Waverly will soon welcome two new neighbors.

The Catonsville eatery Kora Lee’s Gourmet Dessert Cafe, known for eclectic bowls, cupcakes and salads, and Hampden’s Jerk Taco, which serves Caribbean meats in burritos and trays, announced plans this week to start fresh in the North Baltimore community.

It is unclear when each will open. Kora Lee’s expects to start serving Waverly customers in the fall, but will need to raise the money to renovate their new space, according to the shop’s post on social media. The new space will be a full-service cafe with cooking classes and vegan and gluten-free options, said eatery founder Kora Marcail. Jerk Taco has already moved to a temporary home at 3328 Greenmount Ave., according to their Instagram, while their building at 2958 Greenmount Ave. is being renovated, said Diana Emerson, the executive director of Waverly Main Street.

Jerk Taco owner Charles Lyons did not respond to requests for comment.

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Emerson shared that the two eateries are part of a larger influx in businesses moving to Waverly — a trend she believes started about a year ago. The neighborhood has suffered from high vacancies, but the recent rise has led to an observable reduction in those properties by Waverly Main Street, a group that advocates for businesses in the area. Jerk Taco is moving into a long-standing vacant building and, through Waverly Main Street, is applying for state funding to renovate the space, Emerson said, adding that many of Baltimore’s vacant buildings have not been maintained.

With the plans for Jerk Taco “just finalized recently,” she said it’s great to have “new energy mixed in with the excitement of our businesses who have been here a long time.”

Lyons told The Banner last year that he did not see a future for the business in Hampden. He considered moving his fusion spot to a location like Greenmount Avenue, which he viewed as more accepting of Black business owners.

Kora Lee’s will close their Catonsville location in July, according to a social media post by Marcail. Until then, the eatery will be selling treat boxes to help raise the money to renovate the Waverly spot, in place of applying for a loan.

“This affords us the opportunity to do what we set out to do before the pandemic,” Marcail said.

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To say goodbye to customers, they will host one more July weekend fish fry at a yet-to-be-disclosed time. They also warned customers to think twice before renting their old space, alleging that there are issues with the building’s maintenance. Marcail said she believes there are many aspects of the Catonsville business community that “need to change” and is looking forward to being in a more diverse area.

The eatery plans on documenting their experience in both Baltimore County and Waverly for those interested in learning more about entrepreneurship. Their new space was awarded to them through the Growing Greenmount contest, in which businesses compete to win a space in Waverly. The building that will house Kora Lee is currently under construction; Marcail declined to disclose the location at this time.

This story has been updated.