Deli to try its luck near convention...


Deli to try its luck near convention center

The bad luck of other eateries at the small indoor mall across from the Baltimore Convention Center shouldn't rub off on a new bakery/deli venture, according to Edward L. Dopkin, president of the Classic Catering People Inc.

"If it doesn't work, it's my fault," Mr. Dopkin said.

Classic To Go Cafe -- which will specialize in baked goods, sandwiches, espresso, cappuccino and assorted other goodies -- will be launched Monday in the complex at 100 S. Charles St., which houses administrative offices of NationsBank.

The new carryout, which is owned and operated by Classic Catering People, will serve breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The company already operates the Polo Grill at the Colonnade Condominiums on University Parkway, the Pavilion restaurant at the Walters Art Gallery and is the exclusive caterer for the Great Room at the Savage Mill shopping complex in the Laurel/Savage area.

With the ground floor of the mall dominated by a Burger King, the location has been the graveyard for a number of restaurants and carryouts. The most recent was Tres Bon, a French-style bakery/deli that closed in February.

But Mr. Dopkin said the defunct eateries had problems other than the location. "It's amazing how many people walk over from the convention center," he said.

If everything works out, the company might open another shop in Baltimore during the next six to 12 months, Mr. Dopkin said. After that, there are plans for a shop in Towson and two to six in Washington, he said.

The perfect contest for your purr-fect pet

If you think you have the purr-tiest cat around, you can take it to the Petstuff store in Perry Hall or Greenbelt this Friday to see how it stacks up with other felines.

The contest -- which includes prizes for longest tail and softest fur -- is to promote Petstuff Inc., a pet superstore chain that opened four stores in Maryland in the last year. The idea behind the stores is to create a doggy or kitty heaven, complete with 7,500 pet items and a variety of pet foods.

Now the 28-store chain is ready to run with the big dogs and will be offering 2.5 million shares of common stock Friday in an initial public offering to raise about $37.5 million.

The Roswell, Ga., company will be going up against PETsMART Inc. -- a name so similar you would think they came from the same litter. But PETsMART, based in Phoenix, is much bigger, with 85 stores in 14 states. But little pooches have a way of growing up and drooling over everything.

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