Whenever Ali Sadeghi was in the mood for fresh fish or oysters, the Ellicott City resident says he had to drive to D.C. or Baltimore to satisfy his craving.
Now he can indulge at the restaurant he and retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas opened in mid-October at Turf Valley Towne Square.
Grille 620 is one of 16 businesses at the new 108,000-square-foot shopping center on Resort Road in Ellicott City. The $22 million complex is anchored by a Harris Teeter grocery store and located near Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center.
The Main Street-style open-air center is constructed with brick, concrete and stone, akin to the developer's sister property, Hunt Valley Towne Centre. Turf Valley Towne Square features an outdoor gathering area, with benches and a fireplace, which will host concerts and other events in the summer.
"It's a beautiful spot. Everything is brand-new," says Octavio Moreno, manager of Columbia's Xitomate Mexican Restaurant. Xitomate owner Julio Soto is slated to open his second Xitomate at Turf Valley Towne Centre this winter. Soto also owns Azul 17 in Columbia.
Restaurant and shop owners say they were attracted to the area's demographics.
Being near Turf Valley Resort was a draw for Tom Yates, owner of Petite Cellars wine, beer and spirits store.
"Many of their guests and members would be the exact people I would want to attract here," Yates says.
The resort also was a draw for Kathleen Lauer, owner of organic hair salon Inspire.
"Turf Valley is a bridal destination. It seems like a perfect spot for us," she says.
There is space at the shopping center for a couple more businesses, says Thomas M. Fitzpatrick, president of developer Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp. Fitzpatrick wouldn't disclose the names of any interested parties. But in the meantime, here's a look at the businesses that are open or will open soon.
The 48,000-square-foot grocery store, which is open 24 hours, anchors Turf Valley Towne Square and features prepared foods, sushi, a salad bar and fresh-cut flowers. It's the eighth Maryland store for Harris Teeter, which recently merged with Kroger.
The recently opened shop sells pet food, treats and toys for dogs, cats, birds, fish and other creatures. There's also a self-serve dog washing station.
Slated to open in November, the shop will carry a variety of wine, beer and spirits. If your choice isn't in stock, the staff will place a special order for you.
Smyth moved its Ellicott City location from the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center to Turf Valley Towne Square. Selling diamonds, gold and estate jewelry, Smyth bills itself as "Baltimore's largest jewelry store."
Facci Italian Restaurant
Like its sister restaurant in North Laurel, Facci specializes in artisan pizza baked in a wood oven and also features a wine bar. The 5,730-square-foot restaurant opened in October.
Grille 620 features fresh oysters, a raw bar, filet mignon and other steaks, fish and crab cakes. Fresh seafood is delivered daily. The 160-seat restaurant serves 30 wines by the glass.
Slated to open at the end of this year, Mimi's Kabob bills itself as an "authentic Afghan bistro" serving beef, chicken and vegetable kabobs. Mimi's also has a location in Clarksville.
Red Parrot Asian Bistro
The Southeast Asian bistro serves Thai food, sushi, Asian fusion cuisine and bubble tea.
The 200-seat Mexican restaurant is the second Xitomate that owner Julio Soto has opened in Howard County. Serving fresh guacamole, tacos, fajitas and a tequila bar, Xitomate means tomato in Aztec and reflects the restaurant's commitment to using fresh produce.
La vie is French for life, and the proprietors of this frozen yogurt shop say they want to use yogurt to improve life. Other Maryland locations include Towson, Gambrills and Nottingham.
Beauty Sense Nails & Spa
In addition to manicures and pedicures, the spa offers services such as massage, facials, waxing and eyelash extension.
A physician-guided weight loss service, InShapeMD is opening its first Maryland clinic at Turf Valley Towne Square.
Kathleen Lauer is the owner of organic salon Inspire, where most of the furniture is recycled, and many of the products are organic. The salon carries Intelligent Nutrients, Kevin Murphy and J. Beverly Hills. Services include cuts, color, styling, makeup and waxing services.
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Tiger World Class Tae Kwon Do
The 4,000-square-foot training center is led by head instructor Master Kwang Yeol Shin and school director Master Ilho Chong, each of whom holds a fifth-degree black belt from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Programs include classes for children ages 4 and up, families and adults, as well as camps, after-school programs and birthday parties.