Aberdeen Proving Ground is interested in the possibility of more eateries near the Edgewood gate, former state Sen. Art Helton said Wednesday night.
Helton told the Edgewood Community Council there are opportunities for those interested in opening businesses near the APG gate, explaining the post's problem is the kind of services available to its newcomers.
"Some of them are doctors and highly skilled physicians and they're looking for amenities better than what's currently out there," Helton said. "Currently if you don't pack your lunch and go off post and try to get back on post within a half an hour, it's impossible."
Councilman Dion Guthrie mentioned Clarence's Taste of New Orleans, a restaurant on Old Edgewood Road near the MARC train station that he said closed four or five months ago.
The restaurant, which opened in 2005 and offered "authentic New Orleans and Chesapeake specialties," went to auction on Aug. 25 to try to sell off the building and its contents, according to its website.
Guthrie said not one person showed up for that auction, and he encouraged anyone interested in a business opportunity to look into the building.
Council chairman Jansen Robinson agreed APG is saying there are no amenities immediately outside the post, "and they were only concerned about things immediately outside the post, Willoughby Beach Road, [etc]," he said, adding there are plans for Edgewood to be the chemical and biological headquarters of the nation.
"I think there's some movement toward some things for local folks who know the lay of the land, who could get involved with that kind of stuff," he said. "They're signaling some small business opportunities."
Guthrie said if someone wanted to make an investment in Clarence's, all the equipment is already there and the property has a seven-day beer, wine and liquor license.
Helton said he believes the only restaurant on post near the Edgewood gate is Subway and perhaps Burger King.
"They're intensely looking at the possibility of food services immediately outside of the gate, between Willoughby Beach Road and the gate," Helton said.
Hotel tax, crime
Guthrie also used the business discussion to again criticize the Harford state delegation for failing to pass the hotel tax.
He said the county had a chance to get a Martin's conference center, similar to the Martin's East and Martin's West in Baltimore County, near APG, together with a Marriott hotel, but the deal fell through.
"What we needed to help fund that was the hotel tax, so we lost this convention center that we were going to have," Guthrie said.
Sheriff's Office Capt. Christopher Swain told the council about an increase in burglaries, most notably shed burglaries, and a handful of prominent robberies within the past month.
He pointed out Walgreens and several liquor stores were robbed, as well as High's.
Council student representative Jessica Coleman said the residence of a friend of hers was burglarized and it took two hours for police to get to the house.
Swain said that is "unusual," as it would never take that long, but perhaps the burglary was bumped down on the priority list because the burglar was already gone.
Guthrie said community members are planning a music festival called "Edgewoodstock" and will have an open meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the southern Sheriff's Precinct on Route 40 to discuss the project.
He said it would be held in late June 2013.
"We are going to have bands and music and tables and all kinds of crazy stuff," he said.
The Edgewood Assembly of God announced an Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Eve Service at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, hosted by 12 Edgewood churches.
The event will include music, worship and a potluck pie social at Edgewood Assembly of God at 803 Edgewood Road.
Volunteers were also requested to help deliver Thanksgiving meals to the Bea Gaddy Center in Baltimore, as well as to Holy Family House in Aberdeen and SARC. Eight or nine drivers are needed to deliver the meals, he said.