The cooking Gjerdes


October 28, 2006|By JACQUES KELLY

There was time in the 1990s when every new restaurant in Baltimore seems to have some attachment to the hard-working brothers, Spike and Charlie Gjerde. They launched places in Mount Vernon, Federal Hill, Canton and Bolton Hill. But restaurant work is notoriously demanding; it all took a toll on their personal lives, and as of last year, they had closed or sold all their ventures.

The hiatus proved to be temporary. This past Thursday, Spike signed the lease -- in negotiations for months -- for his newest restaurant venture, the Woodberry Kitchen in the rapidly developing Clipper Mill complex. It's in the old foundry complex near Clipper Road and Union Avenue, just off the Jones Falls Expressway.

"Personally and professionally, this is an opportunity to distill all of my experience over the past 16 years in one place," Spike said.

He will be joined in his new restaurant by his wife, Amy, who will work in the restaurant's management, and with Nelson Carey, who now has the Grand Cru wine bar in Belvedere Square.

"Nelson has a deep understanding of food and will bring a chef's approach to the bar," Spike said.

In the meantime, brother Charlie is now a restaurant consultant at Robert Oliver Seafood, the old Spike & Charlie's space on Cathedral Street, which is to open soon.

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