Baltimore-native Gino Kozera is opening Amber, a restaurant focused on coffee and craft beer, in a 2,000 sq. ft. space at the soon-to-be-finished Anthem House at 900 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point. Construction on the space will begin in July and Kozera is hoping to open the restaurant in the Fall.
Kozera was a partner at Pierpoint in Fells Point in the 199os and later worked for Panera Bread from 1999 to 2015. During his tenure at Panera, Kozera helped the company expand to Maryland and later helped to run the Philadelphia market. He decided it was time to get back to a more boutique setting and began looking in Baltimore for a site to open a new restaurant about a year and half ago. “I’ve come full circle,” Kozera told SouthBMore.com. “I started in local small business and have done large scale, and now it’s time to get back to something boutique.”
Kozera told SouthBMore.com that Panera taught him a lot about working with people and building a business.
Amber will have an entrance and outdoor seating on Fort Ave., as well as an entrance that connects to the lobby of Anthem House. Customers will be able to gather at the restaurant in its dining and bar area, as well as sit down in Anthem House’s lobby. “The building is totally first class and upscale,” he said. “It’s not just a great living space, it encompasses a lifestyle. Plus the retail mix will make it a destination.”
Amber will open every day at 630am serving coffee and espressos from Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters as well as breakfast dishes, pastries, muffins, and bagels. Kozera, who will be hiring a chef, described the lunch and dinner menu as “American light fare.” Amber will feature 40 beers on tap with a focus on regional selections. Customers will also be able to fill growlers.
Amber will have full-service dining but customers will also be able to walk in and order some items quickly to go. The bar at Amber will have televisions playing local sports. Depending on the day, Amber will likely close between 10pm and 12am.
Amber gets its name from the color of beer and coffee, but it also represents light and energy, according to Kozera.
Kozera expects to hire about 20 employees.
The $80-million Anthem House project will include 292 apartments, 449 parking spaces, and 14,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail. The project is a partnership between Bozzuto, War Horse, and Solstice Partners. The leasing office recently opened and tenants will begin moving into Anthem House in June.
The Bar Method has also been recently announced as a retail tenant at Anthem House. It will be opening a 3,000 sq. ft. fitness studio.
Rendering Courtesy of The Bozzuto Group
Photos of the Anthem House Lobby Courtesy of Andrea Stein