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Consuming Interests

Consuming Interests A blog for the smart consumer
Maryland attorney general investigating lead-paint settlement deals

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has launched an investigation into the practices of companies that buy structured legal settlements from lead poisoning victims — paying them less than the settlements would provide.

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Grotto Pizza will open in Columbia next year

Grotto Pizza, known for restaurants at the beach in Ocean City and Delaware, will open in Columbia early next year.

Grotto will open an 8,000-square-foot restaurant in the Minstrel Crossing shopping center near Snowden River Parkway, part of an expansion into the Baltimore-Washington area, The Mullan Contracting Co., the contractor building out the space for the restaurant, said today.

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Made in Baltimore pop-up shop to open in Mount Vernon

A made-in-Baltimore holiday "pop-up shop" will open Friday at the Women's Exchange in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood, featuring merchandise made by more than 90 city-based businesses.

The idea is to promote buying locally in the city and highlight Baltimore's diverse maker industries, said The Industrial Arts Collective, an alliance of makerspaces, craft manufacturers and education initiatives.

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BJ's Wholesale Club in Canton plans to open Saturday

BJ's Wholesale Club will open its newest Maryland store, in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood, on Saturday, the retailer said today.

The 90,000-square-foot-warehouse club at 4701 O'Donnell Street, on the former site of specialty paint company Complimentary Coatings Corp., is expected to employ about 115 full- and- part-time workers.

A grand opening event is planned for next Saturday, Nov.

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Soft Surroundings is opening in Westfield Annapolis Mall

Soft Surroundings, an upscale retailer of women's apparel and home and beauty products, is opening its first Maryland store this month in Westfield Annapolis Mall in Annapolis.

The store will open Nov. 20, part of an 11-store expansion this year for the St. Louis-based retailer.

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Joe's Crab Shack tests no-tipping policy

Seafood chain Joe's Crab Shack, which has two Baltimore-area locations, is experimenting with ending tipping and instead paying servers, hosts and bartenders higher, fixed hourly wages, an unusual move in the restaurant industry.

The beach-themed restaurant is testing the policy in 18 of its locations and says no timeline has been set to spread the policy nationwide.

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