Tuesday, August 25, 2015

While I've Been: New BBQ, Rum Bar, And Bakery, Plus Stuff Keeps Coming (With A Few Losses)

What's coming to the new construction in Maple Lawn?
So what have I missed?

One of the great parts of HowChow has been collecting news and rumors that I hear in emails and comments on the blog.  People have been sending news even though I haven't been posting, and it's time to share what I know and ask folks to add more in the comments.  We're looking at new barbecue, a new bakery, hopefully new ramen, and probably a new rum bar.  Plus, there is more news and some good-looking spots where I hope restaurants will open.

This is part of my "While I've Been Out" series to restart the blog.  Late last year, the blog got some serious competition.  I'm still working out how to keep writing while I'm doing so many other new things as well.  Thanks to everyone who has kept reading, emailing and commenting.  Tomorrow, my report on the restaurant that surprised me the most this year.

Let's start with the things that I know -- or at least have heard about:
  • Urban BBQ is coming to Ellicott City -- specifically to the shopping center with Coal Fire Pizza off Rte 108 near Snowden River Parkway.  Months ago, Mike sent me a link to Urban BBQ's Web page where they list a location coming soon.  Who has a report on Urban BBQ?  Who knows a timeline?
  • In other barbecue talk, there is chatter that Mission BBQ will be one of the businesses taking over the former Shanty Grill on Rte 40 in Ellicott City.  That's a great location for a barbecue place that opened a spot in Columbia and had such long lines on the day that I went for lunch that I couldn't wait with a toddler.  Think about March or early spring 2016 for the new location.  Anyone know details?
  • Smashburger is coming to Ellicott City, as I posted in July. Tim reports that a new Barakat Kabob looks to be opening nearby on Rte 40 next to the Yama Asian Bistro.  He said they have a menu in the window, but paper still covered them last week.  Tim also talks up the new Carroll Farm meat stand on Rte 144.  I have been there yet, although I assume it is the farm with this Web page.  He reports nice beef and pork selections, including different sausages.  They also sell chicken that you can buy on the day that they're processed.
  • That Rte 40 development is really hot.  Glory Days Grill also opened there, and the Two Dudes Who Love Food blogged about a sneak peak in July.   They talked up wings, fried pickles, pizza and salmon.
  • Primo Hoagies says they're opening a shop on Dobbin Center Way in Columbia.  Dori and I would like to know more.  Anyone know when?  Anyone eaten their sandwiches?  I lived in Philadelphia so I'm very cautious when people claim to be selling Philly-level hoagies.
  • Coho Grill has re-opened.  The Columbia restaurant closed during renovations at the golf club's clubhouse.  I haven't heard details about the new space or menu, but Stan Rapport wrote a profile with some video.
  • Renata's Tasty Bites has taken over the bakery on Snowden River Parkway that used to be Linda's Bakery.  I haven't been yet, but I saw that we're going to become regulars once the weather gets a little colder.  They're open at 8 am on weekend mornings.  Coffee and a pasty could entertain us and Lil' Chow on our way to grocery shop or some toddler classes.  Renata's has been around for several years, so please let me know what you'd recommend that I try.
  • Paper Lantern Asian Grill & Sushi has opened on Marriottsville Road.  JJ tweeted about the opening, and I'd love to hear about good Asian food in the western county.
  • Uma Uma is still aiming to bring ramen and yakitori to Rte 40 in Ellicott City.  This is across from the former Shanty Grill next to Lighthouse Tofu and a Boston Chicken.  The owners have been working to renovate a former sub shop since last summer.  I hope to slurp noodles there this fall, and I'll keep you up to date.
  • Highland Inn closed.  It's heartbreaking because I saw the years and clear money that people put into opening that restaurant on Rte 216.  They were going for a real upscale experience, but it doesn't seem to have worked out.  We ate there.  I wish that I could have blogged positively about the experience.
  • BrickNFire Pizza won a recent competition with Marriott where they were picked as the best restaurant concept and get a six-month tryout in the Marriott near Camden Yards.  Richard Gorelick wrote up the contest in June.  (Hat tip to CrunchDaddy -- whose Columbia-made popcorns are spectacular.  His butter-rum and cranberry flavor got a write-up in the June edition of the Food Network's magazine.)
Then some stuff that I am hoping that you can answer:
A great space on  Main Street
  • What's the timing and plans for the new Bulk Head brewery that is supposed to open on Old Annapolis Road in Columbia?  Sarah Meehan wrote up the plans in June and described a beach-themed brewery from two founders who did home brewing.  Meehan talked about a fall opening.
  • What are the plans for FoodPlenty -- the Clarksville restaurant being planned by the folks behind Victoria Gastropub?  The place-holder website says they're aiming for 2016.  Anyone know more? 
  • Is Black Eyed Susan Brewing open for business?  The website doesn't seem definitive.  Has anyone tried the beer?
  • What's the timing on Mutiny Pirate Bar, which still has a sign saying that they're coming to downtown Ellicott City?  It's a spot just off the major intersection of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike.  When I posted in March, the signs said "Summer 2015."  They say its a rum bar.  It didn't look close when I biked past in August.  This is the second location of a restaurant by the folks who run Iron Bridge Wine Co. so I have high hopes.
  • Anyone know if a restaurant has signed to open right at the Main Street-Old Columbia Pike intersection?  That's the old Taylor Antique Mall, and I had linked in December to a Sun article where the landlord's agent talked about Joe Squared opening there.  I haven't seen any progress, and the sign still offered the space for rent on my last visit.
  • What is going into the new Maple Lawn construction?  I hear that the buildings going up near the Harris Teeter are slated for at least two restaurants.  At one point, there had been talk of the Looney's folks getting into brewing their own beer, but I don't know whether anyone has signed up for the space.
In other news, check out the "Farm To Fork Frederick" events that run August 28 to September 7.  Restaurants, farms, breweries and others in our neighboring county have gathered together to schedule specials and events that celebrate Frederick-grown foods.  Their Web site is here.  It looks like fun for folks who enjoy a food adventure -- and who don't have to juggle naps or 7:45 pm baths.  It's not Howard County, but we outer boroughs need to stick together.

If you know more news, please add comments below.  I'm still working through email so I'm sure that I'll have more posts with news and questions.

I hope to blog more regularly going forward.  It's great fun.  It's a great inspiration to try new food.  And it's always a blast to get emails or comments with news about Howard County food.  So please stay with me.

27 comments:

Dave said...

Concerning Urban BBQ- I used to basically live off of that place when I lived in Rockville. They were consistently good with their ribs and the burgers as well as smoked sausage are outstanding. I don't have a timeline to share, but I am excited as the location is close to me (flip a coin between Coal Fire and Urban). Thanks for the good news!

Head Gaggler said...

Thanks for the update, its great to see you back!

Hospitality Seeker said...

Coho's has deafening sound issues. I had a horrible experience -- to the point of having hearing loss for an hour or so afterwards -- shortly after they opened, and everyone I've known who has gone since has reported similar noise issues. I was in the bar area, but i understand the dining room isn't much better. Every surface, including all but a few chairs in the bar, is hard. A happy hour group organizer made arrangements ahead with the manager, who never told the bar tender. Happy hour prices are not offered on the patio.

Lisa N. said...

Welcome back. I have love your posts. You are a great source of information about the HoCo restaurant scene. So glad to see you are blogging again.

Jack said...

From what I've heard the old Shanty Grille site is being turned into yet another Rt 40 strip mall. They are gutting the inside and in addition to Mission BBQ one of the other tenants is supposed to be Lax World. Every time I thing the strip mall redevelopment of Rt 40 corridor is slowing a developer finds yet another corner to cram some additional storefronts.

Lisa Solomon said...

In reference to Joe Squared, this was posted on their FB page.

Are you guys still coming to Ellicott City? Or is that dead in the water? Haven't seen any updates since the winter time.
1Like · Comment

Write a comment...



Joe Squared Jon, we are currently pretty busy with moving our original location to a new spot so that we can secure our future in Station North. We are hoping to open on September 14th and after we get the ball rolling we are going to focus on the E.C.and other expansion projects again.. It is not dead in the water and we are serious about our expansion projects but we needed to take care of the move first.

i know a lot of people are waiting for that location and all we can say is that we are excited about Ellicott City Joe Squared project as much as you are.
Like · Reply · 1 · August 19 at 4:09pm

TH said...

So glad to have you back How Chow. Offering support and congratulations on the "HowChow Competition"...


I feel connected again...

Anonymous said...

Love Mission bbq and Urban bbq. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates. Cafe Au Lait, the banh mi place, is closed (sigh) and Cafe Mezcla is moving there soon according to a sign on the door.

Anonymous said...

Primo's!!! They're the best. This from another former Philadelphian. I like Jersey Mike's just fine, but Primo's rolls are in another league.

KimD said...

I've been a regular customer of Renata's while she was located in a kiosk in Savage Mill. I have tried a lot of her creations, and ALL were very good. I can't say what my favorite was, but I really like the nutella cookies. Her tomato tarts are also excellent. She has savories as well as sweets, and I encourage everyone to visit and try her outstanding creations.

Geoberk said...

Bulk Head is aiming for a mid to late October opening. Brewing equipment has been delivered and they're ready for build out.

Kat said...

Ditto on Renata's tomato tarts. Unexpectedly delicious and probably my favorite thing from her farmer's market stand. I'll miss Linda's, but it's great to see her expanding to a proper storefront.

Anonymous said...

Black Eyed Susan Brewing is no longer leasing their listed address, 9570 Berger Rd Suites J-K. An envelope with their name is no longer taped to the door and there is a realtor's key box attached to one of the doors.

http://resources.lee-associates.com/asp/user/website/searchresults.asp?displayasmap=false

Anonymous said...

I'm all for another good bbq joint in the area. I went to Mission BBQ last Friday (maybe thurs?) during lunch when it was pouring rain... The line was still insanely long. Wrapped around the tables and all the way back to the soda machines. To be fair, they moved the line quickly (15'ish minute wait), but 50-75 person line is crazy a year after opening.

CBWAW said...

I've been going to the Urban BBQ by BWI, they have amazing sides! Best french fries I've ever had. Mashed potatoes were creamy and exquisite. Cornbread wasn't overly sweet like the cake they serve at some places. I slightly prefer Mission BBQ's meat, but their sides aren't that great.

Anonymous said...

FoodPlenty is going to be home style comfort food. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and so on. They will have take out also. Will be sometime in 2016 for the opening.

Scenemaker said...

The success and popularity of Mission BBQ is truly a reflection of the hot dining scene in Columbia. I personally think/feel that (when compared to other cities of similar size that I have visited) the Columbia market is still underserved by restaurant retailers. When will a Chili's open up in Columbia/Ellicott City area? Yes, I know...there's one at Arundel Mills Mall and another near BWI, but it's one of my favorite chain restaurants. Anyway, in regards to a Mission BBQ occupying the old Shanty Grille spot, well, not sure how that would work with the little parking that's there.

shanda said...

I ate at Primo's Subs quite often when I lived on the eastern shore. They have a store in Salisbury. The subs are quite large and relatively inexpensive given the size. The best thing about their subs is their signature bread. It is quite hardy and has a sesame seed topping that adds a really nice flavor. I am super exited that they are finally getting one in Howard County.

Kari said...

Very excited about FoodPlenty. We have so few options in Clarksville, and while we love Mimi's, Anthony's and Katana, something new is welcome. We're big fans of Victoria's and would be very happy to have some of their menu items transfer here, too. Especially the pate and mussels!

Anonymous said...

I heard Five Pies is going to open near Five Guys in Dobbin Center--any idea when?

brianscrazytalk said...

Another new place on Rt. 40 is Beef Brothers Deli and Pizza taking the corner space in the center behind CVS. From their FB page it looks like their original Baltimore City location is very popular.

Jess said...

I'm from South Jersey, outside of Philly, and if it's anything like it is up there, we're in for a treat!!

Jess said...

Sorry, Primo's, I meant.

emkenton said...

Our move from HowCo to MoCo 3 years ago took us from restaurants aplenty in Columbia, but the one we were most excited to be near was Urban BBQ. As transplanted Texans, we take "BBQ" to mean BRISKET and UBQ's is quite good. (Their macaroni and cheese is also deeeeelicious.) In addition to all the varied BBQ options, they also have tasty burgers that can be served in a variety of styles. Happy for them that their business is expanding-- fingers crossed the quality stays high!

They also do a great catering business, which I would assume would be available in the EC location. Wonderful way to serve a whole bunch of hungry people!!

Mary Anne Espenshade said...

Another positive vote here for Primo Hoagies! Grew up in the Philly area and boy do I miss hoagies since moving to MD. Subs and Subway just do not cut it. I still go the the south Jersey shore in the summer (OCNJ) and Primo Hoagies is always our first stop for lunch when arriving and our last stop on our way out of town to eat lunch and get another sandwich for the next day.

Eric said...

Primo Hoagies Grand Opening is scheduled for Tuesday March 1st. Signs posted at location and date is on their website.