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Merriweather District Restaurant Round-Up, TMP-style

It's been 5 months, but a new version of the site plan of Merriweather District has recently been updated on the HR Retail website. As I do each time an updated map becomes available, let's dig into the changes to see what intel we can sniff out about new leasing activity!


Here's an image of the new October 2022 version of the map. (<--- click the link for a high-resolution PDF).

And here's an image of the prior version from April 28, 2022 for comparison purposes (<--- click this link for a high-resolution PDF).

In Juniper, there are 2 spaces shown that have have been leased over the past several months: B135 (1400 SF labeled Retail/Restaurant) and B165 (2260 SF labeled Fitness). Interestingly, while the map indicates that these spaces are officially leased, it does not reveal the tenant. But fear not, I believe I have sniffed out what they are if you read on.... There are now just 2 available spots in Juniper (B110.B and B100.A) and 2 other spots that have advanced in the leasing process (B120 and B170), but in which the lease has not officially been signed and the prospective tenant remains unknown.


At Marlow, of the 10 retail spaces, 4 are now shown as leased in the new map (Smashing Grapes, Gyusan, Allure Nails & Spa, and one leased space, C115, with the tenant unknown). There are 3 others that are at some point in the pre-lease process, and 3 remain available.


On September 21, the Baltimore Business Journal published an article "Popular Annapolis, Baltimore restaurants sign on to open in Downtown Columbia" that includes a round-up of all the new restaurants and businesses coming soon to the Merriweather District. They confirmed many of the new businesses that had already been written about here (and gave this blog a shout-out for first reporting the majority of them!), and also revealed two coming soon places that had not yet been revealed, Jrip Coffee & Croissanterie and Japanese BBQ resurant, Gyusan. More on both below.


So, between these two sources of intel (plus some internet sleuthing of liquor board hearings and the HoCo commercial permitting database), let's run though the ever-growing list of businesses coming soon to Merriweather District.


Retailers previously covered by The Merriweather Post

Listed in the order of my best guess that they will open


Peter Chang (B175) : All signs pointing towards this being the next restaurant to open in Merriweather District. Announced back in November 2021, interior fit-in has been ongoing for quite some time. and it was the first of all the not yet open restaurants to apply for and receive a liquor license back on July 26, 2022. I suspect this opens before year-end. For more, see "Round-Up of the New Restaurants announced for Columbia", November 14, 2021.


Toastique (B190): Gourmet juice and toast purveyor Toastique is going into a standalone building on the west side of Color Burst Park next to the splashpad. If you haven't been by recently, this building went up quick! Below are pictures of both the exterior and interior. This looks like it's also on deck to open quite soonish as well. For more, see Gourmet Toast and Juice Bar Toastique leases space in Color Burst Park, October 2, 2021.

Toastique's Building is now constructed. Picture from 10/16/22.
Peering through the window inside Toastique.

Banditos Tacos & Tequila (B110): Work here has also been ongoing as well and the liquor license for Banditos Columbia was approved during the Sept 13 HoCo liquor board meeting. You may recall when this was first announced that there was some confusion whether Banditos was coming to Merriweather District or Maple Lawn. Turns out a Banditos is coming to both places!. A liquor license for Banditos Maple Lawn at 8170 Westside Boulevard was also approved. For more on Banditos, see "Banditos Tacos & Tequila coming to Merriweather District - and other news from updated Site Plan", April 28, 2022. The BBJ article pegs this to open in January 2023.


Blackwall Barn & Lodge (Juniper B140): This one is going to be huge! 10,572 SF, of dining and private event space, which is approximately the same square footage of the entirety of Busboys And Poets (both floors!). They also already applied for and received their liquor license (on Sept 13). The remaining restaurants listed below have yet to do so. BBJ states this is going to be open in Q1 2023. See: "Backwall coming to Merriweather District", February 12, 2022.


Mighty Quinn's Barbeque (Juniper B130): Fast-casual counter-service slow smoked authentic BBQ restaurant influenced by all the great styles of BBQ but with a style that is Born in NYC. Anticipated opening in Q1 2023. For more, see "Let there be BBQ!!! Mighty Quinn's Barbeque to join Merriweather District", May 6, 2022.


Medium Rare: Prix-fixed, set-menu steakhouse Medium Rare. For more, see Medium Rare will open in Merriweather District this fall, February 19, 2022.


Smashing Grapes (Marlow C125): The first restaurant announced for Marlow will be a kitchen and wine bar that fuses Mediterranean and California Coastal cuisine from the same restaurant group as Blackwall Barn and Lodge . See: "Smashing Grapes Kitchen and Wine Bar revealed as first restaurant for Marlow", August 25, 2022


Retailers NOT previously covered by The Merriweather Post

Here's where it gets interesting, retail and restaurants that I have not yet written about


New Fitness (Juniper B165): The map marks the "leased" space next to YogaSix as "fitness," but doesn't reveal the name of the actual business that leased the spot. But, here's my scoop I alluded to earlier, and this has not been reported anywhere else, it appears that this will be Mayweather Boxing + Fitness., which is a fast-growing fitness chain owned by the billionaire boxer. A search of Howard County's online database of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits (yep, I dive this deep searching for intel!) revealed an application was submitted for installation of signage displaying Mayweather Boxing & Fitness for Suite B165, so I think that's as close to confirmation that you can get that another boxing gym is heading to Downtown Columbia, joining Title Boxing Club, which is located over by the Mall at m.flats, another Howard Hughes property.

Jrip Coffee & Croissanterie (Location unknown): Per the BBJ article, this will be a woman-owned coffee shop and bakery specializing in croissants, featuring art from local artists and where one can sit to enjoy a slow-style coffee. Yes! Finally! Coffee in Merriweather! And double yes! Not a chain. While the BBJ article did not say its's location, the vendor list of the Merriweather District website lists it as coming soon, so its definitely a Merriweather District location. I wager this will most likely occupy Juniper B135 (1400 SF) but perhaps the other leased (but yet announced spot), Marlow C115 (2247 SF). If anybody has a connect to the businesswomen behind Jrip, please do reach out to me, so I can gather some intel to write a standalone preview!


Gyusan (Marlow C110): The Baltimore Business Journal run-down article broke this one! It's a Japanese BBQ restaurant specializing in Waygu beef that will take the corner spot of Marlow. BBJ reported that it's a sister restaurant to Gyu Shige in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, so you can pursue that restaurant's website to get a better sense of the concept. It appears a Gyusan is also heading to Ballston, per ARLnow.com. I also will plan to give this a more proper preview once it gets closer to opening, which I suspect is still a ways out given it will be located in Marlow.


Allure Nails and Spa (Marlow C140). Several iterations ago, the leasing map showed that a business called "Inspired Nails" had leased a spot in the front of Juniper, but then something must have changed because a subsequent map revealed that spot as available. But no worries; mani-pedis will soon be available at Allure Nail and Spa in Marlow.


AND OVER AT THE LAKEFRONT...

Finally, over at the Lakefront, both the Collective (Offshore and Encore) and The 3rd are getting much closer to opening! The 3rd has announced through their Facebook page that they will be soft-opening later this month (I hope to post more on their opening!). Meanwhile, the Facebook pages of The Collective Offshore and The Collective Encore have been regularly posting pictures of their retrofit of the former Clyde's space. For more on the 3rd, see "The 3rd plans to connect the community of Columbia and women of color entrepreneurs", February 12, 2021. For more on The Collective, read "A new anchor on Columbia's Lakefront: The Collective, Offshore & Encore", June 1, 2022"

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Thank you Jeremy- appreciate all that you do

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