Joe Squared, Leinenkugel's Beer Hall to join Power Plant Live

Joe Squared and Leinenkugel's Beer Hall will join Power Plant Live by this summer.

The two are the latest additions to the complex's $10 million upgrade, its first in a decade, that was announced in December. For the Station North pizza joint, it will be its second location in the city.

The news was expected to be confirmed this morning at a press conference celebrating the upgrade that was to be attended by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Downtown Partnership president Kirby Fowler and developer David Cordish.

As part of the upgrade, Power Plant Live has also added a permanent outdoor stage; a new valet entrance; and some new tenants - The Comedy Factory, Tatu Asian Grill, and PBR Baltimore, a country-western bar/club.

Cordish Cos. is also close to signing a deal with a restaurant to take over the space Babalu vacated a year ago, said company vice president Reed Cordish, who declined to give the name of the restaurant.  

The upgrade was a necessary renovation for a valued property for the company, Cordish said.

"We wanted to re-invent at a time of strength, not when it was faltering," he said. 

Power Plant Live now draws an average of 3 million visitors a year, according to Cordish Cos., and the company expects an increase in attendance as a result of the upgrade, though he declined to give benchmarks.

But, by adding more restaurants and bars, the company doesn't want to just increase overall attendance, but also how long visitors stay at the complex, Cordish said.

"We want to create an environment that is appealing from 9 to 5," he said. 

Renovations at Power Plant have been on going for months, and won't be entirely completed until this summer. About 100 workers were hired for the project, Cordish said. 

Joe Squared, the Station North pizza joint, will take over the space now occupied by Two Boots, which is near the end of its lease.

The beer hall will be erected in a brand new glass-and-steel pavilion covering 3,500 square feet that is to be located near the entrance fountain, right across from the Port Discovery Museum.

It will serve some 40 specialty brews, and is expected to be finished by July, Cordish said. Joe Squared does not have an opening date yet.

In addition to the new tenants, longtime bar Luckie's Tavern expanded with two outdoor bars and a new outpost called Luckie's Liquors that sells about 75 bottled beers, Cordish said. The bar is designed to look like a liquor store, and features two garage doors that open to the outdoor stage. 

The stage is the centerpiece of the project. Located in the atrium between Luckie's and Maryland Art Place, it is covered by a 50-foot-high glass canopy and features a jumbo-sized LED screen.  It was designed by Chicago firm Knauer Incorporated and Baltimore's Design Collective.

Starting May 19, when bands Apocalyptica and Finger Eleven perform, the stage will host free weekly concerts, including its annual Friday night concert series and a monthly party by the band Mr. Greengenes, said a press release from this morning.  Bands Better than Ezra, the Reagan Years, and Steel Train will also perform this summer on the outdoor stage, which is booked by Rams Head Live.

Cordish said other headliners will be announced in the coming months. 

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Rendering of the new Power Plant, from Cordish Cos.:

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