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Penguins Fine Food and Spirits to reopen Wednesday

Pub on Maiden Choice Lane will have soft opening for first week

By Brian Conlin, bconlin@patuxent.com

2:54 PM EDT, May 23, 2012

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Penguins Fine Food and Spirits opened its doors for the first time in nearly three years at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Owner David Biggins, who first opened Penguins in 2006, called the pub's first week a soft opening. Though it will have a full food menu, Penguins will not have tap lines, an ATM, a juke box or credit card machine.

Biggins said he hopes to have those amenities, including three tap lines, installed in the next week or two.

A 1985 Cardinal Gibbons School graduate, he asked for the community's patience as he gets the pub up and running. He said he has been working for the past two months to get the proper licenses and renovate the pub on a shoe-string budget.

Biggins has hired childhood friend Paul Garett, a cook with 10 years of experience as the executive chef of Coins Pub and Restaurant on Coastal Highway in Ocean City, to work at Penguins.

While the menu will include pub fare, there will be other options.

Biggins listed the crab cake and seafood club, which has shrimp salad, crab meat and bacon, as one of his favorites.

For its first week, the pub will operate from 2 p.m. to midnight on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.

His aim is to restore the pub to what it was three years ago, before he sold it so he could spend more time with his family, which at the time included a 5-month-old son, Joseph.

Terry Whalen, who had been a bartender at Penguins, bought the pub from Biggins in 2009 and turned it into Whalen's Irish Sports Bar.

Biggins reacquired the establishment's liquor license at a March 19 Baltimore County Liquor Board hearing.