What if Hampden had a nice barbeque joint? [Column]

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Here's a fun, "What If" type of game I like to play. I call it "Hampden Needs What?" And then I try to imagine what our neighborhood could use that it's lacking.

In the past, I've said things like a barbeque joint (and when Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar opens at (1601 Union Ave., we'll have one). I've also suggested brick oven pizza, and now, we have one, with The Arthouse at 1115 W. 36th St. When Paulie Gee's opens at 3535 Chestnut Ave., we'll have two. I've said maybe a good ol' ashioned beer hall, and then De Kleine Duivel opened at 3602 Hickory Ave).


I like the game because it's often a weirdly accurate way of forecasting what might happen here next.

Lately, I've been saying we could use a farmer's market. And starting Saturday, May 17, we will have the Hampden Farmer's Market. It will run from 8 1 p.m. Saturdays, in the area of Elm Ave. and West 36th Street. No streets will be blocked off or closed down — this will simply take place on the sidewalk.


So far, confirmed vendors include Two Boots Farm, Stoney Ridge Farm, Sheep Hill Farm, The Mushroom Guy (aka The Corner Spore) and Atwaters Bakery. Organizers have said there will also be meat and cheese purveyors, and coffee from Spro and Common Ground. That now begs the question, what could Hampden use next? I'm thinking a good ol' fashioned seafood house, a simple place where to get some steamed shrimp, maybe a pitcher of beer and some steamed crabs. Or perhaps a live performance venue where we can see bands play. Anyone?

Okay, but before that, on Friday, May 9, the Wine Source, 3601 Elm Ave., will be hosting a Tommasi of Italy wine tasting from 5-7 p.m.

And then on Saturday, May 10, Gallery 788, 3602 Elm Ave., will be hosting NOVI XIV, Towson University's Senior Art Exhibition from 6-9 p.m.

On Thursday, May 15, cartoonist Box Brown will be at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road, to discuss and sign copies of his new graphic biography, "Andre The Giant: Life And Legend," about the iconic, larger-than-life wrestler of the same name. In addition to Box, local cartoonist Conor Stechschulte will be discussing and signing copies of his new graphic novel, "The Amateurs," a sort of horror story about a severed human head that hasn't stopped talking.