A bourbon-focused restaurant serving seasonal American fare, Copper Shark opened this month at Foundry’s on the Fort Avenue complex at 921 E. Fort Ave. at Locust Point. Copper Shark fills the space recently occupied by Ludlow Market and formerly a wine market for many years.
Copper Shark is a new concept from Mid-Atlantic Eateries (MAE), which has three Eggspectations franchise locations including one in Ellicott City and two in Northern Virginia. MAE opened its first Eggspectations in Ellicott 19 years ago. MAE President John Hinkle, who was working at Outback Steakhouse at the time, discovered Eggspectations in Montreal and decided to bring the franchise to the United States.
Merritt Companies is the owner of Eggspectations in Ellicott City and has approached MAE about the 4,700-square-foot restaurant space at Foundry on Fort Avenue. Neil Shevitz, MAE observer, told SouthBMore.com that the company has been playing around with the launch of a new concept for a few years. Then MAE began pursuing the idea in late 2019, but COVID-19 pushed it back.
Shaivitz said that MAE fell in love with the “old world charm” of the space with its exposed bricks, pillars, and pulley system in the ceiling. They also love the large parking lot, as well as the neighborhood of Locust Point and all the real estate investments that it attracts.
The name Copper Shark is inspired by the Kavanagh family who produced copper utensils for making candy in the early 1900s. When the ban was passed, copper pots were used to smuggle whiskey.
The bar, which occupies the space that was once a liquor store, has a large selection of bourbons and whiskeys that will continue to expand as MAE builds its relationship with whiskey distributors serving the city of Baltimore. Cocktails include the “Copper Shark” which is a smoked Buffalo Tres Manhattan; American Treasure a vintage smoky with house-made brew; and “drink your churro” which is bourbon with homemade horchata. Additional cocktails with fresh fruit as well as local wine and beer are also available.
The menu is led by Chef Matthew Odette, a Locust Point resident who grew up in Boston. He said the menu has a local feel with New England, French and Italian influences. The list contains charcuterie station. Homemade dessert menu of “pastry” with cakes, sweet cheese and ice cream Taharka Brothers; and seasonal dishes with local meats, seafood and produce. About 50 percent of bread is made in-house with Chef Audette’s sourdough appetizer.
Appetizers include salads, crispy fried burrata, and squid ink marichiara with crab, tuna, and scallops.
Appetizers include three different cuts of steak, seared scallops with local mushrooms, organic grilled chicken, lamb, and Nice Ahi Tuna with Fennel.
The lunch menu is casual with sandwiches while the bar menu features fries, bell pepper bites, crunchy Brussels sprouts, duck tacos, and burgers.
MAE undertook a complete renovation of the space. She moved the bar, added a new men’s room, added a private dining room for 50 to 60 patrons, and popped in. Interior seats 160.
MAE hopes to open its outdoor patio in the fall. It will have a canopy covering most of it, as well as an entire outdoor area with a fire pit.
Hinkle said he wanted Copper Shark to be a neighborhood venue somewhere between a white cloth-style table and a casual restaurant.
MAE hopes to keep price points as low as possible so that neighbors can stop by more than once a week. Hinkle said many guests visited multiple times in Copper Shark’s first week.
“The people here are very nice,” Henkel said.
While Hinkle of Copper Shark wants to appeal to the neighborhood, he also hopes to bring in some of his clients and friends from Howard County and other surrounding suburbs. He loves the easy access to the freeways and parking available at Foundry on Fort Avenue.
Copper Shark is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Will be adding a weekend brunch menu in the near future.
About the Author: Kevin Lynch
The founder and publisher of SouthBmore.com, a longtime resident of southern Baltimore, is a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and cheerleader OW, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skater, and “food bar”. Send me an email to [email protected] Follow me on Twitter at Tweet embed.