Darker Than Blue, Casey Jenkins’ white-tablecloth soul food cafe on Greenmount Avenue, will close at the end of October. The restaurant’s last day is Oct. 31, according to Jenkins.
"It's not really bittersweet," Jenkins said about leaving his Waverly cafe. "We've been able to outgrow our current location. We had always been looking for ways to expand."
Jenkins said he is in negotiations to relocate Darker Than Blue to the mixed-use retail and residential complex being developed on the 3200 block of St. Paul Street in Charles Village. The Charles Village location would have a liquor license, Jenkins said, something the Greenmount Avenue location didn't have.
"This would give us the opportunity to act like adults in the restaurant industry," Jenkins said. "That’s what I’m excited about."
But Jenkins has another project, Birdland Sports Bar & Grill, scheduled for a Nov. 8 opening in the Rosemont neighborhood along Belair Road.
Jenkins said he purchased the old Ray Charles Lounge about a year ago but didn't do anything with property.
"We considered moving Darker Than Blue out there," Jenkins said. "But we decided it wasn’t the right atmosphere. Still, we knew it was a great location for a restaurant."
Birdland will first and foremost be a traditional sports bar, Jenkins said, but one that serves "hearty meals with hefty portions."
Jenkins said that in addition to its regular menu, Birdland will offer family-style meals of food like Southern-fried chicken, for as little as $27.95 for four people, complete with corn bread and sides.
"We’re not Spike & Charlie's, we’re not Cindy Wolf. We create comfort food,” Jenkins said. “We're not trying to be foo foo shi shi. We want to be a great sports bar with great food."
Birdland Sports Bar & Grill will open at 6319 Belair Road on Nov. 8.