The Brass Elephant

The Brass Elephant on Charles Street. (Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / August 27, 2009)

The Brass Elephant could soon be reopening. Well, not the Brass Elephant exactly. A restaurant named The Museum is set to open within weeks at 924 N. Charles St., the elegant Mount Vernon townhouse that the Brass Elephant called home for almost 30 years before closing in August 2009.

The multistory restaurant property remains in the hands of Charles Street Restaurant Inc., which has entered into an operating agreement with Walter Webb, according to longtime owner Stuart Teper. Webb could not be reached for comment.

Attempts to reactivate the property's license stalled in February, when Charles Street Restaurant Inc., asked the city liquor board for a postponement. On the eve of that hearing, the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association sent its members an email listing concerns about plans for the property, particularly the inclusion of live entertainment.

Live entertainment is no longer part The Museum's plans, and the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association took no position on the license's reactivation at Thursday's meeting.

Gump's big debut Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is now open at Harborplace. The restaurant and market takes over the Light Street Pavilion anchor space that Phillips occupied until last summer. Bubba Gump, which calls itself "the first restaurant group based on a motion picture ['Forrest Gump']," features alongside its moderately priced seafood menu a fun Alabama atmosphere filled with "downhome decor" and a retail store selling clothing and souvenirs like boxes of chocolate and "RUN, Forrest, RUN" license plates.

The Baltimore Bubba Gump is the first to include Gump on the Run, a quick-service alternative to the main restaurant.

The first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market opened in 1996 on Cannery Row in Monterey, Calif. It is now owned by Houston-based Landry's Inc, which calls itself "America's biggest dining, hospitality and entertainment company." Their holdings include casinos, resorts, hotels and such formerly independently owned restaurant groups as McCormick & Schmick's and Morton's the Steakhouse. Bubba Gump and The Oceanaire were acquired by Landry's in 2010.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is at 301 Light St. at Harborplace. For information call 410-244-0838 or go to bubbagump.com.

Soft-shell celebration Some 20 area restaurants will trot out their best soft-shell crab recipes for the fourth annual Soft Shell Crab Celebration. The promotion is organized by Dine Downtown. The 12-day promotion starts Thursday and runs through May 28. Among the participating restaurants are Aldo's Ristorante Italiano, serving soft-shell crabs in brown butter and remoulade sauce; Brewer's Art, serving cornmeal-crusted soft shells and fried Chesapeake oysters; and Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill, serving fried jumbo soft-shell crabs, sweet corn and cilantro salad.

For a complete list of participating restaurants go to dinedowntownbaltimore.com

Knish it up On Sunday, in conjunction with its exhibition "Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Jewish Identity," the Jewish Museum will present "Knish History 101: Life and Times of the Knish," a lecture by Laura Siilver.

Silver will tell everyone all about the knish, that lovable, humble stuffed hunk of dough. Guests are invited to show up with their knish memories, recipes and recollections and listen to knish tales from the Midwest, New York's Lower East SIde and the Polish town of Knyszyn, where Silver traces her roots. The event will include a tasting with knishes from local delicatessens.

For more information, call 410-732-6400.

A short run Calle's Cucina, an Italian restaurant on St. Paul Street, has closed. The BYOB restaurant, which opened just last November in the old Yabba Pot space in Barclay, featured traditional Italian menu items like lasagna Bolognese, braciola and chicken saltimbocca.

Calle's Cucina was owned by its chef, Carl Vahl, who also owns and operates a private chef-for-hire company. Vahl refurbished the space, converting it into what he calls "an elegant, European style ristorante-bistro environment, with a full, Italian focused menu."

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com


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