The high-flying Bagby Restaurant Group has set Nov. 22 as the opening date for Cunningham's, its first restaurant in Baltimore County.
Cunningham's, which will open in the newly renovated Towson City Center, follows Bagby's other restaurants, Bagby Pizza, Ten Ten American Bistro and Fleet Street Kitchen, all of which are located in the Harbor East development.
"We're taking a fresh approach to the American grill," said Chris Becker, the restaurant group's chief operations officer and executive chef. "We're going to continue [the grill] concept but elevate it with fresh produce from our farm and from other area producers. It won't be overbearing heavy side dishes and no thick, emulsified vinaigrettes."
Back in August, the Bagby Restaurant Group announced the hiring of Chris Allen, formerly of Philadelphia's Farmer's Cabinet and The Boilermaker, as its executive chef.
The restaurant's menu will feature Mid-Atlantic cuisine, particularly items prepared with a wood-fired grill and brick oven. Following the opening of Cunningham's, the Bagby Restaurant Group will open a second eatery in Towson City Center, a casual spot named Cunningham's Cafe.
Amenities at Cunningham's include a "pastoral wood and stone bar" and a wrap-around patio, with seating both at tables and in lounge settings.
"[Cunningham's is] designed for someone who wants to go out and have a nice bite to eat," Becker said. "And also for anyone who wants that nice, full dining experience."
Headed to the county Bond Street Social executive chef Neill Howell is leaving the Fells Point restaurant to open a daytime cafe, The Corner Pantry, in Baltimore County. Howell will run Corner Pantry with his wife, Emily.
Howell said he has signed a six-year lease for the former Banksy's Cafe space in the Lake Falls Village shopping center. The location is not far from the couple's home in Rodgers Forge, where they live with their young daughter, Annabelle.
"We were always wondering where to get something healthy to eat," said Howell. Corner Pantry will not be a health-food cafe, Howell said, but it will serve healthy food. The cafe, in addition to its regular breakfast and lunch offerings, will also offer smoothies and fresh juices.
Howell said Corner Pantry will also have a chopped-salad station at lunchtime.
For the early going at least, the cafe will be closed on Sundays, but Howell, a native of Colchester, England, said he eventually wants to introduce a version of the Sunday roast, the name the British give to their big Sunday meal — even when there's no roast.
News from Taneytown The Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel has announced that Spencer Wolff is the new executive chef at its Smokehouse Restaurant.
Wolff replaces Michael Gettier, who left his position at the country house hotel earlier this fall. Gettier is remembered by Baltimore diners for his Fells Point restaurant, M. Gettier, and its follow-up, M. Gettier's Orchard Inn, in Towson.
Under Wolff, Antrim 1844's Smokehouse Restaurant will be keeping its fixed-price, multi-course format, which begins with passed hors d'oeuvres in the inn's opulent parlors. Wolff was formerly executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Chicago, and the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington.
New in Little Italy A new restaurant named By Degrees (443 S. Central Ave., 410-522-0478, bydegreescafe.com) has opened in Little Italy in the old Fallsway Spring & Equipment Co. building, just a block or so away from Heavy Seas Alehouse.
The new cafe looks to have a built-in customer base. The renovated building's major tenant is Groove Commerce, a digital advertising agency.
Here's how the cafe explains its name on its website: "We are shifting the culinary landscape 'by a few degrees' to focus on what's important: well-prepared & honest food, great service, and reasonable prices."
The chef and general manager at By Degrees is Omar Semidey, formerly of The Wine Market and Fleet Street Kitchen.