Baltimore City housing officials issued a stop work order at a planned Ekiben location in Hampden after discovering that work was being done without the required permits. Business owner Steve Chu said he is working with the city to ensure compliance and looks forward to opening in Hampden.
A neighbor complained in August that work was being done, according to a city spokeswoman, and an inspector went to investigate. A stop work order dated Sept. 30 was posted to the storefront at 911 W. 36th St. in Hampden. Online city records include photos of demolition work being done on the interior of the basement level space.
This week, inspectors posted another notice of code violations, with a warning that appropriate permits needed to be obtained within three days. A spokeswoman for the department could not be immediately reached for comment.
The site is planned for the second location of Ekiben, the popular Fells Point spot known for its chicken sandwiches, according to records from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. The space was previously occupied by Tiger Style, from the team behind The Food Market. Tiger Style closed its doors this summer after less than a year in operation.
Chu said he thought his contractors had the proper permits before work but said, “We’re working with city offices and we’re now 100% compliant with all the permit work that needs to be done."
He declined to give an opening date for the restaurant but said, “If it’s before next year, that’d be dope.”
He added that he’s looking forward to coming to Hampden. “It’s such a great community and they always show a lot of love and support.” Of the business’ success -- this week BuzzFeed named them the best sandwich in Maryland -- he said, “It’s kind of like a dream come true slash — is this really happening?”