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Back in 2007, I was planning an alumni event at my full-time gig at Friends School and my friend who was then working for Struever Brothers suggested that I look at a new space being developed in Clipper Mill. I live in Hampden…so I took a drive. It was amazing – I’d really forgotten how much so. I’d been to an artist’s studio in an old burned out building down there years before and was always kind of fascinated by the area. My friend made a call and arranged for me to meet with Spike Gjerde about the possibility of an event in his unfinished restaurant space. Spike and I met over insanely strong macchiatos and we figured out how to make the event work well for both of us. I knew I liked this guy (and those macchiatos kinda sealed the deal.)  We had the party there – in Woodberry Hall, which would become Artifact Coffee’s first location – and it was a huge hit. And…then the restaurant opened later that year and it’s been packed ever since.

Today, Spike and Amy Gjerde officially open Shoo-fly, their farmhouse diner in Belvedere Square and North Baltimore cannot wait another day. I went for a friends & family night earlier this week and I can vouch. Vouch that the fried chicken is perfectly crispy outside and moist inside…that the shoo-fly pie is subtly sweet…and that the $7 Manhattan is so smooth and could be trouble for me. Also not to be missed? Milkshakes, burgers, chicken pot pie and more.  I love the rustic decor, friendly servers and an overall vibe of easy, casual fun. And, yes, that old Hess Shoe slide is still there!

Next week, Spike and Amy will travel to NYC for Martha Stewart’s “American Made Tastemakers” festivities. I know they will make Baltimore so proud, as 200,000+ people visit their booth and learn about what they do here at home. I’m such a fan of their work. When I go to Woodberry for a cocktail, Artifact to caffeinate and write…and now Shoo-fly for Opie’s fried chicken and Sarah’s cookies, I’m happy. Happy is good. We need more happy.

Check out this great video featuring Amy & Spike for Tastemakers and some photos from Shoo-fly.

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Shoo-fly is open daily from 4:00pm-1:00am.
501 E. Belvedere Avenue
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