Fells Point restaurant Waterfront Kitchen will close for a rebranding, reopening in early February as Ampersea, said owner Chuck Nabit.
Waterfront Kitchen’s last meal will be served Jan. 21, he said, after Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week ends. Renovations and the process of turning the restaurant — located inside the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum — into its new concept begins the following morning.
“The end of Restaurant Week is the end of Waterfront Kitchen’s existence,” Nabit said.
Open since 2011, Waterfront Kitchen needed a new start, he said.
“The truth is in any hospitality business, be it restaurant or hotel, things get stale,” Nabit said.
Nabit said he anticipates opening Ampersea — which will put a modern twist on classic Maryland recipes — on Feb. 9.
The new restaurant will have a new head chef: Nelson Morton, who’s been with Waterfront Kitchen for the past five months, Nabit said. Morton said the menu will be completely new but will focus on familiar items.
“We’re going to have a crabcake. We’re going to have a steak,” Nabit said.
The updated decor will be “dramatically different” and feel more modern, he said, with local artist Kelly Walker creating murals for the interior.
The name is a play on the word ampersand — a “connecting symbol,” Nabit said — and speaks to the new concept’s goal of trying to coalesce the restaurant’s home with its cuisine.
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