Federal Hill resident Hakim Zubar is opening ZuZu’s Gourmet Donuts, Coffee, and Juice Bar at 1136 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Zubar is currently completing a build-out of the storefront that was previously home to MetroPCS.
Zubar has been in the restaurant business his entire adult life, getting his start at the former Brass Elephant in Mount Vernon as bus boy before eventually becoming a general manager. About seven years ago, he started the Secret Garden Wine Festival, which holds multiple events each year for approximately 2,500 people. With a growing business that still leaves him a lot of free time, he decided to invest the proceeds from his festivals into a new restaurant.
Zubar is a fan of donuts and found himself waking up early every Sunday morning to get Migue’s Magnificent Mini Donuts from the Baltimore Farmer’s Market. He is also a fan of Fractured Prune, and discovered some really good donut places during trips to Sonoma and Napa Valley in California. He used to stop by MetroPCS to pay his phone bills and when the space became available, he decided it was the right location for his new business. He wants to take inspiration from his favorite donut businesses, but add his own spin.
ZuZu’s, which gets its name from a nickname Zubar gained after joining the ROTC in high school, will focus on traditional sweet donuts, as well as savory combinations. There will be 40 to 50 fresh and homemade toppings for the made-to-order donuts including chocolates, caramels, raspberry drizzles, shaved coconut, peanut butter, and nuts, as well as crab meat, salmon, pulled pork, and bacon. Combos include the Raven with banana pudding, blueberry, pretzel, and peanut brittle; a pineapple upside down cake; a strawberry shortcake; a mascarpone cheese with raspberry drizzle; and many more. Customers can create their own or order one of ZuZu’s combinations. All the topping can also be used with housemade waffles, and chicken wings can be added as well.
Zeke’s Coffee will be served at ZuZu’s. It will also have fresh-squeezed and juices and juice combinations using oranges, carrots, bananas, and wheat grass. It will also make fresh lemonade.
Other food offering at ZuZu’s will include paninis, cold cuts, and sandwiches including tuna salad, chicken salad, hot dogs, and a turkey club. ZuZu’s will make soft serve ice cream which it will use for cones as well as sundaes and banana splits.
ZuZu’s will be open Sunday through Thursday from 8am to 10pm and likely until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. There will be seating for about six to seven people. ZuZu’s will have a big focus on carryout orders and delivery.
ZuZu’s will hire about about six to eight employees. It will open sometime this spring as Zubar completes the City permitting process to transform the space. He said the build-out is about 70% complete at this point.
“I love the area,” Zubar told SouthBMore.com. “It is a residential area with lots of businesses and the bars and restaurants bring in people from all over the city. I think ZuZu’s will be a great fit down here.”
Zubar is hoping this is the first of many ZuZu’s locations. Him and his team will also be found selling its products at festivals around the region.