Last year at this time, we told you to look out for some of the restaurants that would be opening in 2012. Most of them, like Fleet Street Kitchen and Heavy Seas Alehouse, actually did. A few projects we told you to look forward to didn't see the light of day.
Here's what we're reasonably sure about for the first few months of 2013:
First up, My Thai, originally located in Mount Vernon's Park Plaza building, will reopen in a new location in The Tack Factory in Little Italy. The original Charles Street restaurant, along with Donna's and Indigma, was destroyed by a fire in December 2010. The new My Thai will occupy the space formerly held by Lemongrass and will serve both lunch and dinner.
Back on Charles Street, the old Indigma space in the Park Plaza will reopen this spring as Dooby's, a coffee shop and then some. The owner, Phil Han, said he wants Dooby's to be a gathering space for Mount Vernon residents from early in the morning into the night.
Han, a Gilman grad, laughed when I told him that the name, Dooby's, had raised some eyebrows in the newsroom.
"Dooby's my nickname," Han said. It is a shortened version of the Korean term for a croaking toad — which is what his mother thought his crying sounded like — and his parents eventually became known as "Dooby's folks," Han said.
The owner of Paulie Gee's, a wildly popular pizza shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., will open a Baltimore location this spring in the old Hampden Republican Club building on Chestnut Street. Paulie Gee's Hampden will be a collaboration between Paulie Gee owner Paulie Giannone and a Baltimore partner who prefers to remain anonymous for the time being.
The Milton Inn's Brian Boston will be opening Highland Inn in late winter. The Clarksville-area restaurant will operate in a 150-year old farmhouse. Boston will remain the executive chef at the Milton Inn.
The team behind the renovation of the historic Chesapeake restaurant in Charles North said they hope to open two restaurants on the project's ground floor by midspring.
Keeping seats warm The 44 days from New Year's to Valentine's Day can be rough on restaurants' business. That's why they invented the "restaurant week."
First up this year is Baltimore County Restaurant Week, which will be held Jan. 11-27. More than 35 Baltimore County restaurants are participating, offering special menus at discounted fixed prices. Menus range from $10.13 to $35.13 for one, two or three courses.
New participants this year include McFaul's Ironhorse Tavern; Kooper's North; Yasou Greek Bistro; University Club, the new restaurant in the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel; and Fountainside, the revamped restaurant in the Pikesville Hilton.
For information go to baltimorecountyrestaurantweek.com.
The dates are set for Howard County Restaurant Weeks, too. Some 20 restaurants have signed up to participate in the 15-day dining promotion, Jan 14-28, and will be offering globally themed fixed-price menus ranging from $10.13 to $40.13.
For more information and menu information, go to visithowardcounty.com.
And Baltimore's fifth annual Winter Restaurant Week will be Jan. 25 through Feb. 3
During the 10-day event, participating restaurants will offer three-course fixed-price dinner menus for $30.13 or $20.13. Some restaurants will also offer a two-course lunch, consisting of an appetizer and entree, priced at $15.13.
Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week is presented by Visit Baltimore and Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. For more information, go to baltimorerestaurantweek.com.