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Owners of State Fare to open Mexican restaurant on Sea Hut Inn site

The Sea Hut Inn on Frederick Road in Catonsville announced the restaurant is closing in early February of 2020.
The Sea Hut Inn on Frederick Road in Catonsville announced the restaurant is closing in early February of 2020.(Jay Judge / Baltimore Sun)

Roughly a week after proprietors of Catonsville’s Sea Hut Inn announced they’re closing, State Fare owners signed a lease with the building’s landlord with the intent of opening a Mexican restaurant there later this year, State Fare co-owner Evan Brown said.

“We’re kind of developing everything right now,” Brown said.

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Brown confirmed that he and his business partner and State Fare chef, Keith Holsey, are setting out to open a restaurant serving traditional Mexican, Salvadoran and Tex Mex cuisine.

In Catonsville’s burgeoning restaurant scene, Mexican food is "one of the things we thought Catonsville didn’t really have,” Brown said.

The new Mexican venture — which does not yet have a name — would be the only one of its kind along Catonsville’s main business corridor on Frederick Road. On the other side of the Beltway about a mile away sits El Patron Mexican Grill on Frederick Road and El Agave on Ingleside Avenue. Restaurante Las Lupitas is located 2 miles from the building on Rolling Road.

Brown is still meeting with architects to overhaul the interior at 729 Frederick Road, so details on how they plan to renovate the building are scarce. He plans to install a rooftop deck, he said.

“Hopefully it won’t take longer than three to five months to renovate and open,” Brown added.

The block of buildings is owned by Alida Corp., a Silver Spring-based company, according to state property tax records.

Brown and Holsey, who also ran Portalli’s Italian restaurant in Ellicott City before the 2018 flood permanently closed it, opened the mid-to-upscale State Fare, specializing in American fare, in 2018.

The moves comes at the same time that Faidley’s Seafood owners finalized their contract to purchase the old Plymouth Wallpaper building across the street to open a restaurant next year.

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“I’m really excited for this needed addition that we don’t have yet in Catonsville,” said Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents southwestern Baltimore County.

“There is so much momentum in Catonsville right now,” Quirk said, noting the addition of Faidley’s and the anticipated 818 Gourmet Market that has poured $9.5 million of investment into Catonsville. In addition, there is the upcoming Music City Maryland music festival in May, a collaboration between restaurateurs and musicians following the state’s designation of Catonsville as Baltimore County’s first Arts & Entertainment District, and a zoning change opening up community businesses to host live music performances.

“This town is definitely flourishing," Quirk said. “I think it’s just scratching the surface of what’s to come.”

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