Birroteca has stayed a steady hit since its October 2012 opening, so it's not surprising that its proprietor, Robbin Haas, is opening a second edition of the Italian restaurant.
But the location is a bit of a surprise. Haas will open a second Birroteca in Bel Air, in a property that was formerly home to Bill Bateman's Raw Bar & Grill.
The venue, which is undergoing a top-to-bottom interior renovation, was in dire shape when he first saw it, Haas said.
"It's exactly the kind of thing I like to take on," he said.
The old mill property that houses the original Birroteca, located just outside Hampden along the Jones Falls, had fallen into ramshackle condition before Haas took it over. And Haas' tavern in Mt. Washington, The Nickel Taphouse, has been a success after the spot saw many short-lived operations.
Haas said he expects that people in Bel Air will embrace Birroteca, which he plans to have open in late September or early October.
"I think we're going to hit a good market up there," he said. "And it's far enough away that it won't compete with our business down here."