Attention food and music lovers: Merriweather Post Pavilion has upped its food game. Chef Cathal Armstrong has signed on as the Columbia venue’s food adviser. Armstrong has been nominated three times by the James Beard Foundation, and was selected as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “10 Best New Chefs.” 

Look for some Maryland-influenced additions to Merriweather’s already tasty options, including freshly roasted husk-on-corn with toppings, a brisket chili bowl with tortilla chips and sweet slices of watermelon. Oh yeah, they also have a great musical lineup this year.

Hotel Revival, a boutique hotel in historic Mount Vernon, recently named Scott Hines as the new executive chef, and Lindsay Chapon as director of food and beverage. The two will collaborate to bring new life to the hotel’s food and beverage program.

Before joining the Hotel Revival team, Hines was the executive chef at B&O American Brasserie, and in 2015 he was a winner of the Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games.” The highly regarded Chapon has a degree in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu.

Wine, Women & Shoes, a seriously fun and unique special event, took place on May 5 at the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley. Guests were greeted with a glass of bubbly, followed by lots of great shopping, tasty treats and fab wine.

This very cool fundraiser benefited The Red Devils, a local charity whose mission is to fund services that improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families. 

Now Open for Business

Skybar at Lord Baltimore Hotel
Skybar at Lord Baltimore Hotel (Handout photo)

Skybar, located on the 19th-floor rooftop of the Lord Baltimore Hotel, is now officially open for the season. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s a really cool place to hang that has one of the best vantage points of downtown Charm City to enjoy summertime sunsets.

The menu features diverse and shareable plates, including veggie or shrimp kababs, Mexican-style street corn with queso blanco and a Maryland crab roll served with Old Bay chips.

For sweet treats, they offer locally owned Taharka Brothers and LB Bakery ice cream sammies.

The historic Pikes Theatre
The Pikes Theatre — which initially operated from 1938 to 1984, and later reopened from 2013 to 2016 – recently underwent an extensive renovation and is now operated by the Reisterstown-based NextAct Cinemas.(Photo by Terrell D. Anderson)

NextAct Cinema recently opened at the Pikes Theatre as an independent boutique movie house, where guests can wine and dine in comfy leather reclining chairs while watching their favorite flicks.

The historic property underwent extensive renovations, including a new concession area with digital menu screens and the addition of a lobby bar. While seated, guests can order wine, beer, artisanal popcorn, candy or a gourmet meal prepared by the adjacent Pikes Cinema Bar and Grill, and have it all delivered by the theater’s waiting staff.

Papi’s Taco Joint recently opened on Falls Road in Hampden, in the former site of Dimitri’s Tavern. Just like the original location in Fells Point, Papi’s features small plates and signature cocktails inspired by the antojitos (translation: snacks) of Mexican street food trucks, carts and markets.

And they have a “Papi Hour”!

Coming Soon

Great news for Mount Washington Village! Marigot and Russ Miller, owners of the Abbey Burger Bistro, are set to open the fourth location of their popular restaurant in the space previously occupied by Nickel Taphouse in the village.

Slated to open in September or October, the menu still is being worked out — they may add additional seafood elements to their burger and fries-centric offerings. Other ABB locations are in Fells Point, Federal Hill and Ocean City.

Lastly, Baltimore County’s first Steak ‘n Shake will open in the White Marsh area this summer. The counter-serve national chain known for its steakburgers and milkshakes offers a diner-like space with retro flair.

Randi Rom is president of RJ Rom & Associates. She is a freelance columnist and writer who represents some of the region’s top restaurants and food-related events. Contact her at

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