The Pimlico Restaurant, which has endured more than half a century and name and location changes, is closing its doors Sunday, leaving more than 100 workers unemployed.
The family-style restaurant that began as a delicatessen in north Baltimore in 1934, will be sold to a local restaurateur who will remodel and rename the establishment before it reopens sometime early next year.
Al Davis, owner of the Pimlico and the son-in-law of its founder, Leon Shavitz, would not disclose the name of the buyer. He said yesterday that he was contacted five months ago about the possibility of selling the restaurant.
Davis said the restaurant, in the 1700 block of Reisterstown Road in Pikesville since 1984, is not ailing financially and that he expected to sign an agreement to sell the establishment soon.
The Pimlico had its beginnings over half a century ago on North Avenue, when it was known as Nate's and Leon's.
Leon Shavitz's partner at the time was Nathan Herr. They went on to purchase the Pimlico Hotel at Park Heights and Hayward avenues in 1950, turning the ground floor into a restaurant.
"Some of the old-timers still call it the Pimlico Hotel," said Davis, who joined the business in 1954.
Davis said he believes the new owners will take between 60 and 90 days to redecorate before reopening the restaurant. In the meantime, he will attempt to find jobs for his approximately 100 full- and part-time employees.
"They will have to have jobs," he said. "They can't wait it out."
Davis, 62, said he's been too busy to be sentimental about selling the business.
He said his father-in-law, who died in 1977, would have understood.
"He was a pretty modern guy. . . . He was my best friend," said Davis. "It's been a long, good successful run. One tradition ends and another will soon begin."