For years the Walters Art Gallery resisted opening a restaurant. But with this Sunday's debut of Hackerman House comes the public opening of a 150-seat museum cafe entered from the 600 block of Washington Place, the official name of Charles Street as it passes Mount Vernon Place. The cafe opens for business at 11 a.m. Sunday.
A black wrought iron railing and bronze lamp mark the outside entrance to the lunch-only restaurant, which was dug out and created beneath a former backyard between Hackerman House's south wall and its carriage house. The cafe area is new to the Walters' complex of buildings.
The Pavilion at the Walters is a skylighted space with high walls and columns designed to mimic some of the 19th century architectural features of Mount Vernon Place. A centerpiece of the room is a fountain topped by a 1917 bronze titled "Joy and Panther Cub" by sculptor Malvina Hoffman. A broad staircase, reminiscent of old hotel or department store, leads to a balcony walkway which runs around one side of the room.