South Baltimore Business Roundup

| August 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Pizza Master Opens in Pigtown 

Pizza carryout and delivery shop Pizza Master opened in recent weeks at 1200 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown. The location has been a couple different carryout restaurants in previous years and was the longtime home of Smitty’s Sub Shop.

Pizza Master offers different pizzas including ones with traditional toppings along with a Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Greek Pizza, Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, and Cheesesteak Pizza. The menu also includes salads, appetizers, buffalo wings, strombolis, calzones, subs, sandwiches, pasta dishes, fried chicken, fried seafood platters, and desserts.

Potential Baltimore Convention Center Expansion 

The Maryland Stadium Authority is studying an expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center and Phase One of the study has recommended adding an extra 400,000 sq. ft. to the 1.2 million sq. ft.-facility at 1 W. Pratt St. Downtown. This project is expected to cost $600 million and could take more than five years to complete. From Baltimore Business Journal:

The city-owned convention center opened in 1979 and was expanded in 1996. But in a competitive industry that thrives on modernized and large spaces, it has long been eyed for another expansion. The study found that the eastern wing of the center closest to Harborplace should be razed and replaced, while the center’s western portion, closest to Oriole Park, be renovated.

Also from the article:

“The Baltimore Convention Center is the smallest and oldest facility in our competitive set,” said Peggy Daidakis, executive director of the convention center, on Monday. “Along with our partners at Visit Baltimore, we are experiencing the loss of business to other cities due to the lack of dates and space.”

Daidakis said she was optimistic with the recommendations that “an expansion-renovation will help spur growth and ensure our continued success in the Mid-Atlantic market.”

The study also recommends razing the adjacent Sheraton Inner Harbor hotel and replacing it with a new 500-room hotel. The study does not recommend the idea of replacing the Sheraton with a new arena.

In recent years Otakon left Baltimore for a larger footprint in Washington D.C. and Natural Products Expo East announced it would leave for the larger convention center in Philadelphia in 2020.

Volo City Named on Inc. Magazine’s 5000

Port Covington’s Volo City was named number 976 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the top 5,000 private companies in the United States. From Baltimore Magazine:

Volo City launched in 2010 as Baltimore Bocce with just 16 members. Its founder and CEO Giovanni Marcantoni says that earning a ranking on Inc.’s list proves how far dedication and determination can go. Today, there are more than 60,000 members in Baltimore alone participating in social sports including football, softball, kickball, corn hole, bocce, and Skee-Ball leagues.

“When we started this whole thing, we didn’t plan to be a business,” Marcantoni said. “It was more of a lifestyle that’s really evolved—taking it from adult social sports to now being able to solve a major problem by forming free, sustainable kids’ leagues.”

During this eight-year evolution, Volo City has expanded into seven cities across the country including Denver, New York, Charleston, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Boston with Baltimore being the home base. The Volo City Kids Foundation, founded in 2015, is also a major part of each of those cities’ programming that services more than 10,000 children nationally and also Marcantoni’s most prized accomplishment.

CJKollective Closes Federal Hill Shop 

CJKollective closed its 1,040 sq. ft. boutique at 1014 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. The space now has a ‘for rent’ sign on the front facade. CJKollective opened its Federal Hill shop in November of last year. CJKollective also owns a fashion truck.

New Starbucks Coming to Pratt Street

A new 2,400 sq. ft. Starbucks is coming to the office building at 250 W. Pratt St. Downtown. From Baltimore Business Journal:

COPT, the building’s owner since 2015, is sprucing up the 24-story tower’s lobby, second floor and public plaza. The exterior upgrades and landscaping coincide with the city’s vision for a Pratt Street corridor that would rival Chicago’s Miracle Mile and other grand boulevards around the world.

COPT officials say the Starbucks plans to open in February. The lobby and plaza should be finished by the end of 2018, and the second floor will be complete in second quarter 2019. The second floor’s renovations encompass 6,000 square feet and include a fitness center, locker rooms and a conference center for tenants only.

Landing a Starbucks is considered a real estate coup in most shopping centers or office towers.

Starbucks’ closest stores are at 1 N. Eutaw St., 10 Light St. and 100 E. Pratt St. Other tenants in the 368,194-square-foot 250 W. Pratt tower include the U.S. Department of Justice, the University of Maryland Medical System and Cannon Design.

Bonita Salon Opens on Washington Blvd. 

Bonita Salon opened in recent months at 776 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown. The space was formerly Dominican Beauty Center 2 which closed in 2017.

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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.
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