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Q&A: Sykesville Station restaurant opens with new owners and flavors

Kim and D’Alan Baugh are the new owners of an old landmark in Sykesville.

The historic train station is now home to the Sykesville Station restaurant, where southern dishes are the specialty. The Baughs say they’re hoping to bring a little bit of Nashville to the area.

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This isn’t the train station’s first time in the restaurant business. After running Baldwin’s Station for more than 20 years, owners Ridia and Stewart Dearie sold the establishment. They chose not to reveal the new owners when they announced the sale in June so they could introduce themselves to the community.

The Times connected with the Baughs this week to do just that.

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Q: What sets Sykesville Station apart from other local restaurants and its predecessor, Baldwin’s Station?

A: Sykesville Station is completely different than other local restaurants. We have southern inspired dishes like smoked brisket, cowboy steaks, tomahawk pork chops, shrimp and grits, Nashville hot chicken, and shrimp po boy, just to name a few. Our concept was based on the idea of “Bringing a little Nashville to Sykesville.” Great food, fun drinks, and great service bring people together, which makes Sykesville Station a fun place to hang out for not only locals but everyone who comes through our doors.

D’Alan and Kim Baugh, owners of Sykesville Station host a grand opening for their restaurant. August 19, 2020.
D’Alan and Kim Baugh, owners of Sykesville Station host a grand opening for their restaurant. August 19, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Q: What is your experience in the restaurant business?

A: D’Alan worked in kitchens many years ago. We both love to eat at restaurants not only for the food but for the experience. We have traveled a lot as well and have compiled our menu and concept based on that. Our real experience though is in business. We both have owned businesses over the years and know that the secret to any successful business is to put the right team in place and we certainly have done that. We have awesome managers, TC and Chris. We also have a fantastic kitchen staff including Executive Chef Steve and Sous Chef Hao. This group of talented gentlemen have put together a great team so we can provide great food, great drinks and great service!

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Q: Why did this location draw your interest? Are you from the area?

A: This location has so much character and charm. The view of the South Branch of the Patapsco from the platform is not only beautiful, but relaxing as well. The thrill and excitement of possibly having a train rush by while eating is something that draws children and adults of all ages. We have done a lot of research about Sykesville itself and the Station and have worked really hard to restore the history of the building. Sykesville Station was built in 1883 and is the heart of Main Street. We believe that the Station belongs to the locals and we should be very proud its history.

Yes, we are locals. We live about a mile-and-a-half from the Station.

View of train tracks and the Patapsco River from the outside dining area of the Sykesville Station restaurant. August 19, 2020.
View of train tracks and the Patapsco River from the outside dining area of the Sykesville Station restaurant. August 19, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Q: What’s it like opening a new business during a pandemic? What precautions do you have in place to keep customers and staff safe?

A: Of course, opening a restaurant during a pandemic has challenges within itself but it also had its advantages. We were able to start the very extensive renovations that had to be done during the time when restaurants were closed. We have an advantage that we have tons of outdoor seating and when we were able to open, we could accommodate our guests who wanted to get out after the quarantine but still wanted to sit outside. Inside we seat at 50% and 8 feet apart so it takes a little extra configuration and attention to detail to keep within those guidelines, but our managers are on top of it every day.

We are following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including making sure tables are at least 8 feet apart, requiring masks when not seated at a table, not allowing guests to walk up to the bar and order drinks, sanitizing tables between guests, and providing hand sanitizer for every table.

Covered outside dining at the Sykesville Station restaurant. August 19, 2020.
Covered outside dining at the Sykesville Station restaurant. August 19, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Q: How did the grand opening go?

A: Since we have been open, we have been so touched by all the love and support that we have received from everyone. We have quite a few guests who have already been back multiple times to try additional items on the menu as well as come back for meals or drinks that they really enjoyed.

Q: What are your hours?

Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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