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Highlandtown’s ‘Top Chef’

“Top Chef” contestant Jesse Sandlin, second from left, and her kitchen crew saunter into Highlandtown with a new concept in a familiar space.

After working at various Baltimore restaurants, chef Jesse Sandlin is opening her own eatery, Sally O’s, in Highlandtown. Named after Sandlin’s grandmother, the former Laughing Pint space is scheduled to debut in mid-April. “It’s exciting; it’s terrifying,” says Sandlin, a former “Top Chef” contestant.

The Baltimore native, who recently helmed the kitchen at The Outpost American Tavern in Federal Hill, spent months renovating the former pub. “I felt strongly that Laughing Pint was such an institution it had to be something new,” Sandlin says. “My place had to be a different place with a different vibe and a different feel.”

She’s opened up windows on the South Conkling Street side of the corner building on Gough Street, refurbished the wood bar, and added hand-painted wallpaper in warm tones. “It’s a lot brighter, with plants, and more open,” she says. “It’s very bohemian.”’

The menu will feature eclectic American cuisine that is seasonally driven and as locally sourced as possible, Sandlin says. “I want to do things that appeal to the people in the neighborhood and encourage people from other neighborhoods to come to Highlandtown and see what else is here,” she says.

3531 Gough St., sallyos.com

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