With 5,000 attendees at Alpha Kappa Alpha’s four-day regional conference at the Baltimore Convention Center, everyone needs options to better enjoy Charm City. Here are some places to visit. All are either Black-owned or Black-run and some have sorority or fraternity ties.
Art of Balance Wellness Spa
801 Key Hwy; artofbalancespa.com; 443-424-4080
Located in the Ritz-Carlton Residences on the water, the spa offers everything from life coaching sessions to aesthetic treatments such as dermal fills and peels. Owned by Dr. Nia Banks, a member of Delta Sigma Theta, the spa’s nurse practitioner, Melissa Ramsey, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
K. Stewart Beauty & Wellness
1310 Fleet Street kstewartbeautyandwellness.com; 443-963-1695
This IV therapy and lifestyle wellness spa is Black woman owned and located in Harbor East. The medspa offers everything from Botox and hydrafacials to laser hair removal and peels.
Spa at The Ivy
205 E. Biddle St.; theivybaltimore.com; 410-514-6500
Located in the heart of Mt. Vernon, the luxury spa — owned by Black philanthropists Eddie and Sylvia Brown— offers assorted extensive massage services in addition to things such as a moisture drench body wrap and the Uncle Nearest Hot Toddy foot ritual.
1000 Lancaster St. Unit B; baronebaltimore.com; 443-438-7858
From Peter Thomas of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame, this restaurant and bar specializes in Caribbean cuisine while the décor of the restaurant rivals that of a Miami or Atlanta.
1302 Fleet St.; eatatblkswan.com; 443-552-1945
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This lively, trendy restaurant and bar is a love note to Black excellence. The new American dishes and flashy cocktails are worth checking out. The restaurant normally has a monthlong waiting list, so the best option might be to arrive early and sit at the bar.
205 E. Biddle St.; theivybaltimore.com; 410-514-0303
The fine dining restaurant located in The Ivy Hotel is known for its cozy digs and new American cuisine. Reservations are required.
RYMKS Bar & Grille
819 E Pratt St.; rymks.com; 410-878-2067
Located in Little Italy, the restaurant and bar is owned by Trevor White, who is a member of Phi Beta Sigma. Check out its happy hour specials and brunch.
Cuples Tea House
409 N Howard St.; cuplesteahouse.com; 410-989-3851
The Black-owned tea house specializes in premium loose-leaf teas and accessories. It also sells delectable baked goods from the popular H3irloom Food Groups.