Looney's in Bel Air gets more space

The Baltimore Sun

Looney's has been a popular Canton hangout for years. And its younger sibling, Looney's Pub North, is proving equally well-liked in Bel Air, so much so that the owners have just expanded the place.

Bill Larney, who owns both Looney's with partner Steve Litrenta, says the two spent the past year working on the project and finally finished just in time for the Super Bowl. And with some 95 televisions around the place, they were well equipped.

The new Looney's, which opened in September 2002, has grown by some 5,000 feet, after Larney and Litrenta acquired the space next to their pub on Main Street. The nonsmoking dining room remains the same, except for a small area in front, where Larney says they removed a couple of tables and built a small room to entertain kids.

There are about six LCD TVs on the wall with Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation games available, as well as someone overseeing the action. Who needs a baby sitter? Exactly, says Larney. In fact, he says, ever since they opened that new area a couple of months ago, it's been full every night.

Meanwhile, the bar has changed drastically. It now loops around in a horseshoe with seating for about 75. And at the horseshoe's curve, you'll see a raw bar featuring a 4,000-gallon saltwater fish tank.

The partners installed several booths next to the new area's storefront windows. Larney says they also added a collection of high- and low-top tables that bring the total seating in the bar area to about 175. There is also a stage for live music acts, which appear there Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Although Looney's North doesn't have a private dining room, Larney says the bar area is available for private lunch meetings and happy hours for area businesses.

The menu is still extensive. There are more than two dozen appetizers, including hot crab dip ($9.29); jalapeno poppers ($6.59); nachos ($8.59 to $9.99) and more than a half-dozen different types of Buffalo wings (priced daily).

The salad selection includes chef salad ($8.99); taco salad ($6.59 to $12.99, depending on your choice of meatless, chili, grilled chicken or grilled sirloin topping); and a tri-salad sampler ($10.99).

There are cheese-steak subs ($7.99-$8.99); about a dozen chicken sandwiches ($7.29 to $10.29); and a half-dozen grilled wrap sandwiches ($8.29), along with club sandwiches ($7.29 to $11.99) and burgers ($6.99 to $8.99).

Entrees include baked salmon topped with crab dip ($14.99); crab-cake platter (market price); and grilled marinated lamb chops. There are two new menu additions: The raw-bar items, most of which are market priced, and the steak section, which is entirely Angus beef, from New York strip ($17.99) to filet mignon ($22.99).

Looney's Pub North, 410-803-7080, is at 312 S. Main St. in Bel Air. Its kitchen hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week, with the bar open until 2 a.m.

Oceanaire chef

The Oceanaire Seafood Room has a new executive chef. Benjamin Erjavec had been executive sous-chef since the Harbor East restaurant opened in November 2005. He replaces Paul Jarrett, who "has left to pursue new opportunities," according to Oceanaire spokeswoman Cynthia Glover.

If you have information regarding a local restaurant's opening, closing or major changes, please e-mail that information to sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax it to 410-675-3451.

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