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Hampden’s Food Market restaurant branches out to Columbia

Just call Columbia “Little Hampden.”

The Food Market, the Baltimore-based restaurant known for its Amish pretzels with beer cheese and other comfort food dishes, has opened a second location in Downtown Columbia’s Central District.

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The restaurant joins recently opened ice cream shop The Charmery, which also is known for its location on Hampden’s Avenue, or 36th Street.

In a statement, Greg Fitchitt of developer The Howard Hughes Corporation spoke of how Columbia had “uniquely fused the cultures of Baltimore and Washington” and said he was “thrilled to welcome two of Baltimore’s most beloved local food concepts” to the area.

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“This city is thriving by attracting not only some of the most innovative tech companies in the world,” he wrote, “but by also supporting community-based businesses like The Food Market, known for its deep roots and loyalty to the communities it serves.”

For now, the Food Market is open only for on-premises dinner service, but lunch, brunch and takeout options are in the works. The restaurant’s new, 5,000-square-foot location offers both indoor and outdoor dining. According to its Instagram page, it opened Friday. Reservations for indoor spaces are available online, but outdoor seating is first-come, first-served.

The Food Market comes from executive chef and owner Chad Gauss, whose cash-only Quality Snowballs stand recently reopened for the season in Hampden. Gauss is also behind La Food Marketa in Baltimore County.

“It’s not an easy ride from Columbia to Hampden,” Gauss said, and he was looking forward to accommodating guests who live outside Baltimore’s boundaries. “We love the diversity and the people of Howard County, so we were excited to bring our offerings to them.”

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