Andy DePaola had big plans for the Sulphur Spring Inn even before Arbutus tavern closed in the summer and was put up for sale.
"I looked at the place a couple of years ago and had some interest in it but kept it quiet," DePaola said as he took a break from renovating the building on the corner of Sulphur Spring Road and East Drive.
When the opportunity to buy the bar arose, DePaola said he "scarfed it up."
DePaola, the owner of a roofing company, wanted to open DePaola's Pub and Grill at the location by Feb. 1. But he conceded on Jan. 11 that the remaining work will likely postpone the opening until March 1.
After working for three months to purchase the establishment, DePaola said he has put in 40 to 45 hours a week renovating it with new amenities, including furniture, lights and ceiling.
When it does open, the grill's menu will include pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, wings and macaroni and cheese, DePaola said.
"My menu is not massive, but it's filled," DePaola said. "It's all going to be good stuff. We're going to do a lot of catering out of here, too."
The establishment will feature a full bar and may also include some local microbrews, added DePaola, who has operated two restaurants in Baltimore, the Colonial Inn in Fells Point and Breadman's Pub in Highlandtown.
Arbutus Business and Professional Association President Patti Sue Nolan said the addition of the pub is a boon for the community.
"I'm really excited about a new place to eat and get good food," Nolan said.
She added that the new restaurant could stimulate the local economy.
"If people come down here to eat, they'll see what else we have to offer," Nolan said.
DePaola's renovations will also help with the area's revitalization, Nolan added.
"I'm just thrilled because he's the kind of person who will fix up the inside and the outside," Nolan said. "The whole corner will be improved."
While downtown Arbutus already features numerous eateries, Nolan said DePaola's Pub and Grill likely wouldn't drain business from the other establishments.
"I don't think it's going to interfere with the establishments that are already here, because it sounds like he's going to do something different," Nolan said. "He's going to fit in just perfectly in a little niche."
DePaola said he became attracted to downtown Arbutus when he watched his children play sports in the area.
"I just wanted to find some place with a strong neighborhood to it, and this is perfect," he said.
Two of his sons, Nick and Vince, are currently underclassmen on the Rutgers University football team.
His oldest son, Andrew, also played there and his daughter, Ashley, was once a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader.
DePaola said he plans to put a Rutgers "R" on the side of his sign as a signal to fans of the New Jersey school where Ravens running back Ray Rice starred.
For fans of college and professional football, and other sports, DePaola has one goal.
"I'm going to try to cater to everybody," he said. "I'm going to make a go of it, see if I can make this place fly."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun