Blackwall Hitch is located where The Rockfish used to stand. Beyond that, there is little comparison. After a nine month renovation, Blackwall Hitch is set to open to the public tomorrow at 11am.
The restaurant, on the corner of Sixth and Severn Avenues will feature an “urban chic vibe” with an oyster bar, two large dining areas, several smaller private dining rooms, a rooftop dining option, and a private VIP room dubbed “The Living Room.”
Live music will be on the stage Thursdays through Saturday and they will be open from 11am to 2am daily!
The new restaurant is named for the blackwall hitch knot which “allows for a fast connection as the line draws itself tighter and tighter as the vessel rises and falls with the tide,” according to the Blackwall Hitch Facebook page. (Go on, give it a “like”)
Another Blackwall Hitch is set to open later this year in Alexandria in the Torpedo Factory.
If you are familiar with the layout of The Rockfish, pay attention because it is completely different. The downstairs features a decent sized bar, two large dining areas, an oyster bar, stage, and two private dining areas. The “Living Room” is their VIP room and must be reserved in advance. The room features several comfortable couches, chairs, a flat screen television and room for about a dozen people comfortably. There will be bottle service in the room along with a server. Rates range from $700 to $1200 for the night–perfect for a bachelor or bachelorette party, or the special night on the town with friends. Go dance with the band and then retreat into your own oasis.
A large staircase takes you upstairs where there is another private dining room (seats about 12) and the fantastic rooftop dining. There are several tables in a designated smoking section on the roof and it offers sweeping views of Annapolis Harbor and likely will be a perfect spot for people watching. Unlike Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge, this rooftop experience is focused on the dining and table service. There is no separate bar on the roof.
We were invited to a private lunch there today and heard raves all around. We started with an appetizer of the Blackwall Charcuterie which was not too much, nor too little and presented very nicely. It had a very nice selection of cheeses, meats, and fresh fruit–although the strawberries could have been a little more ripe.
My entree was a Chicken Bruschetta sandwich ($13). Grilled Italian-marinated chicken, tomato, basil, feta cheese, and baby spinach on a ciabatta roll. It was filling, and seasoned just right.
Also served was the Carolina Shrimp n Grits ($24). It was a huge portion and might make sense to see if they will allow you to share unless you are starving. Creamy grits folded with cheese and andouille sausage, topped with a saute of shallot, tomato, and jumbo shrimp in a white wine creole sauce. I don’t do seafood myself, but judging from the empty bowl–it went over very well!
Speaking of starving and huge appetites, there is a 40 ounce steak on the menu! The Tomahawk For Two ($69) features 40 ounces of bone-in ribeye seasoned and grilled to order. I am not sure if two is enough–sounds like it might be able to feet a small city!
Appetizers will run from $8 -$18, soups and salads range from $6-$14, pastas from $18-$32, burgers/sandwiches/pizzas from $9-$18, and entrees start out at $15 and head up to $32. This is not a place for a cheap date by any means, but a very welcome addition to the dining scene in Annapolis.
There will be live music Thursdays through Saturdays year round. There is a stage (where the old one was) and with the expanded bar area/dining area it looks to be a really nice room to hear some good tunes. Annapolis has been missing a solid jazz night–maybe they will consider this–it would be a perfect venue…upscale, laid back, convenient. But to open the weekend,the live music will be provided by The Readys! This will be The Readys first full band show of the season and promises to be an event not to be missed. The fun starts at 9:30pm and rolls all night. Come celebrate, bring your mom, and your dancing shoes.
One of the best things about the Blackwall Hitch is that it has a large parking lot. I am not sure if it will be able to handle all the parking needs, but the parking lot at the Annapolis City Marina is just a few steps away–or take your chance on the street!
Environmentally speaking this place is a winner. It is a zero runoff property and has some great features built into the design. I understand the landscaping and parking lot topped $1 million which was subsidized by a $400,000 grant. There are three porous pads in the parking lot and all pavement is graded to them. When it rains, the water is absorbed (like a sponge) and returned to the earth under the parking lot. The roof will catch the rain and re-distribute it via rain barrels to water the landscape. And in the event of torrential rain (tomorrow) there is a trough along the perimeter that can handle the runoff if the porous pads cannot! No rain tax for Blackwall Hitch!
All an all–a great new addition to the dining scene in town. If you are on a bar crawl, you probably want to skip this place; it is decidedly upscale–but not pretentious. I did not ask about weekend brunch, but I hope they have a Saturday and Sunday brunch option!
The Blackwall Hitch opens tomorrow at 11am!
And if you didn’t believe me about a 40 ounce steak…….click here!
PS…for the beer lovers….