‘Key Neapolitan’ and ‘Crushed Velvet’ Return to Key Hwy. for Year Two of Business

| May 8, 2024 | 0 Comments

The dual outdoor businesses of Key Neapolitan by Verde and Crushed Velvet have returned for year two of business at 1302 Key Hwy. in Federal Hill. The two businesses completed renovations to the property, which was formerly a gas station, in the offseason.

Crushed Velvet, which sells Hawaiian-style shaved ice, is owned by Riverside couple Kate Shotwell and Mack Fowler. Crushed Velvet operates out of the former gas station office and has two walk-up windows.

Fowler is a manager at wood-fired Neapolitan restaurant Verde in Canton and partnered with Verde Owner Ed Bosco on Key Neapolitan. Key Neapolitan cooks its pizzas in a wood-fired pizza food truck created from a 1949 Dodge pickup.

In the offseason, Shotwell and Fowler covered the former parking lot, which is used as outdoor seating for the two businesses, with green turf that was pulled from a former sports field. On the turf is a tent with picnic tables and a television for Orioles games; additional tables outside the tent; an area for cornhole; an outdoor ping pong table; and an over-sized Jenga game.

One of the garage bays was renovated in the offseason into a room with a pool table.

The Dodge pizza truck was repositioned this year to the northern corner of the property.

The entire space is decorated with string lights and planters. A formstone sasquatch stands on top of the building.

Crushed Velvet offers many flavors of shaved ice as well as sundaes that combine ice cream and fresh fruit. The popular Peach Melba sundae has vanilla ice cream covered in peach compote and peach shaved ice. It is topped with raspberry syrup and condensed milk.

Key Neapolitan’s pizzas are made in about 90 seconds. The pizza truck offers favorites such as a Margherita or Verde’s popular Pistacchio e Salsiccia with homemade mozzarella, pistachio pesto, sausage, and pecorino romano.

Key Neapolitan also sells beers from Checkerspot Brewing Company.

Both businesses are once again on a one-year lease as a seven-story, 70-unit apartment building is planned by Southern Land Company at the property. A timeline has not been set to begin that project.

Shotwell said they will keep the businesses open into the fall and will close once the weather is no longer cooperating.

Key Neapolitan and Crushed Velvet are open Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 9pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 8pm.

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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.