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Remington’s Parts & Labor building to get new tenant: John Brown General & Butchery

The new location of John Brown General & Butchery will greet guests “as soon as possible,” said owner Robert Voss. The original store is pictured.
The new location of John Brown General & Butchery will greet guests “as soon as possible,” said owner Robert Voss. The original store is pictured. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimoreans will soon be able to visit an artisanal butcher within city limits.

After six years in Cockeysville, John Brown General & Butchery is opening a second location in the Remington storefront formerly occupied by Parts & Labor. The new butcher shop and eatery will greet guests “as soon as possible,” said owner Robert Voss.

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The name is tentatively JBGB’s, but that’s subject to change, said Voss.

After just recently signing a lease on the space, owned by Seawall Development, he’s eyeing an opening date in late May or early June if everything goes to plan.

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Katie Marshall, director of communications for Seawall Development, said the company is “excited about John Brown’s coming to the neighborhood and activating a space that is so central to the community of Remington.” She added that the location is a unique one, having been designed exactly for the needs of a butcher shop and restaurant combined. “It’s a unique space and it really takes the right concept and operators to run a business out of there,” she said.

Parts & Labor, opened by James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde, shut down in 2018. The North Howard Street location, a former auto repair shop, failed to find a permanent new tenant in the years since. Voss said the restaurant’s atypical layout works well for his business’s specific needs.

Voss, who lives in Monkton, said he hadn’t considered expanding to the city until last Thanksgiving. Facing an increase in business at his Cockeysville location, he temporarily leased the Parts & Labor space as a storage unit to house 300 turkeys. After getting to know the surrounding neighborhood, he became more interested in opening up on a permanent basis there.

The restaurant will be a butcher shop first, restaurant second. Voss says he and his staff will strive to be accessible to a broad cross section of people. Whereas Parts & Labor at times “felt like a Woodberry Kitchen in Remington,” his restaurant will offer more economical fare. “We want to serve the community in which we exist,” he said. “We don’t want to price anybody out.”

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Menu offerings will include pizzas cooked on the restaurant’s hearth fireplace. “We’re going to do a hybrid between a New York pie and Neapolitan,” he said. The menu will include burgers, sandwiches and a rotating selection of “composed dishes” that will appeal to fine-dining fans. The restaurant will also apply for a liquor license.

Voss said he’d been fielding calls from reporters since posting the news on Facebook and said he was “humbled” by the level of interest in the new restaurant. “We’ve always been a small butcher shop in the country,” he said.

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