Hot Spots: Party On!

Hot Spots: Party On!

The redeveloped Rotunda, which straddles the neighborhoods of Hampden and Roland Park, now has so much to offer…

…a wide array of dining and shopping choices, a dine-in cinema, and lots of new condos around back. Tucked into the middle of it all is a grassy open quad surrounded by four charming outdoor kiosks.

The first one to be activated this summer was Garden Party, an al fresco wine bar with food options that include charcuterie boards and gourmet sandwiches.

The brainchild of restaurateur Bill Irvin and business partner Patrick Dahlgren, it’s become a gathering spot for neighbors, wine lovers, and parents of youngsters who like to congregate over a glass of wine while the kiddies splash in the sidewalk fountains nearby.

Customers stroll up to the service window, place an order, and find a seat at one of the wrought-iron tables, in one of the colorful Adirondack chairs, or sprawl out picnic-style on the grass.

The grassy public area hosts events ranging from outdoor yoga classes to a recent “Croquet & Rose” theme party.

Garden party concentrates on wines but does offer a limited selection of beers as well, including Miller Lite, Natty Boh and Modelo.

My rose selection usually tends toward Spy Pig or Lago.

Joining Garden Party is now Tiny Wine Shop, the second kiosk to open. Run by the same group, the shop, as its name suggests, is indeed tiny—offering a very edited selection of approachable and reasonably priced bottles for quick pick-up. And soon the third kiosk will be activated as a late-night taco stand—what fun! In these waning days of summer, Garden Party – and its fellow kiosks – certainly makes for a welcome place to relax with friends. {The Rotunda, 711 W. 40th St.}

Brian Michael Lawrence

Brian Michael Lawrence is one of THE Baltimore style experts. After all, he was the longtime editor-in-chief at STYLE Magazine, which specialized in covering everything stylish around the Baltimore area. Brian also served as editorial director for the digital division at Sinclair Broadcasting, and creative director at Blue Sky Design. Currently, he oversees communications & marketing for the department of Tourism, Film & the Arts at Maryland’s Commerce Department.  In his bi-weekly column, you’ll get to see what cool hotspots are piquing the interest of this Baltimore style maven and why - whether it's the fabulous food, cool cocktails or elegant environs.