Canton's new Fork & Wrench bar/restaurant at 'full blast' this weekend

March 23, 2012|By Erik Maza | The Baltimore Sun

The Fork & Wrench, a new bar/restaurant in Canton modeled on Prohibition-era speakeasies, shifts to full-mode this weekend after a week-long soft launch.

Andy Gruver, one of the owners, said the grand opening is March 29, but he promised the bar will be at "full blast" this weekend. It'll be the first time a new bar has opened at 2322 Boston since Pur Lounge closed three years ago.

The new bar is still owned by Jason Sanchez, whose Ma & Me, LLC., has owned the building since 2006 and has seen several bars come and go. First, there was Good Love, which closed in 2007, and later Pur Lounge, which closed in 2009.

On the bar side, Fork & Wrench will focus on craft cocktails and beers. But its distinguishing characteristic will be its look, which Gruver describes as "a 1920-30s working class feel" spread out over three stories. 

"We had a bunch of ideas for the name.," he says. "But consistently the logo was a fork and a wrench, something that would express the old school way of doing things."

To accomplish the Prohibition-era feel, Gruver and Sanchez have been renovating the building for the past two years, relying mainly on architectural salvage from Second Chance.

He got a break when the contents of an old downtown bank came to auction and he raided it for parts. The bank's vault door now hangs from one Fork & Wrench's walls as a side door. And hundreds of the bank's canceled checks are now ceiling wallpaper at the new venue.

"We got a lot of ideas from that bank, and tried to mimic that here," he says.

Like Frederick's on Fleet, another new bar that celebrates the Prohibition era, Fork & Wrench will also focus on craft cocktails - five to start, to be rotated seasonally, like the dinner menu.

The bar will also have six beers on draft, all regional crafts. Briefly, Gruver considered doing an all-Stillwater selection, but he backed off when he saw Of Love & Regret. Instead, he'll start with Stillwater's Existent and Cellar Door.

Beers are in the $2.50 - $7.50 range; cocktails are $6 - $12. Fork & Wrench's kitchen closes at 11 p.m., but Gruver said the bar may offer late-night snacks in the future.

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