Restaurateurs Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf hope to open a new restaurant in the Roland Park Shopping Center in the space once occupied by a beloved deli.
The pair, who are known for local restaurants such as Charleston, Pazo and Cinghiale, are negotiating to open the eatery later this year. The new venture will also occupy space in a former Long & Foster office adjacent to the deli.
The shopping center is also home to Foreman and Wolf's Petit Louis restaurant, which recently marked its 10th anniversary.
Roland Park residents mourned news last fall that the owners of the Roland Park Bakery and Deli were moving after 27 years. Customers lamented the departure of what they saw as an institution and a community gathering place.
The owners of the shopping area said at the time that they wanted to bring a new kind of restaurant to the center.
Foreman would not reveal the name of the new venue.
He said the new restaurant's fare would be priced lower than that at upscale Petit Louis, which specializes in French cuisine. The new, 100-seat restaurant is to serve American food with a nightly dinner menu and lunch on select days.
"Louis has become as much a destination restaurant as it has a neighborhood institution," Foreman said. "We have more of a regional draw. With the new restaurant, I want to serve a price point that is more everyday and more immediately accessible — really for the neighborhood."
The restaurant will be on the lower level of the shopping center with an entrance on the northwest side.
Foreman and Wolf plan to meet with the Roland Park Civic League next month to talk about the venture.
As word about the new restaurant trickled out, some in the North Baltimore neighborhood said they would welcome a new place to dine.
Thomas O'Brien, a hospital medical director, said he likes to eat near home and so finds himself frequenting the same restaurants over and over, including Woodberry Kitchen and Petit Louis. A new restaurant would give him another option, he said.
"The idea of another top-notch eating venue in the neighborhood would be nice," said O'Brien, who has lived in Roland Park since 1993.
Peter Bain, a former executive at Legg Mason, said he also supports a new restaurant in the neighborhood, where he has lived for more than a decade.
"It would be a pretty good use of the space," Bain said. "I think Roland Park could benefit from more places to gather."
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