Back in August, Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde announced that he was going to be opening a new diner this Fall to join his mini-empire of Woodberry Kitchen and Artifact Coffee. And now, as of 4 p.m. today, Shoo-Fly officially joins the family as a "farmhouse diner" and base of operations for Woodberry Kitchen's serious canning and preservation program. Shoo-Fly — one of Eater's most anticipated Fall openings— debuts in a 5,000-square-foot building in Baltimore's Belvedere Square.
Gjerde explained to Eater a couple months back that his goal was to make the diner food that he loves, but using high-quality ingredients. And so Shoo-Fly will be serving breakfast anytime as well as a fried chicken supper. Other dishes are pretty playfully named, such as the "Arkansas truffles" that are Shoo-fly's take on fried pickles and the "pretzel doggie" pig-in-a-blanket. Like Woodberry Kitchen, Shoo-fly is also sourcing locally, serving things like Chesapeake crab rolls.
On the drinks and dessert side, Shoo-fly is indeed going to have the soft-serve ice cream that he spent part of the Summer trying to make work within his locally sourcing ethos. There's also a "Make Your Own Highball" list, a Manhattan that is served from a drink sprayer, and cold-brewed Counter Culture coffee on tap. Here's the press release:
SPIKE GJERDE'S SHOO-FLY OPENS TODAY IN BELVEDERE SQUARE
Baltimore, MD (October 11, 2013) – Today marks the opening of Shoo-Fly, Spike and Amy Gjerde's farmhouse diner located at 510 E. Belvedere Avenue in Baltimore, MD. The 5,000-square-foot building now also serves as the base for the Gjerdes' intensive canning and preservation operations.
At Shoo-Fly, Spike and Chef de Cuisine Opie Crooks are featuring creative interpretations of regional comfort foods and classic diner fare. "Breakfast Anytime" and the "Fried Chicken Supper" serve as mainstays on the menu. "Snacks" range from a Pretzel doggie, Shoo-Fly's take on pig-in-a-blanket, to Arkansas truffles, their take on fried pickles. "In the Alley" features side dishes, such as Roasted turnips, Mashed potatoes with pepper gravy and Spike's buttered cabbage.
Shoo-Fly's menu is guided by the local-sourcing ethos that is at the core of all of the Gjerdes' restaurants, featuring dishes such as the Chesapeake crab roll, Oyster po-boy and Cast iron catfish when in season. The menu offers a healthy selection of salads, sandwiches and large plates, as well as home-style desserts, including pies, shakes and "cookies of the day." Prices range from $5 to $24.
Shoo-Fly's bar program, designed by Partner Corey Polyoka and Beverage Director Stephanie Griber, offers guests a host of unique options, including a "Make Your Own Highball" list ($10), and cocktails that are "shaken" or "stirred" ($12). Frozen drinks will be made with the restaurant's rotating selection of soft-serve ice creams, such as salty caramel and apple pie.
The "4 O'clock Manhattan" ($7) is made with Maryland rye, and is served from a drink sprayer, which keeps the classic cocktail at the right temperature and dilution for guests to enjoy on the spot. The bar menu also offers guests a "sling it" option, cleaving a chuck of ice into a glass and allowing the guest to choose from one of small-batch, hand-crafted American spirits Shoo-Fly recommends. The concise beer list features a rotating, seasonal selection of regional craft brewers along with a "bucket" of four cans for $20.
Shoo-Fly is serious about its non-alcoholic beverages, in particular its coffee program which features Counter Culture, cold-brewed in-house and served on tap. Other alcohol-free options include Distillery Lane's apple cider, Hex Kombucha and Shoo-Fly's house-made versions of root beer and V8. The farmhouse diner also offers several shakes and slushes, available in flavors such as Candy Bar, Caramel Apple and Watermelon.
The split-level restaurant can seat close to 100, including a 26-seat serpentine counter that winds around the lower level. The main floor houses a spacious bar that seats 14 as well as booth seating for 12, while the upper floor offers private event space.
The extensive preservation and canning operations currently housed at Woodberry Kitchen have moved to Shoo-fly and occupy its kitchen space during the day five days a week. Led by Isaiah Billington and Micah Martin, the preservation team cans, pickles and preserves 50-70 different varieties of fruits and vegetables annually — upwards of 50,000 pounds of produce. In the future, Shoo-Fly will sell their preserved products directly to guests under the label "Woodberry Pantry." Until then, patrons can purchase Gjerde's Snake Oil hot sauce, made from locally grown fish peppers, for $12 a bottle at Shoo-Fly.
Shoofly is located at 510 E. Belvedere Avenue in a former Hess Shoes store in the Belvedere Square shopping area of Baltimore, MD. The hours of operation are 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. seven days a week. Valet parking is available. For more information, please contact the restaurant at 410-464-9222. Follow Shoo-Fly on Twitter at @shooflydiner.