A seafood restaurant that will ship crabs to your landlocked relatives in Kansas will open here next month.

Ocean Pride will open at the Freedom Village Shopping Center on Liberty Road in the space formerly occupied by CJ's Restaurant.

The family restaurant will ship steamed crabs, crab cakes and other fresh seafood overnight anywhere in the continental United States,said Ray Pelovitz, manager.

The seafood will be packed in plasticfoam boxes with ice and shipped by United Parcel Service, he said.

The restaurant is owned by Robert S. Curreri, who also owns the Ocean Pride restaurant on York Road in Lutherville, Baltimore County.

The restaurant here is being renovated and will look "absolutely, totally different than what it was," Pelovitz said.

The 5,000-square-foot space will be divided into a bar area and a restaurant, he said. The two areas will seat about 160 people.

Ed Gray, a carpenter from Bel Air, Harford County, is doing the renovation work and has built an oak and mahogany bar, Pelovitz said.

"He's really an artiste," he said. "Everything being done is handmade."

Renovation work began on the restaurant about a month ago. Pelovitz said he couldn't say how much the owners have invested in the new restaurant.

Curreri was out of town last week and could not be reached for comment.

Pelovitz said he hopes to open the new Ocean Pride in early May.

Curreri and co-owner Glenn S. Heath of Hampstead have applied for a license to sell beer, wine and liquor.

The county liquor board will review their application at a hearing on May 14.

Heath owns 10 percent of Ocean Pride Eldersburg Inc., the corporation formed in December to operate the restaurant, liquor board records show.

The menu at the Eldersburg restaurant will be similar to that of the Lutherville location, which has been open since 1977, Pelovitz said.

The average lunch will cost about $6.25, and dinners will range in price from $6 to $11, he said.

Ocean Pride will be open seven days a week, and Pelovitz said a breakfast menu is being considered. Carryout meals will be available through the lounge area, which will have a rawbar, he said.

The building has separate entrances for the restaurant and bar, Pelovitz said.

Roy Gross, a Baltimore resident, will be the chef at the new restaurant. He now cooks at the Lutherville location, he said.

Pelovitz, who lives in Pikesville, Baltimore County, has worked at the Ocean Pride in Lutherville for about a year.

He previously worked at Manny's, a deli and restaurant in Pikesville. Before that, he owned a breakfast and lunch eatery in Longport, N.J., for 17 years.

He said he's not sure how many employees will be hired for the new restaurant.

At the liquor board hearing, board members will review the restaurant's application and hear testimony from the owners and others involved in the business. Opponents also maytestify.

The board will issue a written decision within 30 days of the hearing.

Freedom Village is about 85 percent leased, said Sheila Close, property manager for DeChiaro Properties, which manages the shopping center. About 15,000 square feet is empty, she said.

"Ocean Pride will be a big plus for the shopping center," she said.

The center is owned by Rosedale Associates of Towson, Baltimore County.

Also located in Freedom Village are Italian and Chinese restaurants, a grocery store, drug store, karate school, video rental store, beauty salon, hardware store, news center, florist and a dry cleaners, among other businesses, Close said.

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