Foreman Wolf Opening Sixth Restaurant in Columbia

Cindy WolfIf you love the Columbia waterfront, then you may want to take note. Foreman Wolf, one of Baltimore’s most well known and respected restaurant groups, is about to open a sixth restaurant. This one will be in Columbia and will be their first restaurant outside the city limits of Baltimore.

They just signed a 10 year lease for a 6,943 square foot space on the first floor at the Exhibit Building on Columbia’s Lakefront. This location formerly housed Red Pearl. The building’s developer, Howard Hughes Corp., just announced the agreement on Monday.

Foreman Wold includes partners Tony Foreman and chef Cindy Wolf. Their many other restaurants include: Charleston, Cinghiale, Pazo, Petit Louis Bistro, BIN 604 Wine Sellers, BIN 201 Wine Sellers and Johnny’s.


Fashion Trucks Making the Rounds in Baltimore

fashn-stop-1 304Next lunch break, you just might have time to squeeze in a bit of shopping right outside your door. The newest trend in shopping is the fashion truck and it’s come to Baltimore. The founder and former owner of the White House Black Market, Rick Sarmiento, has now opened FashN Stop. It includes two trucks that are filled with clothes and are cruising around Annapolis, Baltimore, Bethesda and Rockville.

FashN Stop offers a wide range of women’s clothing with brand names including Rock Revival, Vintage Havana and Mata Traders. As the Urban Pearl owner, Lyn Boone, said, “I think there’s a real interest in Baltimore and the Harford County area for new and trendy clothing. There’s a big market here because there’s not much to choose from clothing-wise.”

There are certainly some obstacles to overcome, as the trucks have to get permits for selling and parking. Time will tell how this new idea does – but for now it’s creating interest with its unique idea.

Baltimore Law Firms Make the American Lawyers Survey List

If you’re looking to join one of the top revenue-generating law firms in the country, look no further than Baltimore. The 2013 American Lawyers annual survey of the top 100 firms just presented its findings and showed that DLA Piper is the nation’s number one revenue-generating law firm.

DLA is the second-biggest law firm in Baltimore with over 140 lawyers. Their gross revenue is $2.44 billion.

There were five other firms that have offices in Baltimore that also made the list. These include Hogan Lovells at 7th place with $1.63 billion; McGuireWoods at 51st place with $599.5 million; Duane Morris at 70th place with $420.5 million; Venable at 76th place with $376 million; and Jackson Lewis at 82nd place with $352 million.

New Look for Baltimore Grand Prix

The Baltimore Grand Prix is getting a face-lift. Their old slogan, “Festival of Speed” is out the door, and they are welcoming a new slogan, “Celebration of Acceleration.”

Their new tagline is, as they explain, part of a “new look and feel” that the race has just unveiled. The Grand Prix is also planning to roll out a new website for the race and a new logo that is in the works at the Baltimore advertising agency Mission Media together with Race On LLC.

As Debbie Bell, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Race On explained, “Our Celebration of Acceleration tagline perfectly captures the spirit of the event, and our redesigned website is the ideal platform to keep fans up to speed on Grand Prix details as they are announced.”

The Grand Prix of Baltimore will take place from August 30 to September 1 through the streets of downtown Baltimore. The new website will have articles about drivers, news about the race and updates, among other exciting information.

InvestMaryland Challenge Narrows to 9

The winning companies from the InvestMaryland Challenge will each receive $100,000 in prizes and $125,000 in cash as part of the Maryland Venture Fund’s first business competition. The winning companies will be announced on April 15. InvestMaryland is a state venture capital initiative managed by DBED and the Maryland Venture Fund. They managed to raise $84 million in 2012 with a tax credit auction with the explicit purpose of investing in start-up companies.

The three categories for the competition include IT, life sciences and general business. The finalists, narrowed from an impressive list of 259 entries include:

• IT

  • ClickMedix, Rockville
  • RedOwl Analytics, Baltimore
  • Social Toaster, Baltimore

• Life sciences

  • BOSS Medical, Baltimore
  • Graybug, Baltimore
  • Remedium Technologies, College Park

• General business

  • i-Lighting, North East
  • Mercaris, Silver Spring
  • Triea Systems, Bethesda


Offshore Wind Bill Passes Senate in Maryland

Environmental groups are hailing the recent passage in the Senate of an offshore wind bill that was pushed by Governor Martin O’Malley. The Senate approved O’Malley’s Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, Senate Bill 275, by a margin of 30-15. The bill will now head back to the House to reconcile some minor details and will head to O’Malley for a signature.

The passage of the bill will make Maryland the first state in the mid-Atlantic to have an offshore wind farm. The bill will impose a $1.50 per month surcharge on Maryland utility bills to help with the subsidizing of the wind farm. Republicans in the General Assembly and some business groups, however, say that the utility surcharges will put too much of a burden for paying for the alternative energy onto consumers and small-business owners.

Mike Tidwell, the executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network said, “This bill is to offshore wind power in the mid-Atlantic what the early railroads were to American transportation.  It’s a driver of innovation that will create jobs, enhance our economy, improve public health and protect the climate.”

James Beard Long List Includes Baltimore Hot Spots

The initial list for the James Beard award has been announced, and a few anxious Baltimore businesses are excited to be part of the group. The initial list, which is dubbed the “long list” of semifinalists includes Pabu, a new Japanese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore. It is on the list as one of the “best new restaurant” choices.

Owner and chef at Woodberry Kitchen is up for the award again for the “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” and also for “Outstanding Bar Program.”

Another nominee for the best chef is Baltimore’s Cindy Wolf from Charleston. Charleston is also a semifinalist for “Outstanding Wine Program”

The prestigious James Beard award was named for the cookbook author and teacher who was a champion of American cuisine.

For a full list of the semifinalists check here. The awards gala and reception will be on May 6 at the Avery Fischer Hall in Lincoln Center, NYC.

Baltimore Benefiting from Super Bowl Fever

Certainly, Super Bowl Sunday is good for business. But even the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday are good for business if you’re a business in the town where one of the teams hails.

And this is exactly what Baltimore businesses are finding at the moment, as the Baltimore Ravens prepare for kickoff.

Mother’s Federal Hill Grille, for instance, has seen a 30-50% increase in business during the Raven’s three playoff games. Owner Dave Rather said that the rise is mostly due to customers buying celebration drinks. As Rather said,  “The Ravens games are the busiest days all year long, so the playoffs are like having your busiest day four times over,” Rather said.

Alcohol distribution companies are also doing better. As Angelo Picillo, a rep for the Republic National Distributing Company said, “I’m making a lot more money this month. I’m up 50 percent from last year… We’re just killing it.” The most popular product Picillo is selling? Purple Three Olives Vodka.

Xavier Dandridge, manager of The Sports Shop in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, also said that his sales on clothing have been up. With Ray Lewis retiring after this year’s Super Bowl, Dandridge said that his jerseys have been “flying off the shelf.”


13 Baltimore Hot Shots to Watch for 2013

The Baltimore Business Journal just recently covered the 13 people that they think should be watched for 2013. Here is an interesting list of the 13 that they deem important to watch in the year ahead.

The list includes: Brian Strumke, Stillwater Artisanal Ales; Rebecca Pearce, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange; Paul Palmieri, Millennial Media; Chad Barnhill, Horseshoe Baltimore; Brenda McKenzie , Baltimore Development Corp.; Laura Gamble, PNC and others.

Learn more about each of these interesting people for 2013 at The Baltimore Business Journal and keep your eyes out in the year ahead.

Baltimore Mayor Gives Out Business Awards

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake just handed out awards to ten impressive businesses in the Baltimore area. The Mayor’s Awards honored these businesses for giving back to the community during tough economic times.  This year’s awards were given to:

Ballard Spahr LLP for cleaning up and improving the Reservoir Hill community and for pro bono legal services.

BB&T where 450 employees all involved themselves in fundraising activities to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The Brick Cos for its year round employee volunteer work for the Ronald McDonald House.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, for its Mother and Child Health initiative, which donated $3 million to support “B’more for Healthy Babies.”

Comcast, for investing more than $770,000 and for the impressive community service work that the employees have done.

Domino Sugar for the volunteer work that their employees have done with Our Daily Brea, the Locust Point Festival, Share Our Strength, “Blue Water Baltimore,” and the “Year-Up” program.

EMD Sales, Inc., where the employees partnered with two charitable and religious-based organizations.

KPMG LLP, for funding and working with Beta Alpha Psi volunteers. They helped to launch the “Project Homeless Connect” event.

M.C. Dean, for providing greater access to job training opportunities for Baltimore residents through a state-of-the-art apprentice and training program.

McGladrey LLP, for offering employees time during their business hours to participate in firm-sponsored community service activities.

SunTrust Bank, for its major investments in POWER House.

Wells Fargo Bank, where more than 70 employee volunteers.