7 New and Expanding Restaurants in Canton
Business owners are adding new flavors to Canton’s dining scene. Portside Tavern’s owner is will open farm-to-table restaurant Cask and Grain by the end of the year while two new restaurants, Pie 360 and Mayuree Thai Tavern, just opened this month. Jokers ‘n Thieves, which opened in March, will add more seating upstairs, while El Bufalo added a kitchen with Patrick Morrow cooking up the menu. We take a look at seven new and expanding restaurants in Canton that have opened in recent months or will open this year.
1. Cask and Grain
As a real estate guy, Steve Roop wanted to see the empty spot next to his Canton restaurant Portside Tavern get new life. (It's the former home of a hair salon.) So he bought the building at 2823 O’Donnell St through his real estate firm, Baltimore Buddies Land Co., in 2014 for $265,000. Roop plans to turn it into a farm-to-table restaurant called Cask and Grain. Steve says he hopes to open the two-level, 75-seat restaurant by the holidays, and have the two restaurants share a liquor license. He’s hired DC architect Graham Simm to design the “rustic modern” restaurant.
2. Pie 360
Coal Fire Pizza's fast-casual cousin Pie 360 debuted May 18 at the Shops at Canton Crossing. The 2,900 SF restaurant replaces fast-casual Italian restaurant Venti-Tre, which closed earlier this year. Coal Fire Pizza operates six full-service restaurants in Virginia and Maryland, including Ellicott City, Hunt Valley and Gambrills. Pie 360 is a make-your-own pizza concept that has been eating into the market.
3. Mayuree Thai Tavern
Mayuree Thai Tavern opened this month at 2318 Fleet St, the former site of Fleet Street Tavern and, before that, Tex-Mex eatery Geckos. It brings a new dining option for Canton residents who didn’t have a lot of choices if they craved green curry and pad Thai.
4. El Bufalo Tequila Bar & Kitchen
While El Bufalo has been open for several years, we included this on the list because it's now a restaurant and not just a bar. Owner Dominic Lascola has been sprucing up the joint and added a kitchen to the establishment that used to be BYOF—bring your own food. Dominic has hired well known chef Patrick Morrow (formerly of Ryleigh’s Oyster), who is cooking up Spanish, Mexican and Southern Californian cuisine, including tacos, tostadas and made-to-order guac. The full menu will be up and running by mid-June. The 100-seat restaurant got new furniture, windows, door and a new sign out front with its logo.
5. Jokers 'n Thieves
Formerly JD’s Smokehouse, the owners reopened the Canton Square restaurant as Jokers ‘n Thieves March 1 with Top Chef Jesse Sandlin heading the kitchen serving low-country fare like fried oysters, shrimp and grits and blackened salmon. The restaurant seats 80 downstairs, including the two bars, but will add another 35 seats when it opens up the upstairs (currently open for private parties) by Sept. 1, says General Manager Dean Jankovic. The name comes from the lyrics of Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower—in case you were wondering.
6. Alma Cocina Latina
The 3,900 SF Venezuelan restaurant opened at retail complex the Can Co in April, replacing the short-lived Soyombo Grille. Alma Cocina Latina specializes in arepas, or corn flatbread. It also serves ceviche, soups, salads and Latin American-influenced cocktails.
7. Katana Sushi
Katana Sushi opened in March in a location that's seen plenty of turnover. The spot at 845 S Monford Ave is the former home of Hollywood Burger Bistro, Tangiers, Meridian 54 and Red Fish. But judging by the early, mostly favorable Yelp reviews, sushi and ramen noodles may be the recipe for success at this unlucky space. "This location has seen the death of many restaurants. I hope this one survives," Eric O. writes.