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Woodberry to open diner and canning kitchen in Belvedere Square

Restaurant and Catering IndustryRestaurantsDining and DrinkingCookingHonFestCafe Hon

Spike Gjerde is coming to Belvedere Square. The Woodberry Kitchen owner has signed a lease for the multi-level restaurant space that has been vacant since Crush closed in November.

His Belvedere Square project, Gjerde said, will be part canning kitchen and part diner.

Gjerde said he will bring Woodberry Kitchen's canning and preserving operations up to the Belvedere Square space, which was a Hess shoe store before its conversion into a restaurant space.

"I love Belvedere Square," Gjerde said. "It's already a great community of vendors like Ned Atwater who take sourcing as seriously as we do."

Gjerde provided no opening date or further details about the diner operations at Belvedere Square location.

It was extra production space, he said, that drove the Belvedere Square deal.

"Woodberry's a funny place," Gjerde said. "We've created our own supply chains where there weren't any." Now, Gjerde said, production operations like butchering and preserving are competing for space with traditional restaurant kitchen prep areas. "We're at capacity," Gjerde said.

Gjerde is also moving ahead with plans to transfer some of Woodberry's butchering operations off-premises. In February, he signed a lease to open a butcher shop-restaurant space at 2600 North Howard Street, the Remington project being developed by Seawall Development.

Gjerde said he has had conversations with Belvedere Square management about opening an oyster bar in the market space, but the availability last fall of the Crush location led to broader conversations about a Woodberry presence at Belvedere Square.

New on the Avenue The Food Market has a new neighbor in Hampden. It's CHOUX, the cafe at Ma Petite Shoe, which had its official public opening Friday.

The new cafe is located next door to Ma Petite Shoe, Susannah Siger's destination shoe store and chocolate boutique. The cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The offerings at CHOUX include things like kale salad with almonds and dates, and broccoli salad with Dubliner cheddar and currants along with in-house pastries like pain au chocolat, gougeres, and a chocolate cookie with Bellagio cocoa, Hawaiian dark chocolate and chocolate-covered nibs.

The idea, Siger said, is "balancing healthy with decadent, keeping in mind the way the French eat."

The first floor of the cafe includes a market wall stocked with gourmet crackers, French preserves, single-origin coffee beans, and imported honey.

CHOUX is located at 830 W. 36th St. For information call 410-235-3442 or go to mapetiteshoe.com.

Birthday bash It's only been a year? A hit from the start, the Food Market opened on the eve of last year's Honfest. Co-owners Chad Gauss and Elan Kotz, the restaurant's executive chef and general manager, respectively, are celebrating their first year with a birthday party at the Hampden restaurant on June 5.

The party is a benefit for the Hampden Family Center. "We felt that after a full year of being in Hampden, we wanted to give back to the community," said Gauss, who's a board member for the nonprofit provider of support and programming. "That's why we're supporting the family center, to make the community even better."

Gauss said he intends to enjoy himself at the party. "I'm not working at all that night," Gauss said.

Instead, a group of 10 chefs and restaurateurs are dropping in to lend a hand. Four of them will be making hors d'oeuvres, and the other six are creating birthday cakes.

The well-wishers include Cyrus Keefer (Fork & Wrench), Jonah Kim (Pabu) Sergio Vitale (Aldo's and Chazz: A Bronx Original), Robbin Haas (Birroteca), Denise Whiting (Cafe Hon), Vernon Forward (City Cafe), Opie Crooks (Roy's) Timothy Dyson (Bluegrass Tavern) and Chris Becker and Bettina Perry (Fleet Street Kitchen).

Tickets to the Food Market's First Birthday Bash are $35. For more information call 410-366-0606 or go to thefoodmarketbaltimore.com.

This year's Honfest, in case you were wondering, is scheduled for June 8 and 9.

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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