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Nostalgic Baltimore restaurants

Few Baltimore restaurants were more renowned than Haussner's, with its famed art gallery (paintings and sculptures were displayed everywhere throughout the restaurant), its giant ball of string (collected over decades) and its fabulous European cuisine. Opened at 3244 Eastern Ave. in 1926, Haussner's served its last meal on Sept. 21, 1999. The art collection fetched over $11 million at auction; the ball of string went for $8,000.

Nostalgic Baltimore restaurants

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Baltimore has seen a lot of its iconic restaurants close in recent years. Here's a look back at some of the restaurants and watering holes that remain only in the hearts and memories of those who dined there.
Nostalgic Baltimore restaurants: Haussner's
Few Baltimore restaurants were more renowned than Haussner's, with its famed art gallery (paintings and sculptures were displayed everywhere throughout the restaurant), its giant ball of string (collected over decades) and its fabulous European cuisine. Opened at 3244 Eastern Ave. in 1926, Haussner's served its last meal on Sept. 21, 1999. The art collection fetched over $11 million at auction; the ball of string went for $8,000.
Few Baltimore restaurants were more renowned than Haussner's, with its famed art gallery (paintings and sculptures were displayed everywhere throughout the restaurant), its giant ball of string (collected over decades) and its fabulous European cuisine. Opened at 3244 Eastern Ave. in 1926, Haussner's served its last meal on Sept. 21, 1999. The art collection fetched over $11 million at auction; the ball of string went for $8,000.
The Brass Elephant
For years known as the most beautiful restaurant in Baltimore, the Brass Elephant, at 924 N. Charles St., closed in August 2009. "The phone doesn't ring - what can I tell you?" Randy Stahl, one of the restaurant's owners, said at the time. "People still want to go out and be pampered but they can't afford it as frequently. That's what we've been running up against."
For years known as the most beautiful restaurant in Baltimore, the Brass Elephant, at 924 N. Charles St., closed in August 2009. "The phone doesn't ring - what can I tell you?" Randy Stahl, one of the restaurant's owners, said at the time. "People still want to go out and be pampered but they can't afford it as frequently. That's what we've been running up against." (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)
Burke's Restaurant
Burke's Restaurant closed in late 2010 to make way for a Royal Farms Store. Opened in 1934, it had enjoyed a reputation in its heyday as a tough waterfront watering hole where punches flew as regularly as shots were poured.
Burke's Restaurant closed in late 2010 to make way for a Royal Farms Store. Opened in 1934, it had enjoyed a reputation in its heyday as a tough waterfront watering hole where punches flew as regularly as shots were poured. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)
The Chesapeake Restaurant
In the 1950s and 1960s, owner Sidney Friedman's Chesapeake Restaurant, at 1701 N. Charles St., may have been the most popular restaurant in Baltimore; on weekends, it was almost impossible to eat there without a reservation. Longtime Sun and News American sports columnist John Steadman used to talk about gathering with his fellow sportswriters from all over the country, fresh off the train at Penn Station, for drinks at the Chesapeake. The restaurant closed in 1987.
In the 1950s and 1960s, owner Sidney Friedman's Chesapeake Restaurant, at 1701 N. Charles St., may have been the most popular restaurant in Baltimore; on weekends, it was almost impossible to eat there without a reservation. Longtime Sun and News American sports columnist John Steadman used to talk about gathering with his fellow sportswriters from all over the country, fresh off the train at Penn Station, for drinks at the Chesapeake. The restaurant closed in 1987.
Connolly's Sea Food House
Connolly's Sea Food House, a favorite of William Donald Schaefer and famed for its waterfront "old salt" atmosphere, operated out of several ramshackle buildings at Pier 5 and Pratt Street. Old-timers said it was typical of the no-frills seafood houses that once dotted the Baltimore waterfront. All are long gone, having been replaced by Harborplace and Inner Harbor re-development. Connolly's opened in 1925 and closed for good in 1991.
Connolly's Sea Food House, a favorite of William Donald Schaefer and famed for its waterfront "old salt" atmosphere, operated out of several ramshackle buildings at Pier 5 and Pratt Street. Old-timers said it was typical of the no-frills seafood houses that once dotted the Baltimore waterfront. All are long gone, having been replaced by Harborplace and Inner Harbor re-development. Connolly's opened in 1925 and closed for good in 1991.
Gino's
Gino's, long a staple of Baltimore's fast-food scene, vanished slowly; the last of them, this one on Mountain Road in Pasadena, closed in 1991. But this story has a happy ending, as the franchise has been revived and a new Gino's opened in Towson in August 2011.
Gino's, long a staple of Baltimore's fast-food scene, vanished slowly; the last of them, this one on Mountain Road in Pasadena, closed in 1991. But this story has a happy ending, as the franchise has been revived and a new Gino's opened in Towson in August 2011. (Baltimore Sun Staff File Photo, Baltimore Sun)
The Monte Cristo sandwich at Gampy's
Disco queens still have electric dreams about the Monte Cristo sandwich, a deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich served with a warm raspberry sauce that was something of a late-night classic in Gampy's glory days, from the late 1970s to the end of the 1980s. Gampy's closed in the early 2000s, but it had been out of the hands of its original owners for a few years by then. A French cafe named Marie Louise now occupies the space.
Disco queens still have electric dreams about the Monte Cristo sandwich, a deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich served with a warm raspberry sauce that was something of a late-night classic in Gampy's glory days, from the late 1970s to the end of the 1980s. Gampy's closed in the early 2000s, but it had been out of the hands of its original owners for a few years by then. A French cafe named Marie Louise now occupies the space. (Baltimore sun file photo)
Jimmy Wu's New China Inn
Jimmy Wu's New China Inn, with dining rooms with such names as the Longevity Room, Cheat-Chat and Forbidden Quarters, operated at 2430 N. Charles St. from 1946-1983.
Jimmy Wu's New China Inn, with dining rooms with such names as the Longevity Room, Cheat-Chat and Forbidden Quarters, operated at 2430 N. Charles St. from 1946-1983. (Baltimore Sun)
Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm
The food was fine at the Golden Arm, but that wasn't the main attraction. Diners were frequently joined by owner John Unitas, who opened the Golden Arm while he was still a quarterback for the Baltimore Colts. It operated out of York Road Plaza, a few blocks north of Northern Parkway, from 1968-1994.
The food was fine at the Golden Arm, but that wasn't the main attraction. Diners were frequently joined by owner John Unitas, who opened the Golden Arm while he was still a quarterback for the Baltimore Colts. It operated out of York Road Plaza, a few blocks north of Northern Parkway, from 1968-1994.
Little Tavern
The ubiquitous Little Tavern restaurants, home to cheap hamburgers you could purchase (and eat) by the bagful, could once be found all over Baltimore; in the 1940s, there were more than 40. The last one in the city, on Holabird Avenue in Southeast Baltimore, closed in April 2008.
The ubiquitous Little Tavern restaurants, home to cheap hamburgers you could purchase (and eat) by the bagful, could once be found all over Baltimore; in the 1940s, there were more than 40. The last one in the city, on Holabird Avenue in Southeast Baltimore, closed in April 2008. (Monica Lopassay, The Baltimore Sun)
Louie's The Bookstore Cafe
Owner Jimmy Rouse (at left) imagined Louie's The Bookstore Cafe as a restaurant providing part-time employment for musicians, painters, writers and other artists intent on pursuing their craft. It also allowed them space to showcase their work. Rouse opened Louie's, named for his son, in 1981. It closed in 1999.
Owner Jimmy Rouse (at left) imagined Louie's The Bookstore Cafe as a restaurant providing part-time employment for musicians, painters, writers and other artists intent on pursuing their craft. It also allowed them space to showcase their work. Rouse opened Louie's, named for his son, in 1981. It closed in 1999.
Maison Marconi's
Legend has it that silent film star Rudolph Valentino was once a waiter at Marconi's, which served its customers such delicacies as "Sweetbreads Sarah Bernhardt" and "Lobster Cardinale" for 85 years. The restaurant, housed in a 19th-century rowhouse south of the Basilica of the Assumption at 106 W. Saratoga St., counted among its patrons H..L. Mencken, publisher Alfred A. Knopf, actor Walter Huston, opera diva Lily Pons, writers James M. Cain, Alexander Woollcott, Sinclair Lewis and Joseph Hergesheimer, composer Irving Berlin and bandleader Fred Waring. It closed in June 2005.
Legend has it that silent film star Rudolph Valentino was once a waiter at Marconi's, which served its customers such delicacies as "Sweetbreads Sarah Bernhardt" and "Lobster Cardinale" for 85 years. The restaurant, housed in a 19th-century rowhouse south of the Basilica of the Assumption at 106 W. Saratoga St., counted among its patrons H..L. Mencken, publisher Alfred A. Knopf, actor Walter Huston, opera diva Lily Pons, writers James M. Cain, Alexander Woollcott, Sinclair Lewis and Joseph Hergesheimer, composer Irving Berlin and bandleader Fred Waring. It closed in June 2005. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, The Baltimore Sun)
Martick's Restaurant Francais
Opened in 1970, owner Morris Martick spent 38 years serving French food his way. Sun columnist Dan Rodricks once referred to Martick's as "a former speak-easy and bohemian joint with only a few small windows - tiles of stained glass created by the owner - and a small kitchen on the second floor. You press a doorbell to gain entrance. If you're lucky, Morris Martick greets you, shows you to a table, presents a handwritten menu, takes your order and rushes upstairs - the floor on which he was born 86 and a half years ago - to cook it." Martick's closed in August 2008; Morris Martick died Dec. 16, 2011.
Opened in 1970, owner Morris Martick spent 38 years serving French food his way. Sun columnist Dan Rodricks once referred to Martick's as "a former speak-easy and bohemian joint with only a few small windows - tiles of stained glass created by the owner - and a small kitchen on the second floor. You press a doorbell to gain entrance. If you're lucky, Morris Martick greets you, shows you to a table, presents a handwritten menu, takes your order and rushes upstairs - the floor on which he was born 86 and a half years ago - to cook it." Martick's closed in August 2008; Morris Martick died Dec. 16, 2011. (David Hobby, The Baltimore Sun)
The open-face hot turkey sandwich at Morgan & Millard
We heard from people who have strong attachments to food they grew up on at other neighborhood joints like Morgan & Millard in Roland Park or Fields Pharmacy in Pikesville. The food they remember wasn't always fancy -- a club sandwich, a grilled cheese, a chocolate milkshake -- but in their memory, they were perfection. What was your favorite neighborhood meal?
We heard from people who have strong attachments to food they grew up on at other neighborhood joints like Morgan & Millard in Roland Park or Fields Pharmacy in Pikesville. The food they remember wasn't always fancy -- a club sandwich, a grilled cheese, a chocolate milkshake -- but in their memory, they were perfection. What was your favorite neighborhood meal? (Unknown / Baltimore Sun)
Mt. Washington Tavern
A favorite North Baltimore restaurant for decades, the <a href="http://findlocal.baltimoresun.com/listings/mt-washington-tavern-baltimore">Mt. Washington Tavern</a> burned nearly to the ground in the early-morning hours of Oct. 31, 2011. The owners are priomising to rebuild as soon as possible.
A favorite North Baltimore restaurant for decades, the Mt. Washington Tavern burned nearly to the ground in the early-morning hours of Oct. 31, 2011. The owners are priomising to rebuild as soon as possible. (Monica Lopossay, The Baltimore Sun)
Peabody Book Shop and Beer Stube
It would be hard to think of anything from the 1970s that was more quintessentially Baltimore than the Peabody Book Shop and Beer Stube, a basement bar that doubled as the "home" of Dantini the Magnificent, a self-styled magician (and acquaintance of Houdini) who would have been right at home in an early John Waters film. The Beer Stube, in the basement of 913 N. Charles St., opened as a bookstore in 1927; liquor was added in 1933. It closed in 1986, seven years after Dantini died.
It would be hard to think of anything from the 1970s that was more quintessentially Baltimore than the Peabody Book Shop and Beer Stube, a basement bar that doubled as the "home" of Dantini the Magnificent, a self-styled magician (and acquaintance of Houdini) who would have been right at home in an early John Waters film. The Beer Stube, in the basement of 913 N. Charles St., opened as a bookstore in 1927; liquor was added in 1933. It closed in 1986, seven years after Dantini died. (GEORGE W. HOLSEY / Baltimore Sun)
Pimlico Hotel
Fans of the old Pimlico Hotel on Park Heights Avenue told us about the egg rolls, the chicken Kiev and the Coffey Salad. The last, named for the longtime Pimlico waitress who created it, was described on the menu as a "garden-fresh medley of lettuce, tomato and onion accented with anchovies, hard-boiled egg, garlic and freshly grated imported Parmesan." The original Pimlico Hotel closed in 1991.
Fans of the old Pimlico Hotel on Park Heights Avenue told us about the egg rolls, the chicken Kiev and the Coffey Salad. The last, named for the longtime Pimlico waitress who created it, was described on the menu as a "garden-fresh medley of lettuce, tomato and onion accented with anchovies, hard-boiled egg, garlic and freshly grated imported Parmesan." The original Pimlico Hotel closed in 1991. (Richard Childress / Baltimore Sun)
Woman's Industrial Exchange
The venerable Woman's Industrial Exchange Restaurant operated out of its N. Charles Street location for more than a century. After several fits and starts late in life, it closed in 2005. But this may turn into another happy ending: in October 2011, it was announced that a local businesswoman would be re-opening the restaurant as the Woman's Industrial Kitchen. Stay tuned.
The venerable Woman's Industrial Exchange Restaurant operated out of its N. Charles Street location for more than a century. After several fits and starts late in life, it closed in 2005. But this may turn into another happy ending: in October 2011, it was announced that a local businesswoman would be re-opening the restaurant as the Woman's Industrial Kitchen. Stay tuned. (Amy Davis, The Baltimore Sun)
More Baltimore food and drink features
"Top Chef" alumnus Bryan Voltaggio opened his first Baltimore restaurant, Aggio, in 2013.
"Top Chef" alumnus Bryan Voltaggio opened his first Baltimore restaurant, Aggio, in 2013.
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