Baltimore's 10 most anticipated restaurant and bar openings of 2018

Baltimore’s culinary landscape is poised to add more dining and drinking destinations in 2018. There are surely more on the way, but here are 10 of the most hotly anticipated restaurants and watering holes in the pipeline.

Chez Hugo: The newest restaurant from chef-owner Steve Monnier, who previously owned Aromes in Hampden, this bistro will offer traditional French fare, French wines and local drafts. Chez Hugo is set to open Feb. 14. 206 E. Redwood St.; chezhugobistro.com

Neko No Kafe Hampden will welcome a second cat cafe when Neko No Kafe opens this year. The cafe will offer breakfast pastries, coffee and lunch fare — alongside adoptable cats from Passport Animal Rescue. 3827 Falls Road; 443-692-7567; nekonokafe.com

Blair’s on Hudson: Although Canton’s beloved Jack’s Bistro has served its last mac and cheese and chocolate, owner Ted Stelzenmuller is preparing to open a new hangout, Blair’s on Hudson, in late January. (Bonus: As Stelzenmuller searches for a buyer for Jack’s Bistro, the space will be temporarily rebranded as a lounge called the Regal Beagle.) 2822 Hudson St.; no phone listed; blairsonhudson.com

Ampersea: Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point closed Jan. 21 to be rebranded as Ampersea, a restaurant offering modern twists on classic Maryland cuisine. The new take on the harborside restaurant is expected to open on Feb. 9. 1417 Thames St.; 443-681-5310; facebook.com/ampersea

Urban Axes Baltimore: Urban Axes might be the only venue in Baltimore where patrons can hurl hatchets and sip beer under the same roof when it opens this spring. 1 N. Haven St.; 240-389-2937; urbanaxes.com/baltimore

Jazz + Soju: Serving Korean fried chicken to the sounds of jazz tunes, this restaurant is a spinoff of New Jersey’s Roosterspin. The Locust Point restaurant will be housed in the Anthem House apartment complex. 900 E. Fort Ave.; jazzsoju.com

Blackwall Hitch: This trendy Annapolis-based restaurant will open an Inner Harbor location this fall. Blackwall Hitch, which specializes in steak and seafood, also has restaurants in Alexandria, Va., and Rehoboth Beach, Del. 700 E. Pratt St.; theblackwallhitch.com

Checkerspot Brewing Co.: When this brewery from husband-and-wife team Judy and Rob Neff and friend Steve Marsh opens in South Baltimore this spring, the taproom will also incorporate a kitchen. Checkerspot is on track to open in March. 175 W. Ostend St.; checkerspotbrewing.com

Land of Kush: This vegan soul food restaurant based in Midtown is expanding with a second location in the Middle East neighborhood. Look for the doors to open in the spring or summer. 803 N. Chester St., Baltimore; 410-225-5874 (original location); landofkush.com.

Union Collective: While it’s not exclusively one bar or restaurant, the Union Collective will house a number of food and drink purveyors when the complex opens its doors this spring. They include the collective’s namesake Union Craft Brewing Co., Vent Coffee Roasters, ice cream shop the Charmery, Baltimore Whiskey Co. and Huckle’s hot sauce. 1700 W. 41st St.; union-collective.com.

smeehan@baltsun.com

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