Hersh's Pizza & Drinks

Siblings Josh and Stephanie Hershkovitz are the owners of Hersh's Pizza and Drinks in Riverside at 1843 Light St. Josh, who is also the chef, holds a Margherita pizza for $10. Stephanie holds a plate of fennel and orange salad with shaved bottarga for $7.50. (Algerina perna, Baltimore Sun / November 28, 2011)

Rub, Michael Marx's barbecue restaurant in Riverside, closed in July after a four-year run. Now its successor, Hersh's Pizza and Drinks, has opened.

Owings Mills natives Josh and Stephanie Hershkovitz, brother and sister, are the new owners. Josh, formerly of Petit Louis, is the restaurant's chef. The new specialty is Neapolitan pizza, topped with things like fried eggplant, homemade sausage, and prosciutto and pistachio. Also on the opening menu are a few salads, pastas and fritti — anchovy-and-sage fritters and prosciutto balls inspired by the fry shops in Rome.

"The two of us have always loved food," Josh said about his and Stephanie's leap into the restaurant business. "Whenever I visited Stephanie in New York City, we would throw dinner parties and get our guests stuffed and drunk." They had been looking for a restaurant opportunity for about a year and a half, Josh said, and came close to settling on a Hampden location before landing in Riverside.

"We know it's a challenge getting people down here," Josh said about the south-side property, which is near the border of Riverside and the industrial Port Covington area. Rub played up the last-chance-saloon location with a full-blown honky-tonk motif. Hersh's has kept a few of those rough edges intact, but the old neon and corrugated steel walls are gone.

Josh Hershkovitz's first restaurant job was at Charleston, working with Cindy Wolf. "I convinced her to take me on," he said. Something about his background — he was a double major in sculpture and philosophy at the University of Chicago — must have convinced her. After a short stint at Charleston, Hershkovitz moved on to Petit Louis, another restaurant in the Foreman-Wolf family.

Two other Charleston alumni are working with the Hershkovitzes at the new restaurant. Bill Albritton, the former maitre d'hotel, is the new restaurant's general manager, and Jamaal Green has come aboard as head bartender.

Hersh's Pizza and Drinks is at 1843 Light St. Call 443-438-4948 or go to hershspizza.com.

Mutiny on Marley Creek The folks behind Iron Bridge Wine Co. have opened the Mutiny Pirate Bar and Island Grille in the Point Pleasant area of Glen Burnie, on Marley Creek.

Mutiny features Caribbean barbecue and an extensive selection of island rum. The owners are Rob and Steve Weckler from Iron Bridge and Nate Hynson. In addition to Caribbean barbecue, the menu includes fresh fish, beef, chicken and pork dishes, raw and steamed seafood, and a signature "Shipwreck Burger." The chef is Jake Howard, formerly of Iron Bridge. Hynson is stewarding the bar program, which has a focus on fine rum and Heavy Seas Pyrate Fleet beers.

The location, a marina setting, includes deck seating for 24 and indoor seating for 85. The bar includes a Captain's Table that seats parties of 12. A skeleton, dubbed "The Captain," will be a permanent presence at the bar.

Mutiny will be open Wednesday through Saturday and Sundays during the day during NFL season.

Mutiny Pirate Bar and Island Grille is at 1653 Marley Ave. Call 410-787-2050 or go to mutinypiratebar.com

Turnover in Federal Hill SoBo Cafe in Federal Hill has a new owner.

The property was sold recently by longtime owner Brent Ludtke to Anna Leventis, a Towson native and Lutherville resident who is making her first go at restaurant ownership, leaving behind a career in information technology. "This is my full-time job now," Leventis says. "More than full time."

Leventis reopened SoBo Cafe last Wednesday after a few days of painting and cleaning.

SoBo Cafe opened in late 1997. It flourished for years with its cozy charm and comfort-food menu, especially during the years when Winston Blick, now of Clementine, was running the kitchen, but it appeared to fall on hard times in recent years. In July 2010, SoBo Cafe held a fundraiser for itself as part of Ludtke's attempt to rally business.

Leventis has kept on the SoBo Cafe staff and hired on a few new hands in the kitchen. The comfort-food focus remains, but Leventis has plans to expand the menu.

There's one change already, beside the fresh paint.

"We're starting to bake all of our own breads," Leventis says.

SoBo Cafe is at 6 W. Cross St. Call 410-752-1518.

Also in Federal Hill, Cowboys & Rednecks Pub, a "country steakhouse," is now open and serving dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the old Vespa space at 1117 S. Charles St. Call 410-223-2269.

richard.gorelick@baltsun.com


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