A new Poupon for downtown

Changes in Canton and at Maggie's Farm

January 21, 2014|By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun

Joseph Poupon, the owner of Patisserie Poupon, is preparing to open a downtown cafe version of his patisserie.

Cafe Poupon will be located in the cafe space at 225 N. Charles St. The storefront space adjoins the Grand Historic Venue, the former Masonic Lodge now operated as an event space by the Embassy Suites Baltimore hotel.

Unlike the Jonestown patisserie on Baltimore Street, which sells only pastries, the new location will offer a menu similar to that at Poupon's store on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, namely breakfast and lunch fare like omelets, quiches, brioche and baguette sandwiches, and nicoise salad.

The Charles Street location will prepare and sell almost all of the tarts, cakes and pastries offered at the original Jonestown location, except perhaps for the largest sheet cakes, Poupon said.

The Baltimore Street location opened in 1986, Poupon said, and the Washington location opened in 1997. Poupon said he hopes to have Cafe Poupon open by the end of January.

"I like the space," Poupon said. "We're pretty much ready to go."

In addition to its retail operations, Patisserie Poupon sells versions of its desserts to restaurants.

Canton occupancies The vacant Canton property where Yellow Dog Tavern operated from 2007 until its sudden closing last spring will be turned into an Asian fusion/Vietnamese restaurant.

The restaurant's owner, Linh Ha, will be developing the restaurant with her sister, who has owned restaurants in Vietnam and Germany, according to Amy Pelletier, the agent who represented Ha in the purchase of the building. There are no plans for extensive renovations to the property, but Ha is planning to furnish the interior with decor imported from Vietnam, Pelletier said.

The board of liquor license commissioners for Baltimore City recently approved the liquor license transfer for the new restaurant, whose name has not been decided. The board also recently approved a license transfer at another vacant Canton restaurant property, the former Geckos on Fleet Street. The new restaurant will operate as Fleet Street Tavern, which is not to be confused with Fleet Street Kitchen or Fleet Street Market.

Geckos, a popular neighborhood Mexican restaurant, closed in September after 14 years.

Fall into the Rabbit Hole Maggie's Farm will begin serving dinners on Sunday nights.

Rabbit Hole, as the Sunday dinners at Maggie's Farm (4341 Harford Road, 410-254-2376, maggiesfarmmd.com) are being called, will feature a different theme each week.

Some Sunday evenings, Rabbit Hole will take the form of a "pop-up" event, a phenomenon that usually has a chef and crew taking up temporary residence in a surprising nonrestaurant space. But "pop-up" is a term also used when outside chefs are invited into established restaurants for a night or two, sometimes working in collaboration with the house staff, sometimes not.

Rabbit Hole will see chefs like Chris Becker (Bagby Restaurant Group), Jesse Sandlin (Oliver Speck's) Tae Strain (the much-missed Demi) and Jordan Miller (French Kitchen) pulling guest shifts at Maggie's Farm. Guests will be able to order from a mix of fixed-price and a la carte options, and they will have a choice of both special items and ones from the regular Maggie's Farm menu.

Rabbit Hole launches this Sunday with a tasting menu inspired by authentic Mexican cuisine. The evenings are open to the public, and reservations are being accepted.

Last fall, Maggie's Farm got an impressive interior makeover courtesy of the Food Network's "Restaurant Divided" show. The redo, which produced a bar at the back of the dining room, and coincided with the introduction of more casual options on the menu, was the culmination of a patient yearlong transition at Maggie's Farm, which had for a while kept the name and much of the menu of its predecessor, The Chameleon.


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