A county favorite plans a location in Federal Hill

Michael's is coming down the JFX. The owners of Michael's Cafe in Timonium have announced plans to add a Federal Hill location.

The new restaurant will be built on what is now a parking lot at South Charles and Cross streets. The plan is for a spring 2014 opening. It will operate under the Michael's banner but with a concept adapted to Federal Hill's younger demographic, according to a Michael's spokeswoman.


The Federal Hill restaurant will be built from the ground up but will retain part of an existing structure at the south end of the property, which extends from 1100 to 1106 S. Charles St.

A Baltimore County fixture since 1984, Michael's is owned and operated by the Dellis family, who have also announced some changes at the Timonium cafe. Renovations will expand the existing 500-square-foot outdoor patio into the Patio at Michael's Cafe, a 2,400-square-foot space encompassing a newly designed indoor bar, outdoor lounge, dining area and back bar.


The Timonium restaurant will remain open during the renovations, which are expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

The addition of a Federal Hill location for Michael's is a reversal of a recent city-to-county trend. The team behind Kooper's in Fells Point opened a second location last summer in May's Chapel. And the owners of Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill are set to open a new location next month on Padonia Road, in the space that was formerly Gibby's Seafood.

Shhhhh! The Martick's tavern we told you about last December is getting closer.

Brooks Bennett, the operator of the new Martick's, said he hopes to have the establishment open in early August, pending approval of the liquor license and an OK from the health department.

The storied Mulberry Street property started out as a grocery store run by Morris Martick's parents, who operated it as a speakeasy during the Prohibition years and as a licensed bar from repeal through 1970. It was then that Morris Martick, who died in December 2011, converted the property into a memorably quirky French restaurant. He retired and closed the place in 2008.

Fans of the French restaurant will recognize its inimitable interior, which has been left largely intact. But they won't be feasting on pate and bouillabaisse. The new Martick's is not a revival of Martick's Restaurant Francais.

It will be a modern version of the bygone (illegal) speakeasy, Bennett said, with hand-crafted cocktails and a small, seasonally changing menu.

Another Little Italy closing Della Notte closed Saturday.


The restaurant's closing was confirmed by manager Rita Lymperopoulos, who did not give a reason. The restaurant's owner, Ted Julio, could not be reached for comment.

Julio opened Della Notte, which was known for its opulent decor and extensive wine list, in 1997 in a space formerly know at DiVivo's Pastries and Cafe.

Della Notte is the second Little Italy restaurant to close in recent months. Rocco's Capriccio closed on April 28 after 17 years.

Where they are now David Derewicz, the longtime general manager at the Prime Rib, is now with Steve de Castro's Big Steak Management, the Pikesville-based restaurant group that operates nine Ruth's Chris Steakhouse locations in Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina.

Derewicz, who left the Prime Rib in November, will be managing the Ruth's Chris location in Pikesville.

And Davide Rossi, who operated Locust Point's Pazza Luna restaurant with wife Christa from 2009 to 2011, is the new chef at Birroteca. Rossi replaces Cyrus Keefer, who is now the executive chef at Fork & Wrench in Canton. Rossi's first day at Birroteca was Monday.