I am so accustomed to hearing people trash Baltimore that it’s refreshing to hear someone defend it. That’s especially true when that someone has been here as long as Vince Fava and his family. His ancestors immigrated to Baltimore more than a century ago from Cefalu, Sicily and, like so many of their peers, set up shop downtown.
More than 100 years later, their store, Trinacria, remains on the 400 block of Paca Street, and it’s a place to buy everything from frozen baked ziti to dry pasta and baked goods, all made according to generations-old family recipes.
And it’s about to get another outpost: Fava said the family business will open a stall in the new Lexington Market, which is currently under construction and set to open this year just next door to the old market. “I think I have the best stall down there,” said Fava.
“We’re incredibly excited to add Trinacria to Lexington Market’s vendor mix given that they’ve been an institution on Paca Street for decades,” said Katie Marshall, a spokeswoman for Seawall, which is developing the city-owned market.
The eatery will have a few seats for customers who can order the restaurant’s staples like meatball subs as well as beer and liquor and gelato. Another addition: New York-style pizza sold by the slice.
While Fava said Trinacria’s Paca Street location will remain open, he shut down Trinacria’s Mt. Vernon cafe last August for good. That restaurant, popular for its drag brunches, had been open on an on again, off again basis in recent years.
Fava said he’s prepared for naysaying comments from people about crime in the market area, but he’s not taking it to heart. The revamped market, he said, “will hopefully make the whole area and the city better. I believe in it.”
After all, it’s a fitting location for the business, says Fava. “At one time the market was full of Italians. This area was very big, it was bigger than Little Italy.”
Meanwhile, Lexington Market icon Faidley Seafood is still stuck in negotiations about their move to the new market, according to co-owner Damye Hahn. A sticking point? Who will pay for the relocation.
“It is still our intention to move to the new market,” Hahn wrote in a text message. “But after 135 years of paying rent to the city it has always been our belief that they should cover the cost of the move. We are essentially being evicted from our current space.”
But crab cake lovers might not need to panic just yet. Paul Ruppert, president and CEO of Baltimore Public Markets Corporation, the quasi-governmental agency that manages the city’s various markets, said in a statement that his group it “very committed to having Faidley’s remain in Lexington Market, with a new stall in the redeveloped Market.”
He added: “We have worked with them throughout the vendor application, selection, and design process, and believe they are a vital part of Lexington Market’s legacy and future.”
Highlandtown’s Corazón Helado becomes ‘Hecho en Baltimore’
Highlandtown ice cream shop Corazón Helado has closed and will reopen Feb. 5 as “Hecho en Baltimore,” according to owner Rosalyn Vera, who has parted ways with business partners Paul Plascencia and his wife, Johana Álvarez.
The shop will offer all things made in Baltimore, including Thread coffee, plants from Fells Point shop Cultivated and artwork by Charm City’s Jessy DeSantis. Also look for a limited menu similar to fare at Vera’s popular Cocina Luchadoras taqueria in nearby Fells Point, as well as the paletas, or fruit popsicles, that Corazón Helado was known for.
BTW, did you catch Vera in that recent TV commercial?
More details on Kneads
H&S Bakery released some delicious new details about Kneads, their massive new bakery and cafe coming to 506 S. Central Ave. in Harbor East.
When it opens this summer, the 17,000-square-foot space will include over 150 seats, a patio, market area and space for baking classes as well as private events. A to-go window will be styled to look like a vintage H&S Bakery truck while a 7,400-square-foot, glass-enclosed “bakeshop” will allow customers to watch up to thousands of pounds of bread being made each hour.
Coffee will come from local roaster Aveley Farms, recently evicted from another Harbor East space. Look for partnerships with other local vendors to come.
In a statement, partner Kira Paterakis Nissley called Kneads “a true labor of love for my family.” She added: “We are so excited to take our generations-long passion for the baking business and translate it into an experiential concept which the whole community can take part in.”
Ledo Pizza in Towson
Regional pizza chain Ledo Pizza confirmed plans to open a new branch in Towson at 1238 Putty Hill Ave., coming this fall. A hearing before the Baltimore County liquor board is scheduled for Jan. 24.
Odafe Oweh tackles Codetta’s cupcakes
It’s safe to say it’s the offseason when Ravens outside linebacker Odafe Oweh is eating cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes; sweets from Federal Hill-based baker Codetta’s Bake Shop, which, after less than two years in business, has become one of the area’s go-to destinations for sweet things (their cheesecake is one of the best around). A rising star: kind of like Oweh after his impressive debut in Baltimore.