Great Baltimore comebacks [Pictures]
Everybody loves a comeback. And we've had quite a few in the past year or so. Against all odds, the Grand Prix is back with new owners and a major sponsor. Denise Whiting, whose trademark of the word "hon" cost her dearly, managed a total turnaround, thanks in no small part to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Even Power Plant Live, long a punch line for serious Baltimore drinkers, has a new look and a fresh lease on life.
Here are seven of the more spectacular turnarounds of the past 12-odd months, as well as things we wish would come back, and a few items we'd never like to see again.
-- By Sam Sessa, Jordan Bartel, Wesley Case and Brandon Weigel
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Power Plant Live( Josh Sisk, Special to The Baltimore Sun )
Over the years, plenty of the shine had worn off the Inner Harbor's massive entertainment complex. Sure, Power Plant Live might have made an attractive nightlife option if you were an out-of-towner or a college student, but to the rest of us, it was simply a flashy tourist trap or the place that housed Rams Head Live.
But have you been lately? Power Plant Live is having its comeback moment, thanks to an influx of promising new bars and restaurants. There's Leinenkugel's Beer Garden, with its glass pavilion, outdoor seating and, naturally, an excellent beer selection. Kettle Hill is an attractive farm-to-table restaurant with a stellar cocktail list. And there's Joe Squared, the classically Baltimore pizza joint that upholds the charms -- and recipes -- of the beloved Station North original.
The new spots merit multiple visits, a problem other Power Plant Live bars struggle with. Chains such as the dueling piano bar Howl at the Moon and PBR Baltimore may draw weekend crowds, but they rely on gimmicks that don't justify repeat trips. But these new restaurants make Power Plant Live feel like a different place. If it's not a complete transformation, it's at least a much-needed makeover, and a -- gasp! -- sophisticated one at that.