New Vegan-Forward Concept Friends and Family Opens for Carry-Out
9/18/2020, 6 a.m.
Baltimore— After the pandemic caused a six-month opening delay, longtime Baltimore restauranteur and cocktail mastermind Ginny Lawhorn and husband Ronnie Pasztor are ready to launch their new, sustainably minded plant-forward restaurant concept Friends and Family on September 14, 2020 in their former Fells Point Sticky Rice restaurant location (1634 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore). For now, food and craft cocktails will be available for carry out service.
“We deliberated for months and were very intentional about how and when we would open, ultimately deciding to provide carry-out service only and not allowing guests into the building right now. We are following Johns Hopkins and CDC restaurant guidelines and require staff and those picking up food to wear a mask at all times. Distance markers are outlined on the patio to ensure proper distancing when picking up orders,” noted Lawhorn. “Our front and back of house teams have separate restrooms, and we have created a seven-foot barrier/passthrough between these areas. Additional fans have been installed around the restaurant, as well.”
A brand new, collaboratively-designed and sustainably-minded menu boosts lighter options including protein-rich vegan and vegetarian salads such as Avocado Hold the Toast, and It’s Not Easy Being Green, as well as artfully prepared sandwiches with playful names like What the Cluck?!, AGT (avocado, greens, and tomato), and Eat Your Heart Out. Diners can also opt for heartier dishes like egg or tofu scrambles, vegan biscuits and gravy, and breakfast burritos, and finish off with a house-made vegan biscuit topped with strawberries and vegan vanilla sweet cream.
Small plates include vegan biscuits with jam and mock chicken nuggets, and more ambitious shared offerings include their beloved Bucket of Tots, available with their popular tot sauce options. With sides starting at $4, and entrees such as the Don’t Have a Cow Beyond Burger topping out at $14, approachable and group-minded pricing was designed to be as accessible to as many people as possible.
In addition to offering drinks from local partners VENT and Wild Kombucha, Lawhorn has also concocted an extensive cocktail menu. The to-go cocktail menu features quarts of crushes, margaritas, hard lemonades, Bloody Marys, and even a mimosa kit using craft spirits from regional partners like Don Ciccio & Figli and New Columbia Distillers.
“Our intention with an all-day menu is a desire to provide guests with the meal they want when they want it,” said Lawhorn. “Baltimore is made special and unique by its diversity of residents. From nurses to craftspeople to teachers to small business operators, we all live incredibly hectic lives with drastically varying schedules. Friends and Family will have a well-rounded menu for our guests to decide where they are in their day rather than us telling them when to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”
The 17th century building has received a major facelift since Sticky Rice closed its doors on Jan. 21. The new interior exudes an intimate, hip family room vibe, which forgoes the typical restaurant contrivances. The dining room is now equipped with additional seating, offering room for 94 guests with a mix of tables, banquettes, and booths. To complement the interior, Lawhorn decorated the space with artwork created by friends and family of the business—especially highlighting work from craftspeople and artists who had a hand in constructing the new concept, as well as works from her own art collection.
Soon Lawhorn and Pasztor will have the formstone of the three-story, double wide building removed. They will add a new awning, restore the glass blocks, and install large double-hung, push up windows. The restaurant will be open for four-six weeks and close for one week to complete this restoration.
Until the restoration is complete, Friends and Family’s Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Connect with Friends and Family on Instagram and Facebook at @FriendsandFamilyBaltimore, or visit websitewww.friendsandfamilybaltimore.com.