And it was worth the wait. The Greek market, in the first level of the newly opened Inn at the Black Olive, unlocked its doors on Saturday.
It's stocked with organic fruits and vegetables; jars of spices; whole herbs; sheep’s milk cheeses like manouri and feta; delicious-looking couscous, lobster, and shrimp salads; fresh baked breads; Zeke’s coffee; and a seafood case displaying salmon, sardines, a scorpion fish, bronzini, and the Black Olive’s famous Dover sole.
There is also an empty tank awaiting the arrival of spiny lobsters from the Yucatan.
“We don’t just sell fish,” says Stelios Spiliadis, who owns the new “green” inn and nearby Black Olive restaurant with his wife/executive chef Pauline, both pictured, and son Dimitris. “We sell the capacity to reproduce the Black Olive experience at home.”
Indeed, that’s the theme at this cheerful space with lemon-colored walls and big windows that look out onto South Caroline Street in the area that bridges Harbor East and Fells Point. You’ll find the Black Olive’s signature bread, its vegetable pie, its Greek salad, and much more.
There are also plans for a wine bar that will serve organic and biodynamic wines by the glass.
The Inn, which was 10 years in the making, will also house a restaurant on the fifth floor with seating for 130, inside and out. It offers a killer view of the harbor and surrounding neighborhood. The cuisine will be similar to the original Black Olive—which specializes in seafood and coincidentally is 14 years old today—but there will be a focus on local, organic meats and vegetarian options, Dimitris said.
“This is a different Black Olive, a different Greek restaurant,” he said of the new place, which will open soon.
Black Olive Agora is open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. The phone number is 410-276-7142.
Photo by me. Also pictured with Stelios and Pauline Spiliadis, in the background, is the market’s personable manager Oswaldo Villena.