Food & Drink

Table Talk: Kooper's expands to Baltimore County, adds food truck

The owners of Kooper's Tavern, Katie and Patrick Russell, will open a Baltimore County location in Lutherville's Round Wood Shopping Center. The new location will be called Kooper's North. A new food truck, Woody's Taco Island, is also on its way.

The Lutherville location was formerly the home of Roddy Domacasse's Restaurant Sabor, which closed suddenly last summer. The Russells will operate Kooper's North in a partnership with Miles Perman, according to Patrick Russell, who said that he hopes to have the new location open by Aug. 21.

In addition to Kooper's Tavern, the Russells own the Thames Street properties Slainte Irish Pub and Woody's Rum Bar and Celie's Waterfront Inn. They also own Kooper's Chowhound Burger Wagon, the first truck in Baltimore's food-truck fleet. Patrick Russell said that he will have a new food truck, Woody's Taco Island, on the streets of Baltimore within a few weeks.

For more information, go to

County fare Elsewhere in Baltimore County, the owners of McFaul's Iron Horse Tavern at Sanders Corner (2260 Cromwell Bridge Road, 410-828-1625) are putting the finishing touches on the renovations to the nostalgic Cromwell Bridge Road property. The restaurant, and its signature porch overlooking Loch Raven Reservoir, should be ready for guests by the second week in June, if not sooner.

Mo's Seafood (1528 Joppa Road, Towson, 410-823-3030) opened earlier this month in the old Orchard Inn location. The renovations to the space took over two years. The renovation was a bigger project than it looked like when it started. The completely remodeled restaurant includes a covered patio and a separate retail space.

There remains a question mark over the old Valley Inn, however, which since last fall has been in the hands of Ted Bauer, the owner of the Oregon Grill.

No visible renovations have been made to the historic property, which has been closed since last fall, and Bauer has declined numerous requests to discuss the future of the Baltimore County landmark.

The new hospitality Hotel dining is experiencing a ground shift. You can see the change even in luxury chains that were once identified with fine dining. But no one likes to eat that way anymore. Casual is in, even when you end up paying as much for it as you did when it was formal. Wit & Wisdom, the Michael Mina project at the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel is a prime example of this new hotel restaurant model, the assertive regional tavern.

Another one such specimen is headed to Annapolis.

In mid-June. the Loews Annapolis Hotel on West Street will open a new restaurant named WEST Kitchen & Tavern. The restaurant will feature a raw bar, fresh herb garden, hearth oven, and "chef's table" for group dining

The restaurant's executive chef will be Kevin Reif, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University, who says that his menu at WEST Kitchen & Tavern will be regionally and seasonally motivated.

James LoBosco, the Annapolis hotel's general manager said that WEST Kitchen & Tavern will be an agent in the revitalization of West Street. We've created a place for the community to gather and experience the best Chesapeake-inspired cuisine in a casually refined ambience all while creating a renewed vision on West Street."

WEST Kitchen & Tavern is at 126 West St., Annapolis. For information go to

New hire Joseph Pastore is the new executive chef at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. He replaces John Taylor, who had joined the Baltimore location in the fall of 2010. A graduate of Pennsylvania Institute for Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, Pastore worked at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, where he eventually hooked up with Oceanaire. This is his first executive chef position.

The Oceanaire is at 901 Aliceanna St. Call 443-823-3030 or go to