Forget about the restaurant in Green Spring Station. That's a closed chapter in Nancy Longo's book. (Not that there was much doubt.) Longo has turned her attention back to her original restaurant, Pierpoint, at 1822 Aliceanna St. The chef, three waiters and the most popular dishes from Longo's -- like the squash soup and Asian chicken breast -- have moved south with her. Longo's gift certificates, she wants people to know, will be honored at her Fells Point place.
Longo hasn't given up on having a second restaurant. She's looking into options downtown, she said, "after some other developers contacted me about other spaces in Canton close to my home, so that I can keep my feet planted at Pierpoint."
She's also thinking about a major renovation of Pierpoint after the first of the year -- if, she said, she can buy the building to protect her investment.
Miss Irene's redux --Everything has changed but the name. The new Miss Irene's at 1738 Thames St. won't be a hole-in-the-wall bar, said Benjamin Greene, who operates the Waterfront Hotel, but a Mediterranean-style bistro. He and his business partners feel that Fells Point's historic names should be kept, even if the places are updated.
"We're ready to rock 'n' roll," Greene told me when I asked when the 200-seat bistro would open, but electrical issues have held things up. "Sometime in the fall" was the most he would commit to.
The chef will be the Waterfront Hotel's Kenneth Plante. When I asked about prices, Greene said two people with appetizers, entrees and wine should end up spending $60 to $75.
Mexican to Vietnamese --There hasn't been a restaurant at 1114 Hollins St. since Mencken's Cultured Pearl closed in 1998. But now the space -- two connected townhouses with 12-foot ceilings and exposed brick -- is being completely renovated.
Baltimore Pho, serving traditional Vietnamese food, "a little fusion" and, of course, pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup pronounced "fuh"), should open there in October (with the usual caveat that new restaurants never open on schedule).
Kaori Ozawa, who will be the general manager, says Baltimore Pho will have "great food, great photographs and great music."
Send restaurant news, trends, questions of general interest or observations to me at email@example.com or fax me at 410-783-2519. Snail mail works, too: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.