Sweet Peaz Southern Kitchen Coming to Federal Hill

| August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sweet Peaz Southern Kitchen will be opening this fall at 1026 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. The 4,000 sq. ft. storefront was the former home of Fat Larry’s before it closed in 2017.

Fatimah Ames will be opening Sweet Peaz to honor her late mother. After high school, Ames tried nursing school and then beauty school, before getting into the clerical side of healthcare. However, Ames was still not completely happy and wanted to go to culinary school. Ames’ mother was concerned about another career change for her daughter, but Ames was sure this is what she wanted to do. Ames’ mother died soon after this decision and Ames was adamant about keeping her promise to her mother of finishing culinary school and naming a restaurant after her mother one day. This will become a reality in Baltimore as Sweet Pea was Ames’ mother’s nickname.

Ames grew up in New York City and Virginia Beach, and her mother is from Alabama and her father is from Eastern Virginia. Ames said Southern cooking was a big part of her household growing up. She carried on that tradition at family functions by cooking her family’s Southern food recipes. One day a friend encouraged her to start doing catering. She followed that advice and eventually opened a small carryout storefront in Harlem called ‘Sea to Soul,’ which was open for a few years starting in 2011

Ames, who was raising her own three kids along with three younger siblings, moved to Georgia, but soon after wanted to be closer to family and moved to Baltimore where her father had relocated after retiring. Ames finished her business degree last year and currently has a catering business that will move its operation into Sweet Peaz.

Sweet Peaz will serve Southern dishes including fried chicken, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, BBQ ribs, broiled salmon, salmon cakes, fried fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, collard greens, and spinach.

Sweet Peaz will offer brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night hours. Sweet Peaz will open Tuesday to Thursday from 1130am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 1130am to 2am, and Sundays for brunch with a yet-to-be-determined set of hours. The late night menu on Fridays and Saturdays will be carryout and will focus on items like fried chicken, fried fish, and chicken and waffles.

Ames chose Federal Hill because she fell in love with the space at 1026 S. Charles St. Its layout features a kitchen in the front and a large two-story dining room in the back, which reminded her of SoHo in New York City. There is a back bar and patio that will not initially open at Sweet Peaz. The building no longer has a liquor license as it was sold to Shoyou Sushi.

Ames also loves the space because her and her now-husband had their first dance next-door at Nobles two years ago.

Ames will redo the floors and bathrooms in the restaurant space and line the walls with black and white photos of Baltimore and New York City. She will also honor The Soup Kitchen, which was the former long-time restaurant in the space that was run by Wayne Brokke, who still owns the building.

Ames will spend much of her time in the kitchen and will have six to eight employees. She hopes to open Sweet Peaz in early fall.

The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper: https://www.natecarpercreative.com

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.