‘Chipotlanes’ in Columbia, ice cream at Cross Keys, Baja Faucet opening and HomeSlyce rising
Greg Nalley picked up on a brand new reality very early within the pandemic: The entrance door to his brick-and-mortar eating places was not essentially the entry level for patrons anymore.
“My entrance door now’s both the parking zone or it’s on-line,” stated Nalley, the founding father of Baltimore-area salad chain Nalley Recent.
He’s amongst a rising variety of restaurateurs who see drive-thru and pickup lanes as the way forward for the business, significantly for fast-casual eateries. I’ll check out the pattern in as we speak’s column.
In different eating information, The Village of Cross Keys is getting an ice cream parlor, Metal Faucet has a gap date, and a neighborhood pizza chain is including a brand new outpost.
You’ve heard of Chipotlehowever have you ever heard of a Chipotlane?
The Mexican chain opened a brand new location in Columbia final month, full with a drive-thru the corporate has dubbed a “Chipotlane.” Guests to the restaurant at 9851 Damaged Land Pkwy., can pull into the lane to choose up on-line orders with out leaving their automobiles.
It’s a mirrored image of a brand new actuality within the eating world: Many purchasers don’t need to stroll into an off-the-cuff restaurant and wait in line. Quick meals corporations like McDonalds, Taco Bell and Dunkin have lengthy been identified for his or her drive-thru service, however fast-casual ones are becoming a member of in now, too, due to the prospect of boosting enterprise. Chipotlanes, as an example, contribute about $1 million in gross sales to a restaurant per yr, based on a 2022 Restaurant Dive report.
The pattern is just anticipated to develop — a minimum of 40% of quick-service, quick informal and occasional operators suppose drive-thru lanes will change into extra widespread — based on a Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation survey.
Native restaurateurs are taking discover. Atwater’sthe gourmand sandwich chain that bought its begin contained in the Belvedere Sq. Market, operates a drive-thru outdoors its retailer on the Outlets at Kenilworth in Towson.
Nalley, in the meantime, says he’s all-in on what he calls a “hybrid” drive-thru-model. Slightly than opening new eating places with full kitchens and counter service in addition to a pickup window, he needs to concentrate on drive-thru-only places with meals shuttled in from a close-by commissary.
“There’s no place to sit down, there’s not going to be anyplace to drag up and park and eat on a picnic desk, there’s not going to be any loos, nothing like that,” he stated. “That is strictly drive by and go.”
It’s a departure from his first Nalley Recent restaurant, in downtown Baltimore. There, clients information staff by the making of their salad, requesting toppings as they transfer down the road.
Nalley has currently adopted a “hub-and-spoke” strategy to his companies, through which a central commissary kitchen prepares all of the meat, salad dressings and different elements for salads and delivers them to eating places that don’t have a full kitchen on-site. Earlier this yr, he opened the chain’s first location inside a grocery retailer, a sales space with a footprint of simply 325 sq. ft.
Drive-thru-only eating places provide Nalley Recent an identical low-overhead option to develop with out the prices related to constructing a kitchen or renting out eating room area, Nalley stated. He took the idea for a take a look at drive early on in the course of the pandemic, opening a prototype drive-thru within the parking zone outdoors his Hunt Valley retailer.
“What I discovered is that I don’t need to have a full-blown kitchen to do that,” he stated. Now, he needs to develop the mannequin to areas the place Nalley Recent doesn’t but have a presence, reminiscent of Anne Arundel, Harford and Cecil counties.
Nalley sees a fork within the street for the business: Diners both need to have an expertise at a restaurant with atmosphere, cocktails and desk service, or they need to seize and go.
“They don’t actually need to go right into a restaurant that’s quick informal,” he stated. “They may need the meals, they nonetheless need the comfort, however they might a lot slightly have it delivered or decide it up.”
At all times Ice Cream Firm is the most recent to signal a lease at The Village of Cross Keys.
The ice cream store, based by brothers Mark and Adam Cohenis predicted to open subsequent spring in an 1,135-square-foot area between a deliberate Asian restaurant from the Atlas Restaurant Group and Cece’s Roland Parka brand new restaurant idea from The Cordish Cos.
The Cohen brothers additionally personal the Annapolis Ice Cream Firmbased on the enterprise’s web site, and determined to start out At all times Ice Cream Co. after rising bored with the old-school ice cream parlor aesthetic. At Cross Keys, the news store may have a “glossy, up to date design,” based on a information launch.
Search for flavors like home made apple pie, which includes freshly baked pie chunks, in addition to dairy-free choices like matcha and peanut butter Oreo.
Get the news on that new restaurant, study chef modifications and uncover your favourite new recipe. All of your Baltimore meals information is right here.
Time for tacos and margaritas.
Metal Faucetthe brand new Mexican bar and restaurant slated to take over the previous Bond Road Social area in Fells Level, will open to the general public on Friday, a spokesperson tells me.
The brand new addition to the waterfront neighborhood comes from Greg Lloydformer head chef at Stephen Starr’s Le Diplomate in Washington, D.C. It additionally has the backing of the Wave Groupwhich incorporates companions like Scott Parkerthe restaurateur behind DMV-based ideas like Roy Boys and Bronson Bierhall.
Final yr, Lloyd informed me he wished to maintain Baja Faucet’s mission “easy,” with a concentrate on stay music and “giving the most effective product, whether or not it’s liquid or stable.” The idea appears to be taking off at a sister location in Adams Morgan, which — based on movies posted on social media — has been drawing packed crowds to a rooftop bar since opening this spring.
HomeSlyce is rising once more.
In an electronic mail to clients, the Baltimore-based pizza parlor introduced it would open a brand new retailer in Towson, at 1711 York Street.
It’s the most recent location for the chain, which has shops in Mount Vernon, Charles Village, Clarksville, Columbia and Washington, D.C. A Federal Hill location lately rebranded as Pizza Harbor.