Box Hill Pizzeria, a Harford County favorite for crab cakes, is getting a makeover, both inside and out.
The Abingdon restaurant opened 35 years ago when Box Hill Square shopping center on MD-924 was new. Over the years, business boomed. Now, the owner said, it’s time for “the place to match the food.”
The restaurant is extending the front of the building with a pergola that opens to the outdoors. In the winter, heaters will be used to keep diners in the fresh air.
“It seems to be the trend that everybody wants to eat outside,” said Tom Kanaras, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother.
On the inside, reclaimed brick will give the pizzeria a rustic feel. A new, exterior sign will read “Box Hill Pizzeria and Crabcakes” to keep the restaurant’s signature dish in the forefront.
Except for one day, the restaurant has remained open and busy through the renovations which started in February. Kanaras thanked his loyal customers and employees for being excited and invested in the changes.
“When we opened, Abingdon was just Box Hill,” Kanaras said. “We watched it grow. It’s not a small little town anymore.”
Although the facade may look different, Kanaras is adamant that the quality of the food will not change, even as the price of crab meat rises sharply.
“We don’t want to change anything, we just want to freshen up,” he said. “My father told us 35 years ago, ‘Keep the quality and you’ll never have a problem.’ ”
To offset some of the crab meat costs, the pizzeria will offer a stuffed shrimp dish and more fish options. The new menu items will start as specials and be added permanently if customers like them.
The owners hope to see the construction completed in 3-4 weeks. After Box Hill Pizzeria proposed renovations, the developer decided to update the rest of the plaza simultaneously.
“When you see this thing, it’s going to knock you out,” Kanaras said.