Play it again, Sam


Roland Mazzone loves the movie "Casablanca."

"I know it by heart - every word," he says.

So when he took over the restaurant space at 2903 O'Donnell St. where Razorbacks was, he decided to rename it Rick's Cafe Americain in honor of the club immortalized in the film.

The dining room is being renovated now, with pictures of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and a map of Casablanca getting star billing. A screen on one wall will be playing "Casablanca" continuously when the restaurant opens next week.

"I don't want to brag," says Mazzone, who also owns the Purple Pepper Cafe on Boston Street, "but [Rick's] is the most beautiful place in Canton."

Oh, yes. It will also serve food. Phillip Rizas, who once owned Fins on Fleet Street, is a co-owner. He'll be in charge of the moderately priced American fare: crab cakes, hamburgers, steak, lobster. (Entrees will average $12 or $13, with lobster, of course, higher.)

Rick's Cafe Americain will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

For Latin lovers

If you love your mojitos - the mint julep's Cuban cousin - you should know about the soon-to-be-opened La Vida Loca ("the Crazy Life") at 3123 Elliott St. (That's the space in Canton where Dooby's Bar & Grill used to be.) Rum drinks will be a specialty.

The restaurant-bar is being remodeled now, but it should be open by mid-June. The food will have a Latin flair, with Cuban sandwiches, paella and whole grilled fish on the menu. Entrees will run from $6.95 to $15.95. La Vida Loca will serve lunch and dinner every day.

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; or e-mail to

Elizabeth Large's restaurant reviews appear in Sunday's Home & Family section. This Sunday: a Chinese banquet at the Golden Gate Noodle House in Towson.

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