Papi’s Tacos, the restaurant and bar with locations in Fells Point and Hampden, will open a third location in Towson this summer.
Co-owner Charlie Gjerde said he hopes to have the restaurant, located at 826 Dulaney Valley Road, open by July 1. The spot is the former Razorback’s Raw Bar and Grill, which shuttered last year.
The new restaurant will have seats for about 100 people and share the menu of Papi’s Hampden, which includes items like build-your-own tacos and tableside guacamole.
It’s the first location in Baltimore County for the C2 restaurant group, which in addition to the two Papi’s branches also owns Wicked Sisters in Hampden, Alexander’s Tavern in Fells Point and Huck’s American Craft in Brewer’s Hill.
“This seems perfect,” said Gjerde, who grew up in Cockeysville and considered Towson his “stomping grounds.”
A hearing before the liquor board is scheduled for June 7.
C2 is looking to open a fourth location of Papi’s sometime next year in either Ocean City, Frederick, Columbia or Harford County. Gjerde said he’s learned that “it’s a lot easier to open a restaurant where you already know the menu,” as opposed to creating an entirely new concept.
Papi’s was able to thrive during the pandemic by pivoting to carryout orders, given that the menu easily translated to that format. “We were really able to power through with to-go food” and outdoor dining, Gjerde said.
As a wave of restaurants have reopened amid declining COVID-19 cases and the relaxation of restrictions, many restaurant owners have reported challenges finding staff. “Labor’s a nightmare right now,” Gjerde. Though Baltimroe has lifted its capacity limits inside, Gjerde said his restaurants remain at 50% “because we just don’t have the staff.”