The downtown Towson mainstay Ridgely and Ferrens Marketplace closed its doors earlier this week on Allegheny Avenue, but on Thursday, new owners Sue and Fred Dixon began work on Big Sue's Kitchen, the restaurant that will take its place.
Fred Dixon said the first step was to clear the old market out, allowing them to remodel the space with a country kitchen theme, complete with a fireplace, wood beams, and a lounge area.
The name, Big Sue's Kitchen, is the same as the family's Dundalk pizza shop they recently sold, and is also an homage to the direction Sue Dixon hopes to take the menu.
"As far as our menu, we have a breakfast menu, we'll do the traditional subs and sandwiches, fresh dough sandwiches," said Fred Dixon, a retired contractor and Baltimore City firefighter. "We'll also have all the pit meats — beef, ham, turkey, and salads and homemade soups."
Sue Dixon said the menu will follow the store's motto — a taste of home. She said if four of her five children liked something, it was good enough to make again.
The Freeland residents said they made an offer to the market's previous owners, and the buying process was rather quick.
Though they said there's a lot of work to be done — the whole interior and kitchen will be gutted — the Dixons hope for the restaurant to be open in early December. They plan to retain some of the serving staff from Ridgely and Ferrens and train them with the simple message they hope to bring to Towson.
"Our focus in business is good food with good service," Fred Dixon said. "We did that at the pizza shop, and we were very successful."