South Baltimore Business Roundup

| June 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

This South Baltimore Business Roundup is brought to you by VaporFi Southside:

VaporFi recently opened new vape shop at 853 E. Fort Ave. at Southside Marketplace in Riverside/Locust Point. VaporFi sells its own juices which are made in the USA at its factory in Naples, Florida. There are more than 30,000 flavor combinations that range from fruit to dessert to even tobacco flavors.

VaporFi manufactures its own devices , but also carries the industry’s most popular brands from Smok to Innokin.

VaporFi offers juices with different levels of nicotine for those looking to transition away from cigarettes or to phase nicotine out of their daily consumption. It also offers many flavors without nicotine for those who just like to enjoy all of the flavor combinations.

“With our bright, clean, fresh atmosphere and our one of a kind tasting bar, we are changing the vaping experience,” said VaporFi Southside owner Jennifer Piera.  “I like to think of it as an adult sno-cone shop where you get to interact, mix, and create your perfect flavor. Pop-in even if you don’t vape yet, I think you’ll be blown away by the concept!”

Vaporfi’s mission is change the way people smoke. Vaporfi doesn’t only cater to millennials, the latest trends, or any specific demographic. The goal at Vaporfi is to provide an environment where all customers can find products that meet their needs, from those just starting to vape to the enthusiast, and everyone in-between.

VaporFi offers its customers a bar, couches, coffee, and free wifi to enjoy their vaping experience.

VaporFi is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

Mention you saw this ad in and get 10% off your purchase. 

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

The Beauty Co. Salon Opens on Cross Street

The Beauty Co. Salon & Blowdry Boutique has opened at 46 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill. The Beauty Co. is described on its website as a “full service salon” that specializes in “all hair types and techniques.”

The 325 sq. ft. retail space at 46 E. Cross St. was the longtime home of Zelda Zen before it relocated to Fells Point in 2013. It has been mostly vacant since then, but has hosted some pop-up businesses. Gifted opened last December during the holiday shopping season in the space.

Minuteman Press Opens on Light Street 

Minuteman Press has opened at 1132 Light St. in Federal Hill. It is the former home of Contracting Resources Group (CRG) which moved to a 1700 sq. ft. space at 8 W. West St. in Federal Hill. Minuteman Press is a full-service printing franchise with locations all over the world. The Federal Hill location is owned by Barbara Morsberger who also owns locations in Crofton, Dundalk, and Canton.

O’Flynn’s Closes

O’Flynn’s Crab and Cask House has closed at 3432 S. Hanover St. in Brooklyn. The restaurant was opened by Liam Flynn in 2016 and replaced long-time Brooklyn-staple O’Brady’s Crab House. From The Baltimore Sun:

Flynn said business was tough at the tavern — “the first year was just terrible” — but it started to turn around during the last six months. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to offset the cost of rent, Flynn said.

“We’re closing because we really just couldn’t generate enough rent for what the landlord was asking,” Flynn said.

Also from the article:

It’s unclear what’s next for Flynn. He said he may pursue a smaller version of the crab and cask house in Old Goucher, but is still seeking investors for that project.

Fed Thrill Launches Kickstarter

Fed Thrill Sunglasses, the Federal Hill-based company that honors its neighborhood in the name, started a Kickstarter campaign and raisede $15,854. “Our goal has always been very simple; create a high-end premium brand of polarized sunglasses at inexpensive prices,” said owners Tyler Puckett and Matt Mindel in the Kickstarter description.

From the Kickstarter:

Revitalized by backers like you & utilizing the popular wayfarer style of the Fultons, we wanted to custom build a mold that was going to set our logo inside the arm (no more hair caught!), upgrade the spring-loaded hinges, and improve every aspect of the frame. Via Kickstarter, we are pleased to announce the all-new Fulton 2.0s!

Also included:

With the success of this Kickstarter, we will be upgrading the Porters to the Porter 2.0s! They will feature high-end brushed metal arms, a metal reinforced hinge, and are perfect for those that need the fit of a smaller framed pair of sunglasses!

Finally, we wanted to add something fresh to the Kickstarter. After about a year’s worth of research, we’re going to be adding a BRAND NEW frame to our lineup, the never before seen Monument frame. This classic style frame will retail at $79 and you can get them here for significant savings with our Kickstarter.

Rusty Scupper Named Top Brunch 

Federal Hill/Inner Harbor’s Rusty Scupper has been named one of the  “100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2018” by Open Table. From a Rusty Scupper press release:

OpenTable’s “100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America” list is generated from more than 12 million verified OpenTable diner reviews for more than 45,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. collected between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “great for brunch” was selected as a special feature.

Rusty Scupper has been open for 36 years and can seat more than 545 in its dining room, bar, upper deck, and outdoor patio overlooking the Inner Harbor.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Volunteers at James McHenry Elementary School

On May 11th, employees from Horseshoe Casino Baltimore volunteered at James McHenry Elementary School in Hollins Market to paint the school’s portable classrooms. From a press release:

As part of the 100% Project, a collaborative partnership working to turn around inequitable public education one school at a time, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has “adopted” James McHenry Elementary to provide the school with the resources, tools and labor it will need to refurbish the facility. The casino is also actively involved in supporting the other three Baltimore City schools that are part of the 100% Project: Commodore John Rodgers Elementary, Harford Heights Elementary and Mary E. Rodman Elementary.

“Baltimore is Horseshoe’s home. Most of our team members live in the city. Many raise families here – and some send their children to these innovative schools,” said Caesars Regional President and Horseshoe Baltimore General Manager Erin Chamberlin. “It is both personally and professionally rewarding to promote the important work the teachers and administrators of these schools do on behalf of their students and our families. The surroundings in which students are educated – and the amenities and programs to which they have access – directly impact how well they learn. It’s a privilege to support the invaluable mission of these schools.”

The casino is working with Mahogany Inc., a Baltimore-based general contracting, millwork and commissioning services company, to complete the painting project. The companies will also work together in coming weeks to create a garden at the school, which will provide students with the opportunity to learn about the benefits of healthy eating and learn basic horticultural skills.

In addition to painting James McHenry Elementary School’s portable classrooms today, the Horseshoe Baltimore team has kept the school’s basketball program operating by sponsoring the team and outfitting its members with uniforms and sneakers. The casino has also taken part in a teacher appreciation event for 120 teachers at all four of the 100% Project schools and worked with the principals of all four schools to conduct a hiring and workforce development event for families of students.

New McKeldin Fountain App 

An app has been created so visitors to McKeldin Square can see the recently-demolished McKeldin Fountain. From a May 15th press release:

A new public art project called NONUMENT 01::McKeldin Fountain launching this weekend will create Baltimore’s first virtual monument using augmented reality technology, allowing users to experience and explore the former McKeldin Fountain that was demolished in 2016. An event on May 19th at its original site, McKeldin Square, will serve as the app’s official release, and serve to protest the fountain’s demolition and the circumstances that led to it.

Created by Baltimore artists Lisa Moren and James Mayhew and Slovenian artists Martin Bricelj Baraga and Neja Tomšič, the NONUMENT 01 app projects a full-scale 3D image of McKeldin Fountain on to a tablet or smartphone screen, giving the illusion that the fountain is present in the surrounding environment. The artist team worked with Port Covington startup Balti-Virtual to develop the app. The fountain’s history is told through various interactive “memory artifacts”, such as koi fish and protest signs, which when clicked will show interviews with Baltimore residents sharing their memories of events at McKeldin Square. The AR app can be downloaded for free and used anywhere in the world, but the effect is best realized when used on McKeldin Square where the fountain once stood.

NONUMENT 01 app is being called a new form of “technological protest,” that will “serve to draw attention to the increasing influence of private entities on public spaces across the world.”

BGE Decreases Rates 

BGE customers will see their bills decrease beginning in June. From a press release:

The average BGE residential customer who purchases electricity from BGE will see a bill reduction of $11 a month starting June 1 due to the lowest electric commodity prices in a decade and distribution rate reductions spurred by federal tax reform.

“Customers are reaping the benefits of historic commodity prices and BGE’s innovative and effective efficiency programs. Customers have greater control over the cost of their electric service through managing their energy use, which lowers their bills and helps us meet our efficiency goals,” said Rodney Oddoye, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Our customers are also experiencing the most reliable energy grid in our history. We’ve invested heavily in equipment upgrades and maintenance to better serve our customers with quality electric power and safe, reliable natural gas and it’s paying off.”

The average BGE residential customer’s total monthly bill remains lower than 2008 levels. In addition, customers who take advantage of BGE’s energy efficiency programs and who manage their energy use with real-time information provided by smart meters also use less electricity, save more on their bills.

Customers are also realizing the benefits of federal tax reductions that have resulted in monthly bills reductions amounting to $103 million in tax savings annually for all BGE customers.

New CSA at Pigtown Farmers’ Market 

The Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market will return on June 7th. It has also introduced a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) this year.

Members of the CSA will get pre-bagged farm produce. Along with cash, checks, and PayPal, it will also accept EBT. Pickups will be available at the farmers’ market and at Zella’s Pizzeria.

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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.