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All the Stir-Fry is Made to Order: Asian Eatery Going into Former Harbor East Newsstand Space

Get out the chopsticks. Manchurian Rice Co. will open in the former Harbor News spot this August at 1010 Aliceanna St.

The 75-seat restaurant will serve Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisine, including made-to-order stir-fry, fried rice, pad Thai, soup, Kung Pao chicken, and traditional desserts. That is according to an investor in the Harbor East restaurant who wanted to remain anonymous.

Fast-casual Asian concepts are hot nowadays, with the expansion of P.F. Chang's China Bistro's Pei Wei Diner and Chipotle's announcement this year that it is launching an Asian concept called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the first of which will open in Washington, D.C., this summer.

The investor says he and his partners will spend at least $500,000 to open the new restaurant. That's the amount of investment Baltimore City requires of restaurant owners gunning for a new Class B liquor license.

Some of that money will go toward outfitting the second mezzanine that will house the seating in the 1,600-square-foot restaurant.
Most dishes will cost between $6 and $8.

Harbor East is home to numerous restaurants and shops, including Charleston, Cinghiale, Arhaus Furniture, and White House|Black Market, which opened this month.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Manchurian Rice Co. investor


Jewelry Store Amaryllis Expands in Harbor East

A Harbor East jewelry store is taking its gold earrings and ruby necklaces to a larger space.

Amaryllis, which moved from Harborpalce and the Gallery two years ago to East Baltimore, is moving into the Kashmir Imports' spot next month. At 1,028 square feet, the space at 830 Aliceanna St. is twice as big as its space on Exeter St., says co-owner Allie Wolf.

The owners of the 26-year-old jewelry store like the Harbor East neighborhood, but thought Aliceanna was a better spot because it's the shopping street, Wolf says. The street is home to Arhaus Furniture, South Moon Under, and Urban Chic.

"Aliceanna has established itself as the shopping street," Wolf says. "I feel like as a boutique we should be on Aliceanna Street. The shopping is better."

The larger store will allow it to expand its jewelry selection and sell purses, scarves and other gifts.

"There are so many other artists we want to carry that we don't have the space for," Wolf said. "We want to be the destination jewelry spot" downtown.

The move will come with a makeover, courtesy of Nouveau Contemporary Goods' Co-owner Steve Appel.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Allie Wolf, Amaryllis




Harbor East Imports Store to Move to Shops at Kenilworth

Kashmir Imports will move this summer from its spot in Baltimore's Harbor East to a larger store at the Shops in Kenilworth to get closer to its affluent clients in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

At its new home, the shop will be known simply as Kashmir, co-owner Pat McCarty says. The 1,180-square-foot shop in Harbor East sells embroidered jackets, shawls, scarves, and lacquer boxes from Kashmir India.

Once it opens at Kenilworth in August or September, it will have more space to carry gifts in the 1,880-square-foot store. New store items will include lamps made from a banyan tree in Cambodia and a handbag made from a zipper designed by a Colorado architect. 

Many of Kashmir's top customers are moms who live in Roland Park or Towson, McCarty says. The location at Kenilworth will make it easier to reach more of those clients. Terri Harrington of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC brokered the lease deal.

McCarty and her husband Javid Mahajan opened their first retail outlet in 2004 with a shop in Washington, D.C.,'s Union Station.

Mahajan's brother works directly with the families who produced the Kashmiri handicrafts that the stores sell.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Pat McCarty

Partners to Spend up to $3M on Palminteri Pizza Restaurant

Building an original slice of the Bronx in Baltimore will cost as much as $3 million.

The owners of Aldo's Italian Restaurant in Little Italy are teaming up with Hollywood actor Chazz Palminteri to open a coal-fired pizza restaurant in Harbor East.

Much of that money will go in the restaurant's design, Aldo's Co-owner Alessandro Vitale says. The owners have hired Baltimore's Rita St. Clair, who has put her stamp on the Prime Rib and Aldo's.

"We're trying to capture old-school Bronx" circa 1950, Vitale says. (That's the same era depicted in Palminteri's movie and play "A Bronx Tale.")

You can expect to see a black-and-white checker floor, marble tops, and subway tiles behind the pizza oven. Diners will be able to watch the guys making pizza.

"We're trying to create an immersive experience," Vitale says, adding, "You can't fake it."

Partners in the venture include the Vitales, Palminteri and Kerry Kessel, an investor and friend of the actor.

Palminteri forged a friendship with the Vitale brothers after falling in love with Aldo's marinara sauce.

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant will employ more than 40.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Alessandro Vitale, Aldo's Italian Restaurant, Chazz: A Bronx Original

Bagby Pizza Co. to Double Space, Add Small Plates

Behold the power of pepperoni.

A two-year-old pizza restaurant in Harbor East is doubling its size in the next four months.

Bagby Pizza Co. at 1006 Fleet St. will add another 75 seats, a bar, and a small plate menu, say father-and-son co-owners David and Blake Smith. The expansion will give it 130 seats and another 1,800 square feet of space.

The pizza joint will take over the spot that held flower shop the Dutch Connection, which closed.

The Smiths say the new menu is still in the works. Perhaps American comfort food will be on tap, says David Smith, who also envisions a martini bar. He says he is spending "a few hundred thousand" on the expansion.

Sandwiched between Whole Foods and Little Italy, the Bagby Building has been a good location for the restaurant, Blake Smith says. It gets lunch traffic from office workers and nighttime customers from neighboring residents.

"It's been getting awfully busy around here," especially on Friday and Saturday nights," Smith says. 'It's a good problem to have."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: David Smith, Blake Smith, Bagby Pizza Co.


All-American Diner Opens in the Heart of Little Italy

An All-American diner has taken a bite out of Little Italy.

Walter Webb, a longtime restaurant operator at Harborplace, spent $160,000 to open the Diner at 413 S. High St. this month. In early December, the restaurant will include a sports bar on the second floor.

Formerly the site of tapas restaurant Tapabar, the eatery seats 81 on the first floor and 100 on the second floor. The second floor addition will double the space, to 5,000 square feet.

Webb closed his barbecue joint Brown Sugar at the Harborplace food court so operators of the downtown mall could make way for department store H&M. He decided to move to Little Italy to capitalize on the new hotels, apartment complexes, and office workers in Harbor East and Eastern Avenue traffic.

"I love the area," Webb says. "It's an exceptionally great place to work and live. People are right here in walking distance."

The Diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, costing between $9 and $13. The restaurant services nine types of pancakes, New York strip steak, stuffed flounder, sweet potato fries, and peach cobbler.

German cooks Christa Seiler and Claudia Phillips are selling pies, cakes and pastries in the shop as well.

"The people are so friendly," Webb says of Little Italy residents.  "I just love it over here."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Walter Webb, the Diner

Contemporary art comes to Harbor East's Legg Mason building with Clark Priftis Art

The Legg Mason building in Harbor East is home to the namesake financial behemoth, the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a flurry of new retailers.

A contemporary art gallery will join the glass-encased 24-story building Sept. 6.

Clark Priftis Art will open a 2,400-square-foot gallery in a location that owner Ann Priftis hopes will give her access to the well-heeled residents, tourists and office workers in that part of town.

"It's an ideal location in terms of accessibility for tourists and residents," Priftis says.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, the gallery's pie-shaped space is located at the Harbor East traffic circle. That spot will hopefully get great visibility from pedestrians and drivers.

An art dealer and appraiser who has worked in New York, Priftis has been scouting Baltimore for years to find the perfect spot. Several years ago, she was close to opening an art gallery on the city's west side. But those plans fell through when the cost turned out higher than original estimates and she and her former business partner had different visions.

Priftis has long been interested in Harbor East, but when she approached the developers several years ago, the rent was out of her range.

She declined to say how much she is paying for her space in Harbor East. But in general, retail rents throughout Baltimore have come down as much as 30 percent from their highs in 2006 and many developers are offering a variety of incentives to lure tenants.

Priftis has signed a six-month lease with the option to extend her stay if things go well.

The gallery will feature modern painting, sculpture and photography.

"We're trying to bring high quality art from various parts of the world," she says.

The gallery will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Ann Priftis, Clark Priftis Art



Harbor East Deli and Pizza bites into Baltimore City

Hello pepperoni. Inner Harbor East Delicatessen and Pizzeria is opening this month in the spot at 1001 Fleet Street that once held the short-lived Elevation Burger.
 
Alex Smith, a partner in both the old and new businesses, says he thought workers and residents in the neighborhood could use a deli and pizza place as a casual alternative to the fine-dining restaurants. Smith says he closed Elevation Burger franchise after running into issues with the corporate parent.

The 2,000-square-foot restaurant will seat 90 inside and 40 outside. The restaurant will serve salads, sandwiches, cheese steaks and brick-oven pizza for lunch and dinner and waffles and pancakes for breakfast. The restaurant will be outfitted with 10 plasma screens, showing ESPN, MSNBC and sports programs.

"I think it's a great concept," Smith says. "It's so different from anything else in the area. We hope it's different than what's going on now."

Smith says he chose Harbor East because he lives in the area and has been involved in other businesses, including the Haagen Dazs ice cream shop, which he owns.  His grandfather, bakery mogul John Paterakis Sr.,  is also one of the master developers of Harbor East.

He declined to say how much he and his two business partners invested in the new venture.  However, the Baltimore City liquor license board granted the business a new Class "B" liquor license that is available to business owners who invest at least $500,000 in a restaurant that seats at least 75. 



Source: Alex Smith, Harbor East Deli and Pizza
Writer: Julekha Dash

Get out your wine glasses -- construction begins on Harbor East wine bar

Jim Lancaster wasn't initially interested in the space at the historic Harbor East property known as the Bagby building.

Lancaster, who also owns lunch spots Rosina Gourmet, thought the location was too close to his downtown and Canton venues. But after some discussions with the landlord Chesapeake Real Estate LLC, Lancaster decided he could tap into a new market —  the after dark, red-and-white swilling crowd — by opening a wine bar.

Construction on Vino Rosina recently began and the restaurant at 507 S. Exeter Street will be open by the end of April, Lancaster says.

The 2,200-square-foot store will seat about 100, and is Lancaster's largest to date. It will feature his staple gourmet sandwiches and salads, but made with more "esoteric" ingredients like microgreens. Also on the menu will be flatbreads, crab dip, cheese, and wines by the glass.  The wines will hail from Bordeaux, Italy, California, and South America and cost between $6 and $13 per glass.

Lancaster hopes the Harbor East location can draw foot traffic from residents residing in the neighborhood's apartments and condominiums, and tourists staying at various hotels in the area.

As more businesses like Legg Mason and Morgan Stanley move to Harbor East, Lancaster hopes the suit-and-tie crowd will come to Vino Rosina as well.

To design the new space, Lancaster hired SMG Architects Inc. — the same company that designed the warm, rustic Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill. Vino Rosina will also sport a natural look, displaying cypress, hickory and other woods, along with along with leather and stainless steel.


Source: Jim Lancaster, Vino Rosina
Writer: Julekha Dash

Milan aims to wow you

Milan, will officially open on Jan 15, welcoming guests for drinks, small plates or multi-course dinners seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.with extended bar and late dining hours until 1 am.
 
"We are excited to be a part of Baltimore's developing culinary scene and to be able to share the talents of Chef Carey with customers" explains Peter Mooradian, General Manager at Milan.

Dubbing itself, a unique dining destination "where food meets fashion," the restuarant, located at 1000 Eastern Avenue on the cusp of Little Italy and Harbor East will offer its guests an blend of modern Italian cuisine infused with Mediterranean flavor prepared by Executive Chef Stephen Carey. The innovative menu includes fresh grilled steaks, hand-made pastas, bruschetta, flatbreads and Italian-inspired sushi ("sushi Italiano"), as well as top-rated Italian and world wines and blended cocktails inspired by world-renown fashion designers.

Milan's menu was inspired by the Italian and Mediterranean travels of its owner, Smitty. "Everything he saw and tasted while traveling which he documented in a journal, we've used to try and recreate that with this menu. We've created menus that showcase traditional Italian recipes with modern technique," explains Stephen Carey, Executive Chef at Milan. "We're bringing something fresh and innovative to the Baltimore dining scene."

A selection of appetizers, antipasti, bruschettas, flatbreads and salads are available for guests including a selection of three ($12) or five ($19) cured meats and fresh cheeses; Aragosta Pasta e Caci, lobster mac and cheese with chiocciole pasta, smoked gouda béchamel, white truffle essence, and citus pistacio gremolata ($12); and Caprese di Fungi, portabella mushroom, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and an imported balsamic reduction ($7).

Perhaps the most unusual item on Milan's menu is its "Sushi Italiano," or Italian sushi, an infusion of both Italian and Japanese cuisine. Similar to Crudo, delicate slices of raw fish typcally served with olive oil in Italy, are recreated at the restuarant, and are served with either three ($9) or six ($17) varieties of fresh fish and include Salmon with lemon caper aioli, Hiramasa with a blood orange balsamic glaze, Arctic Char with a basil pesto, Hamachi with roasted red pepper puree, Yellowfin Tuna with red pepper oil and sea salt and White Tuna with lemon oil and pine nuts.

"Crudo is very traditional Italian food, but just hasn't made much over to the U.S. yet. We're the first place to do it in Baltimore. In Italy it's the freshest fish you can have, but raw. I paired each one with a different sauce that would complement that dish. We do sushi rolls by taking the fundamental Japanese sushi and fusing it with Italian and Mediterranean ingredients. We do the rice and nouri but the inside of the rolls are anything but Japanese," says Chef Carey.

Other selections of sushi Italiano include Uva Fogliame Con Salmone, seared salmon, fresh mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, sundried tomato, grape leaves and lemon caper aioli ($12) and Milan Rotolo, Avocado, sun dried tomato, fried calamari, nori, seasoned rice, white tuna, yellowfin tuna, basil pesto, and blood orange balsamic glaze ($18).

The menu also includes the traditional pasta and dinner entrée selections including Ravioli Deconstruito, cold water lobster, jumbo lump crab, shrimp, house made pasta, swiss chard, and pink peppercorn cream sauce ($28). Risotto Capasanta, seared scallops, wild mushrooms, fire roasted corn and white truffle essence ($22), Vitello, 14 oz. veal porterhouse with a wild mushroom risotto cake and smoked tomato demi glace ($38); and Bistecca Con L'Osso, Milan's 20 oz. dry rubbed USDA Choice bone-in ribeye with Yukon gold mash and melted leeks ($42).

House made desserts include Torta di Formaggio, honey ricotta cheesecake with a balsamic strawberry compote and candied rosemary ($8); Milan's Tiramisu ($8); Grand Marnier Crème Brulee ($8); and Piatoo di Fromaggio, a selection of Italian cheese ($12).

Milan also offers an extensive selection of specialty cocktails, top-rated wines and bottled domestic and imported beers. Original martinis inspired by the finest fashion houses include the Dolce & Gabbana, Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur, Stoli Raz Vodka, a splash of club soda and fresh raspberries ($11) and Gucci Envy, Absolute Apple Vodka, Sour Apple Liquor, and a splash of Midori and pineapple juice ($10). Other handcrafted cocktails include the Passion of Milan, Captain Morgan Passion Fruit, fresh brewed iced-tea, and a splash of lime juice ($8) and a variety of flavorful mojitos ($10-12). Select cocktails will be served at special prices during Milan's happy hour, offered seven days a week from 5-7 pm.

Source: Chef Stephen Carey, Milan
Writer: Walaika Haskins

Milan will bring new modern take on Italian cuisine

Sitting on the border of Harbor East and Little Italy at 1002 Eastern Avenue, Milan is a new upscale restaurant scheduled to open in mid-November just before Thanksgiving.

According to Peter Mooridan, general manager, Milan "will be different than your typical Little Italy restaurant. Little Italy is very tradtional and a lot of these places have been around for many years. It will be more modern and cutting edge."

The restaurant will include dining on three different levels, with an outdoor heated patio on the lower level; a sushi bar and lounge on the main floor and private dining on the third level. The decor will have a loungy comfortable feel.

"I envision big martinis and really nice cocktails with a lot of fresh ingredients like fresh mint, cucumbers, mangoes and mojitoes, lychees and just really tasty drinks,"

Mooridan calls the cuisine Italian/Mediterranean but says it will be a lighter and more modern take than that found in traditional Italian restaurants and will continue the fresh ingredient theme. "We're offering a lot of fresh ingredients. A lot of people use dense sauces to create flavor and we have a cleaner way to eat and enjoy the natural flavor of the food."


Source: Peter Mooridan, Milan
Writer: Walaika Haskins

Bagby's Pizza opens in Harbor East

Harbor East recently welcomed a new and much needed resident -- a pizzeria. Bagby Pizza Co. located at 1006 Fleet Street, right across from Whole Foods, is the culmination of owner Blake Smith and chef Kyle Gillies hard work. The pair realized that amidst the high-end clothing and accessory stores, the upscale restaurants and glittering apartment/condo towers there was just one thing missing.

And so, Bagby Pizza Company was born to provide the Harbor East community a place to get affordably priced gourmet pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches.

The restaurant also doubles as an art gallery for local artists who are welcome to display their art on the exposed brick walls. Proceeds from artwork purchased at Bagby Pizza help support the artist or a charity of his/her choosing.

Source: Bagby Pizza Company
Writer: Walaika Haskins

Baltimore Inner Harbor recieves Urban Land Institute's Heritage Award

Developers in Baltimore came together last Thursday to celebrate their own. The Baltimore District Council of The Urban Land Institute  hosted the first annual WaveMaker Awards event at the Legg Mason Tower in Inner Harbor East. The awards were given to developers whose local projects are unique, innovative, and visionary; the seven WaveMaker recipients were honored alongside the national ULI's Heritage Award Winner, Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Earlier this year, ULI Headquarters honored Baltimore's Inner Harbor with its prestigious Heritage Award. The award is bestowed periodically on developments that have demonstrated industry excellence and made substantial contributions to their community's well-being for at least 25 years. Only eight developments have been selected to recieve the prestigious award in the past 35 years.

"Through the redevelopment of 192 acres of dilapidated and abandoned waterfront property, the Baltimore Inner Harbor catalyzed reinvestment in Baltimore -- supporting more than 50,000 new jobs, generating $60 million in new tax revenue, and generating a $4 billion tourism industry that was previously non-existent. The harbor now stands as the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world," states the national selection

The ULI Baltimore also recognized the seven recent local projects that demonstrate industry excellence with the WaveMaker Award.

These projects are respectful of their surrounding neighborhood, economy, history, geography, and local government, and provide strong economic returns to stakeholders. The WaveMakers  were able to stretch the boundaries of what was considered possible and accelerate sustainable, prosperous development in Baltimore.

"ULI Baltimore is excited to build on the Heritage Award presented to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The WaveMaker Award is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the developers and projects that are shaping Baltimore's skyline," notes ULI Baltimore Chair, Caroline G. Moore.

The 2009 WaveMakers are:

Miller's Court, 2601 N. Howard St., Seawall Development Company

Silo Point, 1200 Steuart St., Turner Development Group

Legg Mason Tower, 100 International Dr., H&S Properties Development Corp.

Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 101 S. President St., Summit Associates LLC/A&R Development Corp.

Towns at Orchard Ridge, 4020 Maple Ridge Dr., Pennrose Properties/Doracon Development LLC

Baltimore Medical System's Highlandtown Healthy Living Center, 3700 Fleet Street, Highlandtown Development, LLC

American Brewery, 1701 N. Gay Street, Humanim


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Legg Mason moves on up to Harbor East

Legg Mason, the Baltimore-based investment firm, has officially completed the move into its brand spanking new digs in Harbor East. Now, home to the bulk of the company's roughly 1,000-strong workforce, the new 24-story glass tower offers both eco- and employee-friendly amenities.

LEED-certified, the building includes many green features, according to Michael Beatty,  president H&S Properties Development.

"It's not just in the core and shell but in the interior build out of the Legg Mason space. All of the interior carpeting is non-emitting carpeting. The paint and material woods that were used are all LEED-certified, so they were sustainable products that were used in building it," he says.

On a larger scale, the buildings HVAC system is runs through a super high-efficiency heating and cooling plant. The windows are low-E glass making the whole building "incredibly energy efficient."

"There are other little things. LEED is not just about environmentally good for the earth, its also about good for the people," Beatty notes.

With its exterior made up entirely of glass, the potential for natural light to spread throughout Legg Mason's offices was expanded when designers chose to use glass wallls in the interior office space as well.

"The natural light is fantastic. Interior spaces have interior glass-walled offices and exterior open workspaces have the windows, so everyone appreciates the natural light. The natural sunlight lights most of the floors of the building. You do have lighting as well but you don't have a situation like in most office buildings where everything inside is lit with light bulbs," Beatty explains.

The building also has a higher than average air quality and higher ceilings. "It's just a great place to be," he says.

The Legg Mason build out also features a state-of-the-art cafeteria and community building spaces, he adds.

Legg Mason occupies 14-stories in the eco-friendly building. Investment firm Oppenheimer and international law firm Hogan & Hartson are scheduled to take up residence in the building in October.

Source: Michael Beatty, H&S Properties Development
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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