John J. Barrett Jr.’s philosophy when it comes to running his restaurants is let the customers “win and run up the score,” and that philosophy will be applied at the new Barrett’s on the Pike, set to open Tuesday.
“We’re here to show the care and concern that doesn’t exist in the market,” Paul Silberman, general manager of the new Bel Air restaurant, said. “We hire great people that do care.”
Barrett’s on the Pike, the third for the restaurant group that also owns Barrett’s Grill in Hunt Valley and Glyndon Grill near Reisterstown, is opening in the former Stone’s Cove Kit Bar, which closed suddenly in June 2017, in the Bel Air Town Center.
The Harford County Liquor Control Board approved the liquor license Wednesday for the new restaurant, which will have soft-openings without alcohol on Friday and a VIP event Saturday before opening to the public on Tuesday.
Barrett’s on the Pike regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays; 10 am.to 11 p.m. on Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Barrett and a business partner saw an opportunity about a decade ago in the former Graystone Grille in Hunt Valley.
“They bought it, changed the menu, changed the decor and the name,” Silberman said.
It opened as Barrett’s Grille nine years ago. Two years later, they opened Glyndon Grille.
With Silberman, who was working at the general manager of the Hunt Valley restaurant, living in Bel Air, Barrett began looking for a space in Harford County, with the idea that Silberman would be the GM.
“There’s nothing like us up here,” Silberman said. “We really want to bring upgraded service with cravable, delicious food. Many do one or the other, but I’ve not seen them put together.”
He described the menu as classic American fare, served fresh with handcut steaks and seafood, and soups and salad dressings made in-house.
“Our focus is fresh food, we like Maryland food,” Silberman told the liquor board at its meeting Wednesday.
People from Harford County go to Barrett’s in Hunt Valley; he’s hoping people make Barrett’s on the Pike a destination, too.
The restaurant was pretty much gutted when Barrett took over. The former space had dark wood and a dark red paint — the new space is bright white with a strong dark blue.
It has two private rooms — one with a long, narrow table to seat 20 and the other with six round tables to seat 40 — and a separate bar. The main dining area is off the open kitchen, “so everyone can see what’s going on,” Silberman said.
Silberman is now working 5 minutes from home, not 40, time he said he’ll be able to spend in the restaurant.
“Working 5 minutes from home is great. I feel like I know people here, what they want, what they expect,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to be able to serve my neighbors.”