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Owners of Delia Foley's and Smaltimore to open new restaurant in Federal Hill

Bar business buds Andrew Carter and Jesse Selke are launching their next restaurant: AJ’s on Hanover will take the place of the former Bluegrass Tavern on South Hanover Street in Federal Hill.

The pair, who purchased Delia Foley’s in 2014 and Smaltimore in 2017, said the new restaurant will have a focus on “upscale pub food, new American and modern cuisine.”

Menu items will include oysters, sandwiches, shareables and moderately priced entrees. AJ’s will offer 10 draft beers with many sourced from Maryland, D.C. and Delaware craft breweries.

“It’s a place where you can come and have a drink and socialize,” Carter said. “There’s a good balance of solid food and a good atmosphere.”

Carter said a recent string of restaurant closures in Federal Hill made the neighborhood a good fit for a third venture. After renovating, the former Bluegrass Tavern space will have a “rustic chic” feel with pallet boards, reclaimed rowhome wood, pipe shelving and a white-washed brick back bar.

Baltimore artist Marshall Adams will decorate the inside of the restaurant with South Baltimore-themed murals.

The owners are interviewing candidates to take the helm as chef. They hope to open the restaurant by mid-September.

amuckerman@baltsun.com

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