Jack's Corned Beef changes owners

June 29, 1991|By Cindy Harper-Evans

In its fourth ownership change in nine years, Jack's Corned Beef of Lombard Street has been purchased for about $250,000 by Lenny and Alan Smith, a father and son who also own Lenny's Deli in Owings Mills.

The Smiths acquired the popular eatery at 1150 E. Lombard St. from Jordan Fainberg, who owns several Jack's delis in the Washington area and wanted to focus his attention on them, the elder Mr. Smith said yesterday.

The Jack's on Lombard Street is poising itself to take advantage of the new baseball stadium and the traffic it will bring in 1992, the owners said.

Mr. Smith, 60, said he intends to paint the walls, retile the ceilings, add seating and expand the menu at the 15,000-square foot deli, which sits on "Corned Beef Row" in East Baltimore, one block west of Attman's Deli.

The deli also will stop selling a variety of beers and wines and will sell beer only by the can. "The liquor end of the business was just bringing in the wrong element," said the younger Mr. Smith, 32.

His father said there is a good chance that he and his son will change the deli's name to Lenny's Deli to match the name of the family's restaurant in the Valley Village Shopping Center on Reisterstown Road.

"There are just so many Jack's out there under franchises and under [Mr. Fainberg] that we want to distinguish ourselves," Mr. Smith said. "It's ours now, and people know our name from our spot in Owings Mills."

In 1982, Jack Goldenson, who founded Jack's Corned Beef in 1965, sold his three fast-food, deli-style restaurants to a group of 10 investors for about $1.7 million. The investors expanded Jack's to eight restaurants and sold them in 1986 to Jerry's Systems Inc.

Two years later, Mr. Fainberg -- who had been with Jack's all along -- bought back the chain, which had grown to 14 locations. Some were franchised. The Smiths say they have no intention of selling the Lombard Street restaurant.

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