutique (mobiletique) in October 2016. The Federal Hill space is the first permanent brick and mortar store for the women’s boutique.

Irregular Exposure Showroom & Fashion Academy: Irregular Exposure opened at 910 S. Charles St. in Summer 2017. The space has been home to several short-term businesses in recent years. Irregular Exposure is a women’s luxury brand by Jessica Williams.

Definition Salon & Blow Dry Bar: Definition Salon & Blow Dry Bar opened in January 2017 at 1001 Light St. at the former home of the Law Offices of Fisher & Kaplan. Definition’s hair services include blowouts, cuts, and color, as well as makeup services.

Light Street Vapor: Light Street Vapor opened on the second floor of 1001 Light St. in June 2017. The space was formerly part of the Law Offices of Fisher & Kaplan.

Ruben’s: After being gone for about four years, Ruben’s returned to the same storefront it left at 1043 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Ruben’s, which serves crepes and Mexican food, and sells its signature hot sauce, has made a name for itself at farmers’ markets in the area. The space was formerly the home of Otto Turkish Cuisine which closed in Fall 2017 and Grano Pasta Bar which closed in January 2017.

Berries by Quicha: LaQuicha Brown’s Berries by Quicha opened its second location at 920 Light St. in January 2017. The space is the former home of Hannah Nails Spa which closed in 2016. Berries by Quicha offers more than 17 flavors of chocolate-covered and gourmet strawberries.

Blooming Deli: In Bloom owners Cecilia Benalcazar and Kevin Perry opened Blooming Deli this week, right next door to In Bloom at 1448 Light St. in Federal Hill. The 800 sq. ft. space is the former home of Urban Deli, which is relocating to a bigger space at 1025 Light St. and will reopen around March 1st. Blooming Deli serves deli sandwiches, smoothies, bagels, soups, salads, and coffee.

DiPasquale’s: DiPasquale’s has been open for more than 100 years in Highlandtown and opened a 2,000 sq. ft. space at 500 HarborView Dr. in May 2017. It replaces Sorso Cafe which has been closed for a couple years. DiPasquale’s has a full deli counter; brick oven for pizzas; and a bakery with breads, cookies, and desserts.

Opened – Cross Street Market

Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls: Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls opened in December 2017 at the former home of Mondawmin Chicken. The stall offers large bowls of chicken soup where customers can choose their broth and noodles and 16-ounce yogurt bowls using homemade yogurt and chocolate milk yogurt. This is a temporary location for Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls as it will have a permanent location in the market after the redevelopment is complete. It also recently opened a location in Washington D.C.

Cookie Dough & Co.: Cookie Dough & Co. opened at Cross Street Market in December 2017. This is the second location for the edible cookie dough business. Its new stall is at the former home of Buttercream Dreams, which closed in 2016. This is a temporary location for Cookie Dough & Co. as it will have a permanent location in the market after the redevelopment is complete. Owners Patrick Exon and Dan Ju also own Pinch, a Chinese dumplings stall at Mount Vernon Marketplace.

Sundays: Sundays, a new doughnut concept from Dooby’s and Sugarvale owner Phil Han, opened in December 2017 at Cross Street Market. The new stall is at the former home of Hot Corner Lee’s, which closed several in 2014. Along with doughnuts, Sundays sells fried chicken sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, and salads. This is a temporary location for Sundays as it will have a permanent location in the market after the redevelopment is complete

Smoke: Smoke opened its new 250 sq. ft. BBQ stall in December 2017 at Cross Street Market. The stall is adjacent to Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood and at the former home of Tian’s Teriyaki. Smoke’s stall location is temporary as the market works through phased renovations, but Smoke will be a permanent part of the new Cross Street Market. At its final stall, there will be window, called “called Second-Hand Smoke,” taking late-night orders. Smoke will use the Cross Street Market’s upcoming market-wide liquor license in the future.

Coming Soon

Diablo Doughnuts: Diablo Doughnuts is relocating from 717 S. Broadway in Fell’s Point to 1035 Light St. in Federal Hill. Diablo Doughnuts, which previously shared a storefront with Hot Tomatoes, is moving to the former home of Felici Cafe, which closed in October. Diablo will sell doughnuts, doughnut sandwiches, and Zeke’s coffee. It also has a catering business.

Jody’s Joy: Jody’s Joy will be opening at some point in the near future at 1129 Light St. It takes the place of Posh Jewels and Real Divas are Large which left the space in 2016. According to the sign, Jody’s will offer acupuncture, physical therapy, and eco & bio-safe intimate health care products.

ZuZu’s Gourmet Donuts, Coffee, and Juice Bar: Federal Hill resident Hakim Zubar is opening ZuZu’s Gourmet Donuts, Coffee, and Juice Bar at 1136 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Zubar is currently completing a build-out of the storefront that was previously home to MetroPCS, which closed in 2016.

Pure Life Wellness: Medical cannabis (marijuana) dispensary Pure Life Wellness will open in the coming weeks at 35 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill. The 4,5000 sq. ft. building is located across the street from Cross Street Market and was the former home to tenants including a tanning salon, a yoga studio, and a campaign office for Senator Chris Van Hollen.

Coming Soon – Cross Street Market

Ceremony Coffee Roasters: A large coffee stall will open from the Annapolis-based business that also has a location next to Mount Vernon Marketplace.

Cucina Al Volo: The Washington D.C.-based business will sell pastas with locally-sourced ingredients.

Sarah Simington: Sarah Simington, owner of Federal Hill’s Blue Moon Too, will open a stall selling quirky home goods.

New Retail Spaces Coming 

1238 Light Street: Construction is underway on a new apartment building with a first floor retail space at the former Ole Federal Hill Liquors at 1238 Light St. Ole Federal Hill Liquors relocated to 1232 Light St. in 2014.

Rash Field: Redevelopment of Rash Field on the Federal Hill side of the Inner Harbor is expected to begin this fall. It will have an indoor and outdoor cafe space as part of the new pavilion overlooking the park.

Union Bros.: Developers Len Bush and John Roe are transforming the former Union Bros. Furniture and Plymouth Wallpaper property at 37 W. Cross St. into a 33,000 sq. ft. office and retail space. Work is expected to begin this year.

1007 South Charles – A redevelopment is currently underway the  former Shofer’s Clearance Center that will include 10 apartments and 3,300 sq. ft. of retail.

Wheelhouse: The development team of Alex Mandel, Jay Sapperstein, Mark Sapperstein, and Scott Slosson of 28 Walker are planning a new five-story apartment building, called Wheelhouse, with 5,500 sq. ft. of floor retail at 1100-1106 S. Charles St. The property includes a parking lot; a 4,022 sq. ft. of building, including a former auto body shop; and a rowhome with an apartment and a retail space. The site is currently getting prepped for demolition.

Rendering courtesy of 28 Walker 

This article has been updated. 

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, 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 Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.