Baltimore Center Stage managing director Michael Ross hopes theatergoers come hungry.
The Mount Vernon theater is set to unveil its $28 million makeover this weekend, and that will include new food and new places to eat. Flavor, the Mount Vernon restaurant opened by Julia and Vanna Belton in 2015, will be responsible for the menu, Ross said.
Center Stage met with local chefs and caterers, he said, and ultimately decided on Julia Belton, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Center Stage appreciated Flavor’s theater-specific approach to dining, Ross said.
“They’re going to change up the food to reflect the show that we’re doing” at the moment, Ross said. “They’re going to tailor it a little bit to the theme of the show. It’s one of the nice qualities of [the approach] — the idea that the menus will change.”
Beginning two hours before each performance, Center Stage will offer lunch or dinner at the new mezzanine dining space, which has about 15 tables. Beer, wine, coffee and light fare will also be served.
Entrees offered include a mixed green salad ($11, $15 with shrimp), chicken Caesar wrap ($14), truffle mac 'n' cheese ($14) and a rice bowl ($14 for tofu or chicken, $16 for shrimp).
On the first floor, near the new box office, is the Sherman Café & Bar, which was named after a donor, Ross said. It will sell light fare like shrimp cocktail ($11) and a cheese plate ($8), along with coffee and drinks. Ross said the Sherman Café & Bar is really two bars in one. One has a couch and feels more like a lounge, he said, while the other feels more like a bar because of its higher stools and tables.
A fourth-floor bar will also have full bar service and snacks. Click here to see Center Stage’s full menu.
Next season, Ross hopes to offer coffee service to the public all day. With renovations to make the building more welcoming, he hopes people will spend time there — even if it’s not to see a show.
“What we want is people to spend some time with us,” Ross said. “Come here, have a meeting, sit in our beautiful new lobby, sit in the café.”