Vacant building attracts business Restaurant-bar plans to open by Halloween in renewal district; Robinson's store is site; Move to help revival of downtown, officer of civic group says


A renovated Robinson's department store building, the last ++ large, vacant building in the Glen Burnie urban renewal district, should be at least partially occupied by a new bar and restaurant in time for Halloween.

Peter's Bar and Restaurant will take 10,000 of the 16,000 square feet on the first floor of the two-story building, officials of the company that owns the building told the Glen Burnie Town Center Committee yesterday.

The building on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard east of Crain Highway has been vacant for more than seven years, during which several attempts by its owners, the North Star Group, to find tenants have fallen through.

William Jones, a lawyer and partner with North Star, said yesterday he is "looking forward to having a tenant," but conceded that he has no tenants for the remaining space.

The new business "will be good for downtown" revitalization efforts, said Joseph Corcoran, president of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association. Robinson's, which has been boarded up at times with plywood to keep vandals out "has been an eyesore for many years," he said.

Matt Powell, the bar owner, said he believes the site is ideal for operating a profitable business.

A district court building and state and county offices are nearby, as well as Anne Arundel Community College's north county campus, a senior citizens' housing complex and a residential neighborhood. Sony Theaters, a multi-screen movie complex, is across the street.

Opportunity for customers

"We feel that it will be a natural expansion of the entertainment that is already here in the area," said Powell, who has been in the food and beverage industry for 15 years. "It will be an opportunity for people to come over and have something to eat or a drink after the movies."

His restaurant and bar will draw customers during regular business hours as well as those that might otherwise go to Baltimore in the evening for entertainment, he said.

Powell has applied for county building permits to begin the renovation, which is expected to cost $200,000. The county liquor board is to review his request for a license next month.

Peter's is to have an exterior brick facade trimmed in green, seating for 179 people and a dance floor for more than 50. Powell said he plans to serve Southwestern-style food.

The business will be open from 4: 30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. It will be closed Monday and Sunday except for special events.

Phil Repass, general manager of a bar and restaurant in Rockville and a business acquaintance of Powell's for 10 years, will be general manager of Peter's.

Plan for teen night

Repass, who started a nonalcoholic, teens' night-out program for high school students at the Montgomery County business, said yesterday he will bring that idea to Peter's. The teen program would be held on nights when Peter's is otherwise closed.

The last attempt to find a tenant for the building fell through last year, when the owners of an Italian restaurant franchise canceled their plans to move in and sued the North Star Group for $500,000.

The Italian Oven group alleged North Star failed to live up to the lease and did not complete work on the building by the Aug. 1, 1994, deadline. That matter is unresolved. A trial is set for June.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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