CHARGE, THEY SAID!: Dundalk resident Gloria Williams was so excited when she heard her name called as the winner in a $10,000 Holiday Shopping Spree contest last weekend at the White Marsh Mall, she had a hard time getting out of her chair.
The prize in the contest, sponsored by WPOC-FM, was a Gold Mastercard with a $10,000 line of credit with one stipulation -- it had to be spent on the same day.
So off Gloria went on a whirlwind "shop till you drop" campaign purchasing such items as furniture, china, clothes, stereo systems and diamond jewelry. By 4 p.m., Gloria had $23 left, which she donated to charity.
FINISHING TOUCHES are being put on Orpheus, the new nightclub run by local bon vivant Bubbles. It's slated to open with a gala New Year's Eve bash for charter members, who cough up $30 beforehand. We dropped by to check out the new digs -- located in Little Italy at Pratt and Exeter -- and were pleasantly surprised to see Hall of Famer Jim Palmer offering advice on how to polyurethane the dance floor! Call 563-1416 if you'd like to join.
IT MAKES SO much sense, you wonder why it took so long for a wonderful Italian restaurant to open in Pikesville. We're talking about San Marco, the new spot that is part of the glitzy re-do at the Pikesville Hilton.
With tasty Northern Italian cuisine by chef Bruno Ferrante, the hotel eatery should no doubt become a Little Italy alternative -- without the parking problems. San Marco is run by seasoned restaurateurs, Keith Robbins and Joe Bivona.
SPEAKING OF RESTAURATEURS, one of the Big Crab's long-standing notables in that field, Germano Fabiani, owner of Germano's Trattoria Petrucci in Little Italy, recently tied the knot with longtime love, Cyd Beth Wolf, an attorney at Piper and Marbury. . . .
Corbi's Restaurant gets a nice mention (and shot) in Steve Yeager's new film, "On the Block." Owner Frank Corbi tells us that his uncle had a restaurant on the infamous strip some years ago. . . .
And George Nitzel of La Fontaine Bleu was recently named winner of the Oyster Shucking Challenge by the Rotary Club of Baltimore.
NAME DROPPING: Kudos to Gloria Brennan and the gang at her Pikesville salon for treating about 30 residents of the School of the Chimes to a day of beauty and a holiday party with a visit from Santa, a tradition she started 15 years ago. . . .
In the holiday spirit, Joseph Bank exec Mike Waters made a presentation of more than 1,500 pieces of men's and women's clothing donated by the store to youths from the Choice Program to help prepare them for job hunting. . . .
Comedian Kelly Monteith will headline at Slapstix Comedy Club on New Year's Eve for those of you who'd like to laugh in the new year while laughing out the old.
THESE HARD ECONOMIC times didn't put a damper on Fox 45's recent Christmas bash at the Meyerhoff. (Lots of firms in town, we've noticed, have cut back drastically on holiday blowouts!)
Guests of the TV station were treated to an extravagant evening of fine dining and entertainment by master impressionist Danny Gans. Among the notables at this gathering of the family-owned TV station were Carolyn Smith, matriarch of the Smith clan and the Sinclair Broadcast group, which owns Channel 45.
Other family members hosting the yuletide celebration included Fred Smith and wife, Venice; Duncan Smith and wife, Fran; David Smith and wife, Donna; and Rob Smith and wife, Melissa. Fox 45's new news director Mark Pimentel schmoozed with the crowd as he chatted up his "News at Ten" operation slated to debut June 1.
Station manager Bruce Lumpkin with wife, Lynn, unveiled plans for the new plush headquarters of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which will open on TV hill in early April.
Some invitees on hand? W. B. Doner's Amy Elias and the guv's adviser Jim Smith; car dealer Bill Schaeffer; attorney Mark Snyder; ad exec Manny Klein and wife, Joan, who's in real estate; and several new members of the management team including George Brust, national sales manager; Tim Dotson, local sales manager; Walt Fales, new biz director; and Jenell Trigg, marketing director. We hear the station's been flooded with resumes from newsies itching to work there. Stay tuned.