Myles Julian Feldman, a founder of a restaurant equipment business, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Dec. 15 at Pinecrest Delray Hospice in Florida. The Boca Raton, Fla., resident had previously lived in Stevenson.

Mr. Feldman was 82.

Born in Atlantic City, N.J., he was the son of Samuel Feldman, a restaurant supplies salesman, and Frieda Feldman, his office manager. The family moved to Baltimore, where Mr. Feldman was a 1946 graduate of Forest Park High School. During the Korean War, he served in the Army and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska.

While in the service, he married Beverly Fox, whom he had met at a Forest Park fraternity event.

Mr. Feldman founded a restaurant equipment business, Atlantic Equipment Co., in the basement of his parents' home on Santa Fe Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. He worked with his parents and a brother, Barry, who later left the business.

Family members said that when the business grew too large for the rowhouse's basement, Mr. Feldman moved it. In the mid-1950s, it was located on South Howard Street, on the site of what is now 1st Mariner Arena, formerly the Baltimore Civic Center. When the city condemned the site, Mr. Feldman moved the business to Harford Road near Cold Spring Lane in Northeast Baltimore, where it remained until he retired in the early 1990s.

"He was known for his personable nature, hard work and integrity, and maintained close friendships with former customers and suppliers throughout the rest of his life," said his daughter, Debbie Feldman Jones of Baltimore.

She said her father established business relationships with Baltimore restaurants, including the Pimlico Hotel, Obrycki's and Haussner's, as well as Martin's Catering and Saval Foods.

"When I expanded the Chesapeake Restaurant with the old Walker-Hasslinger space, I bought my china and silver from him," said retired restaurateur Phil Friedman, of Pompano beach, Fla. "I never heard Myles raise his voice or ever say a bad word about anybody or criticize them."

Mr. Friedman said that when he attended national restaurant shows, he would buy equipment and have it and the bill shipped to Mr. Feldman. "We trusted each other that much," he said.

When Mr. Friedman opened a new restaurant, Gampy's, at Charles and Read streets, he had Mr. Feldman's staff design the restaurant's seating area and the kitchen.

In the 1980s, Mr. Feldman worked with Giant Food officials to help introduce a salad bar to the grocery chain in the Baltimore-Washington area.

"He was the salad bar innovator in Baltimore," said a close friend, Selvin Madow of Baltimore. "It began as just a small part of his business. He saw them on his travels and brought them back."

Mr. Madow recalled his friend's start in the food equipment business. "He believed you had to look good to do well. Even though he might not have been able to afford it, he went out and bought a DeSoto convertible. He pulled up in front of customers in it, and they thought he must be doing well," he said.

The business Mr. Feldman founded remains in family hands and is operated by a son and a grandson who renamed the operation Atlantic Salad Bars.

"I never saw the man without a smile on his face. He never frowned," said Milton Weinstein, a friend and retired Giant Food delicatessen and dairy official. "He never pressured anyone."

Mr. Feldman was active in the Jewish community and at times had been a member of Temple Emanuel and the Oheb Shalom and Beth Tfiloh congregations. He played golf at the Woodholme Country Club. As a young man, he played tennis and enjoyed sailing.

Services were held Dec. 18 in Florida.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 60 years; a son, Carl Feldman of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; another daughter, Pamela Feldman Marshall of Hesperus, Colo.; and five grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts