Freda’s Kitchen will soon have new owners and be renamed The Falls. It’s amazing. I was out on medical leave for four weeks and I came back to a crazy quilt of restaurant news that I’ll catch up with soon. I also recently went to Volt, where Top Cheftestant Bryan Voltaggio holds court. More to come later on that experience.
But, in the meantime, I was surprised to see in the minutes of a recent Mt. Washington Improvement Association meeting that Freda’s, which has been owned by the Emmer family for about 18 months is already changing hands. Its Witness Protection sandwich (yummy corned beef, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) won a "Best of Baltimore" award this year from our magazine.
When I talked to Josh Emmer today—who owns Freda’s with his parents, Linda and Martin Emmer—he said the family was ready to move on to other things. "We built a great business. We had a great time there," he said. "But our great passion is construction."
A tentative settlement date for the restaurant transfer is Oct. 30 with new owners Mike Sproge (who owned Evergreen Cafe on Cold Spring Lane from 2003 until 2007) and Tim Hofmann, whom Mike has known since they were high-school freshmen in South Jersey. Mike later went to Loyola College.
I also caught up with Mike today, who said he and Tim will close Freda’s for a couple of weeks and that they hope to reopen in mid-November. They plan to be open seven days a week, starting around 6:30 or 7 a.m., and are still determining what the menu will be as they search for a chef. It'll be light fare to start, Mike said. But what’s really important to the partners is that The Falls be a comfortable place.
"We’re not out to reinvent the wheel or have too pretentious food," Mike said. "We’re out to build a community space."
Oh, yes, another plus, they’re keeping the corned beef sandwich!