Harford's first JCPenney, two new restaurants set to open this week

Three businesses new to Harford County – JCPenney, Marlin & Ray's and Texas Roadhouse – are expected to open their doors next week.

The first to open, on Monday, Oct. 1, will be Texas Roadhouse, a steak and rib restaurant, which is in the new Aumar Village Shopping Center at Route 1 and Route 152 in Fallston.

Mike Euler, developer of the shopping center, said Thursday the Texas Roadhouse folks have been "firing on all cylinders," getting the place ready and training the restaurant's 185 employees.

"This is going to be big for Harford County; it's been much anticipated," he said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, Marlin & Ray's, a seafood restaurant, will open in Bel Air Plaza on Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, moving into the building that formerly was home to Ruby Tuesday.

Since its beginnings in 2011, Marlin and Ray's has been all about "keepin' it reel," serving up mouthwatering recipes and handcrafted cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere where friends, families and couples can gather together, according to the company. The Bel Air location will be the 12th for Marlin and Ray's, which has other restaurants in Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

And, on Friday, Oct. 5, Harford's first JCPenney department store will open in the Boulevard at Box Hill off Route 924 in Abingdon.

"This isn't the department store you and I are used to," Thomas Fidler, senior vice president for MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, said of the 86,000-square-foot store. "This something right out of Manhattan. It's going to be a prototype for all their future stores."

Fidler, whose company handles leasing at Boulevard at Box Hill for Harford-based developer Ward Properties, said Thursday the JCPenney building is completed and is receiving inventory. He said the development team is doing some final landscaping and other minor work around the site.

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