This week, I’ll tell you what we know — and what we don’t — about Bojangles’ possible expansion to Baltimore County.
Plus, the owner of Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro just opened a new restaurant in Ellicott City, and it’s gorgeous.
Also, find out which Baltimore County restaurant planned to host a fundraiser for insurrectionists this week. It has the same name as another eatery in Baltimore City, which makes things a little awkward.
Local media was clucking last week over the announcement of another Southern fast-food chain’s expansion in Maryland. Bojangles, a North Carolina-based fast food restaurant famed for its chicken and biscuits, is apparently coming to Charm City. After the recent arrival of Raising Cane’s to Towson, it was almost too much good chicken news to handle.
But getting details has been like chasing a wayward bird.
Nate Rubinstein, a third-party spokesman for Bojangles, sent me a release that said Frederick’s Matharu Foods LLC plans to “build five Bojangles locations throughout Baltimore, Maryland, with stores in Hagerstown and Frederick throughout the next five years.”
When pressed on details, however, Rubinstein told me he could only confirm that the owners are looking at Baltimore County as a potential location to open a Bojangles, while Hagerstown and Frederick branches are in the works.
Where exactly will those locations be? No answers from Rubinstein or Matharu Foods, despite numerous attempts to reach them.
A separate franchisee is bringing a Bojangles to 1312 West Patrick Street in Frederick, formerly a Ruby Tuesday location, according to city officials. Just to make things super confusing, the owner of that restaurant is not Matharu Foods, but two other LLCs who say they are not involved with the plans to bring Bojangles to the Baltimore area.
Tea Horse Sichuan Bistro
Since it opened in 2019, Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro has become one of Towson’s favorite spots for Chinese food. Now, owner Ping Wu has done it again with the launch of the Tea Horse Sichuan Bistro in Ellicott City.
Wu said the restaurant is still in its soft-opening phase while they continue to move around boxes at the 8450 Baltimore National Pike location. But during a recent visit, guests were happily lunching on Sichuan specialties.
The new place is stunning and serene, decorated with a large mural that depicts China’s ancient Tea Horse Road, which connected the Sichuan Province to Tibet, as well as traditional shutters and even an ornamental indoor roof.
Tea Horse does have a liquor license — unlike Red Pepper Sichuan or Orient Express, Wu’s restaurant in Charles Village — and will soon be serving cocktails at an elegant bar. A dessert menu is on the way, and several private rooms are available for rent as well.
CVP Towson cancels fundraiser, says ‘business is business’
After facing backlash, Charles Village Pub & Patio in Towson called off a planned fundraiser to raise money for the families of Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
General manager Nick Zahirsky said the call to cancel “was decided above me,” but that CVP Towson doesn’t take sides in politics and has hosted drag brunches, same-sex weddings and a victory party for Baltimore’s Democratic county executive, too.
“We don’t take sides on anything. It’s an event, and if an event will bring revenue in for the business or the staff, you could be playing ‘go fish,’ for all I care,” Zahirsky said. “Business is business.”
A flyer for the initial event, hosted by the Republican Women of Baltimore County and the Patriot Club of America, promised speeches from the family members of insurrectionists — aka “J6 prisoners,” in the parlance of the far right.
According to another flyer from the organizers, the Tuesday event was moved to Hunt Valley’s Delta Hotels by Marriott before being moved yet again to what appeared to be a private home in Glen Arm.
Zahirsky said he believed a Feb. 21 movie night to be held by the Republican Women of Baltimore County at his restaurant was also canceled; they were to screen a film from the far-right media company Epoch Times that tells “the real story of Jan. 6,” according to the women’s website.
It would not have been CVP Towson’s first time hosting the group. In October 2021, Republican Del. Lauren Arikan appeared at the restaurant for a panel on how to oppose vaccine mandates, which the Republican Women of Baltimore County hosted.
When asked, Zahirsky said he didn’t know if one of CVP Towson’s owners is a member of the conservative group. Owner Melony Wagner did not return my message, and neither did the Republican Women of Baltimore County.
Word of the initial event sparked enough of an outcry on social media that Charles Village’s beloved Charles Village Pub issued a reminder on social media late last week: “We are not affiliated with CVP Towson in any way, shape, or form.”
Baltimore Banner reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.