Feeling his bar and restaurant had grown stale, Saute owner Dave Carey closed his Canton establishment at the end of July for a considerable rebranding. On Wednesday — after seven weeks of renovations — the new restaurant, Lee's Pint and Shell (2844 Hudson St.), opened to the public.
Carey's motivation to rebrand was two-fold: He wanted it to feel more casual and more "like a Baltimore bar," he said Thursday.
The interior has a local theme (old-time Baltimore advertisements have been illustrated on newly painted walls) and utilizes recycled wood throughout the building. The banquet booths are gone, so now it's all high-top tables. Some windows have been replaced with garage doors that create an open-air atmosphere.
Renovations cost close to $200,000, he said.
"It's way more casual. The whole idea is to make everybody feel comfortable," Carey said.
Lee's Pint and Shell's menu consists of 50-60 percent seafood, he said. (The restaurant opened with a limited menu yesterday because they're waiting for equipment to arrive. Carey said the full menu would be available by Tuesday at the latest.)
A new addition to the space is the raw bar. During happy hour (4 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday), oysters will cost 50 cents. There's also Tito's vodka on tap for oyster shooters.
The bar also added six more beer taps, bringing the total to 18. Spirits-wise, Lee's Pint and Shell places an emphasis on bourbon, with more than 50 types.
For fans of Saute, which opened in March 2008, some items from the old menu have stayed, including the duck nachos and buffalo chicken pizza. (Carey retained Saute chef Mark Suliga.)
A difference, though, is Lee's Pint and Shell's brunch. Expected to launch Oct. 22, the new establishment will not offer bottomless brunch drinks as Saute did. Carey said 16-ounce mimosas, sangria and bloody marys will cost under $3 each.