Almost a century after it opened on Washington Street in Fells Point, Ostrowski's Famous Polish Sausage store has been sold.
But if things go the way the new owner hopes, hardly anyone will notice the difference.
John Reusing, who also owns Bad Decisions, an adjacent bar, said the 94-year-old sausage shop's reputation helped business when he opened next door.
So, with the exception of extending the shop's hours, he's not planning to make any changes to the storefront or recipes. "I want to keep the tradition alive," he said.
With a giant meat smoker that was grandfathered into current fire codes, he said, the store is unique in Baltimore.
"If you said to the fire marshal today, 'I want to put a huge sausage smoker in a Fells Point row house,' they'd laugh in your face," he said.
That's not to say he didn't have any work to do when he bought the shop. Updates to the building ranged from new plumbing to exit signs — and ran him about $25,000.
Reusing said he submitted an offer in June to the Ostrowskis' accountant soon after he heard the family was interested in selling. He declined to say how much he had paid, out of respect for the original owners. Attempts to reach them were unsuccessful. Reusing said the deal was finalized Monday.
When the rush of holiday business calms down in January, he'll experiment with cured hams and salami to serve in the bar next door.
"I'm glad I got the opportunity to buy it," Reusing said. "It's a 100-year-old name in Baltimore. I'm glad I could rescue it, keep it going and, hopefully, make some money in the process."
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