On the 1200 block of Greenmount Avenue, you will find a slew of rowhomes, people walking down the street and buses trailing down the road. Towards the end of the block, at 1234, you will find the now closed Yellow Bowl Restaurant—a former soul food restaurant and one of Baltimore’s first Black-owned restaurant.

Private Chef Heather Smith plans to re-open the famed Yellow Bowl restaurant in Baltimore in 18 months. (Courtesy photo)

The Yellow Bowl was owned by Youman Fullard Sr. and his wife Eva Virginia Knight starting in 1968. The restaurant became a favorite of politicians and celebrities. The restaurant closed in 2006. Fullard died in 2013 and Knight died in 2008.

Private Chef Heather Smith realized the value of the business of the community. She purchased the restaurant and plans to renovate the building anticipating its grand opening in 18 months. The new restaurant will serve what Smith describes as “Afro-Atlantic” food.

“I personally don’t like the term ‘soul food’. I think often times it comes to mind one particular type of food. I have global influences on my food. I do cook some traditional soul food, but I prefer Afro-Atlantic cuisine than soul food because it takes into consideration the genesis up from Africa through and to the Americas,” Smith told the {AFRO}.

The restaurant will serve American farm fresh baked goods. Smith said that the bread will be prepared in-house, along with the condiments. Smith also plans for the restaurant to become a brunch destination, serving the popular meal all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The restaurant will also have seated service, a full bar, a service kitchen, as well as a separate teaching kitchen offering cooking classes as well a culinary training program for those seeking to learn or improve on their culinary craft.

Smith plans to use this restaurant as a way to benefit the neighborhood. “My goal is to employ people from the neighborhood, but there are but so many positions I can have,” Smith said.

Smith also plan to help Johnston Square by planning a rooftop growing space on top of the restaurant along with utilizing the parking lot for a farmers’ market. She also plans to offer free classes about healthy eating and healthy living.

“The Yellow Bowl is the oldest Black-owned restaurant in the city. The previous owner’s likeness is in the Great Blacks in Wax Museum, so it’s a big deal. I think it will be a point of pride for the Johnston Square community and Baltimore in whole…I was happy that I was able to purchase and keep The Yellow Bowl in minority hands,” she said.

Smith also plans to utilize the space to support community artists.

The restaurant will reopen as 12:34 at The Yellow Bowl. “I’m not going to change the name company out of respect for the history of the space, so we’ll keep the name of The Yellow Bowl in it officially.”