Southside Diner Team Opens ‘Southside Burger Bar’ at Cross Street Market

| October 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Brothers Nick and Steve Karvounis opened their second restaurant in South Baltimore in recent weeks with the launch of Southside Burger Bar at the newly-renovated Cross Street Market. Nick and Steve Karvounis have owned Southside Diner at Southside Marketplace, which started out as Big Matty’s Diner before relocating, since 2012.

Southside Burger Bar is located on the western side of the block-long market. It is adjacent to a common seating area, Taco Love Grill, Phubs, Pizza di Joey, the soon-to-open Old Line Cocktail bar, and the Atlas Restaurant Group’s seafood restaurant and fish market that will open next year.

Southside Burger Bar’s approximately 600 sq. ft. stall has 16 bar seats and a standing bar that fits another 15 to 20 people. Similar to Southside Diner, the stall design has white subway tile, black granite countertops, wood accents, and seven televisions playing sports. Nick Karvounis said they initially were going to open in a 280 sq. ft. stall, but they asked for a bigger stall after drawing up their current vision.

The Karvounis brothers said they only considered opening at Cross Street Market because of their love for South Baltimore. Nick Karvounis said it is the best neighborhood and it has exceeded all their expectations. He talked about all the loyal customers who keep Southside Diner constantly busy, as well as about all the great friends they have made in the neighborhood.

The Karvounis family is returning to its roots in Baltimore markets as their father owned stalls at the Belair and Lexington Markets where the brothers grew up working.

Southside Burger Bar is a big change of pace for the Karvounis’ when it comes to menu size. Southside Diner has a very large menu of breakfast, lunch, dinners, and dessert items, while Southside Burger Bar only sells build-your-own burgers, hot dogs, and french fries.

“A big menu is good, but it comes with a lot of headaches,” said Nick Karvounis. “This is much simpler.”

Cross Street Market’s management team of Caves Valley Partners, CANAdev, and MacKenzie makes sure there is not a lot of overlap in the products vendors sells, so the Karvounis’ were excited to focus just on burgers, hot dogs, and fries.

Nick and Steve Karvounis worked with local vendors to find their favorite blend of beef for their hamburgers. The hot dogs are not local, but Nick Karvounis said they are thrilled with the quality of them.

Burgers and hot dogs come on Martin’s potato rolls. Customers can order a single, double, or triple beef burger; a turkey or black bean option; or an all-beef or polish hot dog. Optional toppings include lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, barbecue sauce, banana peppers, relish, sauerkraut, hot peppers, cheese, fried egg, chili, mushrooms, bacon, avocado spread, and Almost Famous Southside Sauce.

Nick Karvounis said they went with the build-your-own model because it’s much more efficient than having people sub in and out ingredients on set menu items when using the point of sale system. Southside Burger Bar’s goal is to have orders ready in just a few minutes.

Sides include regular fries, chili and cheese fries, and onion rings.

Patrons can order a beer from one of Southside Burger Bar’s four beer taps or a drink from the Pepsi fountain soda. Nick Karvounis said they will likely add a wine option as well.

Southside Burger Bar brought over several employees from Southside Diner who volunteered to make the move. It has about 8 employees total. Nick Karvounis said his employees are all fantastic and credited them as a big reason for the success of Southside Diner.

Southside Burger Bar is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm, and Sunday from 11am to 8pm, although Sunday hours will be adjusted based on Ravens home games.

Read SouthBMore.com’s articles detailing the different aspects of the Cross Street Market redevelopment here.

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, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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