Stalking Horse Under New Ownership, “Upscale Tavern” with Detroit-Style Pizza Planned

| May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

Andrew Carter and Jesse Selke from the Delia Foley’s Group, as well as industry veteran Jason Zink, are the new owners of Stalking Horse at 26 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill. The trio recently started renovations on the top two floors of the approximately 10,000 sq. ft. building, while the first floor remains open for bar business from Thursday to Sunday. A new “upscale tavern” with a yet-to-be finalized name will launch this summer with a focus on Detroit-style and thin-crust bar pizza, craft beer, and games.

Carter and Selke are the owners of Delia Foley’s Pub and AJ’s on Hanover St. in Federal Hill and Smaltimore in Canton. Carter was the manager of Stalking Horse from 2008 to 2014. Zink is the former owner of No Idea Tavern, Don’t Know Tavern, and Smaltimore, and is now a partner in the Abbey Burger Bistro locations in Fells Point, Mount Washington, and Havre de Grace.

Zink has spent the past year working on his pizza recipes and traveled to Detroit to learn from the late Shawn Randazzo of Detroit Style Pizza Company. Randazzo, who passed away in December after a battle with brain cancer, was a two-time World Champion Pizza Maker of the Year.

Zink also hosted a Detroit-style pizza pop-up at SoBo Market in December.

Detroit-style pizza is a deep dish, focaccia pizza cooked in blue steel pans. This style is known for its burnt cheese edges and sauce drizzled across the top. The Stalking Horse concept will offer half and full pan pizzas.

It will also sell thin-crust bar pizzas that are a staple of the Boston area.

Carter, Selke, and Zink will use the pizza oven to also bake paninis, wings, and items in bread bowls.

The new concept will serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

The team is working with Chef Frank Campanella to put together a menu.

Carter said the goal of the new concept is to “change the nightclub atmosphere.” They are taking out one of the bars on the first floor and one of the bars on the second floor, as well as removing the slushy machines and DJ booth. They are refacing all the bars, redoing all the floors, and adding garage doors across the front of the first and second floors. They are also adding different arcade games, skee-ball, foosball, and more TVs.

The new owners will look to add a parklet dining space to the new pedestrian-only north side of the unit block of E. Cross St.

“I could still see it filling up at night, but there will be less dancing and people smooshed up in a corner,” said Carter. He noted they will play house music from the the late 2000s and early 2010s along with some country music.

There will be 20 draft beer lines with a focus on Baltimore City and Baltimore area craft beers.

Carter said he and Selke’s businesses have done “really well” during the pandemic outside of the dining shutdown in late 2020 and early 2021. He was interested in the opportunity at Stalking Horse because he saw its potential when he worked there.

Carter said they are also looking forward to the new activity on Cross St. with the opening of Atlas Restaurant Group’s Watershed, and a new concept coming soon at the former Ryleigh’s next door to Stalking Horse.

“The more the merrier,” he said. “It has been quiet on this street for a while.”

Photos from the pop-up at SoBo Market 

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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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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