Cask & Grain
In early 2016, Merritt began work on a design-build project to convert a 2,250-square-foot early 1900’s row house, a former residence turned salon, into a farm-to-table restaurant. Construction included two dining areas, a kitchen, a bar, a façade facelift, new roofing and structural reinforcing, and new mechanical, electrical, and fire suppression systems. Less than a year from the start of construction, Cask & Grain Kitchen opened to the public with rave reviews.
In order to maintain the uniqueness and charm of the original row home, the project team preserved and sealed the original brick and plaster walls, sanded and clear-coated the hardwood floors and soda-blasted the open roof structure. To meet modern structural requirements, 12 additional beams were carefully matched and installed under the roof and second-story framing. These reclaimed beams were sourced from various residential properties in Baltimore. In addition, to highlight the beams on the interior, ducts were precisely sealed and installed on the rooftop.
The conversion to meet restaurant codes proved daunting. ADA upgrades were required, specifically to the entrance. The project team relocated the main door to street level and installed the addition of a tile-feature interior ramp. The original painted pine storefront had begun to deteriorate, so the team constructed a new oak structure as part of the façade renovation. In addition, to complement the restaurant’s interior farm-style décor, the restaurant’s exterior brick was artistically whitewashed.
The restaurant's interior design features an open structure with reclaimed wood and cedar accents, warm lighting, and clean, classic patterns that offer a stylish yet cozy ambiance. A rustic theme carries throughout the space, specifically in the central bar area which was site-constructed and features reclaimed heart pine beams. A smaller 25-seat, first-floor dining room captures maximum natural light and provides a true al fresco dining experience with 7-foot tall accordion windows. The 42-seat, second-floor dining room offers a barn-loft atmosphere with high ceilings, woven basket light fixtures and rough-sawn shiplap. Damask-embossed textured wallpaper on the top level provides a polished juxtaposition to the rustic theme.
Cask & Grain Kitchen was honored by Baltimore Magazine as a top restaurant in Baltimore, ranking of 17 out of 50 local establishments.