South Baltimore Business Roundup

| October 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

Two New Smoke Shops in Federal Hill 

Smoke shop Mr. Smoke has reopened at 900 Light St. in Federal Hill. It first opened in this same location in 2019 and later closed in 2022, after which the space sat vacant for much of this year.

Cloud Chasers, which advertises itself as vapor shop, has opened at 1055 S. Charles St. Along with vaping and smoking accessories, it also offers phone repairs. Cloud Chasers has additional locations in Baltimore City.

This retail space at 1055 S. Charles St. was previously a boutique.

Shoyou Opens a Location in Fells Point

Popular Federal Hill sushi restaurant Shoyou Sushi has opened a second restaurant called SUSHIBRUCE YA at 1634 Aliceanna St. in Fells Point. The spot was once the home of sushi restaurant Sticky Rice.

From Baltimore Business Journal:

Owner and chef Bruce S. Lee opened his second restaurant Sushibruce Ya in Fells Point on Sept. 20. The sushi spot will feature the same menu items as his Federal Hill location but in a different setting.

The sushi restaurant at 1634 Aliceanna St. seats over 50 customers with plans to have additional outside seating.

“It looks totally different,” Yuna Jung, Lee’s wife, said about the renovated space. “Shoyou Sushi is more casual looking but our new location is something more classic.”

The Blinds Side Opens on Cross Street

The Blinds Side has opened in Federal Hill at 46 E. Cross St., the former home of The Charmery. From its website:

The Blinds Side is pleased to offer a wide variety of modern and traditional window treatments to suit every structure and aesthetic, including:

– Wood, Faux Wood, and Aluminum Blinds

– Composite, Wood Shutters and Plantation Shutters

– Cellular and Honeycomb Shades

– Roller, Solar, and Exterior Solar Shades

– Roman Shades

– Woven Wood Shades and Natural Shades

– Vertical Blinds, Vertiglide, Sliding Panels and Luminettes

– Pleated, Sheer, and Layered Shades

The company also has a location in Boston, MA.

Baltimore Museum of Industry Opens a Corner Bar Exhibit

The Baltimore Museum of Industry opened a new exhibit today called “The Neighborhood Corner Bar: A Baltimore Story, 1870-1920.” From a press release:

The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) will open a new exhibition on Thursday, October 12 exploring the role of corner bars in Baltimore neighborhoods. Titled The Neighborhood Corner Bar: A Baltimore Story, 1870-1920, the exhibition will be permanent.

From the 1870s to 1920, corner bars–or saloons–became fixtures in working-class neighborhoods throughout Baltimore. Made possible by the direct sponsorship of breweries, corner bars were social centers where patrons could grab a “free lunch” with the purchase of a five-cent drink, discuss politics and labor organizing, send and receive mail, cash paychecks, and even find jobs or financial assistance. Warm in winter and cool in summer, these “workingman’s clubs,” as they were known, provided community and security for the regulars who made them their own.

As social institutions, corner bars reflected the segregated and exclusionary practices of their time and place. For one, they were almost exclusively male. Working women could partake in free lunch–provided they entered the side door, or the “ladies entrance” and ate in the back room. In the evenings, working-class women would get their beer to go, a practice called “rushing the growler,” and would then partake with neighbor women on stoops in courtyards where they could keep a watchful eye on children playing. Black patrons could not enter the saloons through any door in white or white ethnic neighborhoods for fear of rejection or outright violence for attempting to cross the color line in segregated Baltimore.

“The corner bar was a microcosm of the neighborhood it served, reflecting the heritage and values of the nearby residents–even their views on political and social issues” says Rachel Donaldson, curator of exhibitions and collections at the BMI. “George Ruth, father of George Herman “Babe” Ruth, displayed his views on the labor movement by hanging a “Union Bar” sign over the entrance to his saloon. Beyond just watering holes, corner bars were spaces for discussion among patrons, becoming vital community centers in the neighborhoods.”

Like other galleries at the BMI, The Neighborhood Corner Bar exhibition is immersive.  The exhibition features a long wooden bar with a brass rail and a mirrored cabinet in the rear, both flanked by historic beer advertisements, sample menus, and photographs–many of them donated by local family members of past bar owners during community collecting events held around the city.

This project has been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland, and Maryland State Department of Commerce. The opening reception is made possible by PNC Bank.

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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.