Winner's Circle Restaurant to open on Bel Air's Main Street this fall Decor to feature an equine theme

July 25, 1993|By Frank Lynch | Frank Lynch,Staff Writer

A new restaurant will soon open at the former site of Souvenirs, the trendy establishment on Bel Air's Main Street that went bankrupt before shutting its doors for good in January.

The Winner's Circle Restaurant & Pub should open by late October or early November, said owner Winton Osborne, who bought the Souvenirs building, equipment and fixtures last month from Key Federal Savings Bank of Baltimore County for about $500,000.

Mr. Osborne said extensive renovations, expected to cost more than $250,000, will begin next month.

His plans include the installation of at least two big-screen televisions. The cuisine will be American, and the decor will feature the county's horse-farming tradition.

"Horse farming has a long heritage in this county, and I thought it was just natural to honor those involved," Mr. Osborne said.

The walls will display pictures of horse farms, said Mr. Osborne, who will not be involved in the restaurant's daily operation run and plans to hire others to run it.

Most of Mr. Osborne's time is devoted to the Harford Sod and Lawn Center, a business he began nearly 40 years ago.

Souvenirs went to the auction block in November but drew no bidders other than the bank holding its mortgage, Key Federal.

The bank foreclosed, then paid $200,000 for the building and $25,000 for fixtures and equipment.

In an attempt to block the sale of the building and fixtures in November, Paul Thompson, who co-owned Souvenirs with his wife, Hollie, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

That allows a business to reorganize without the threat of creditors' suits until it can develop a plan to put its finances in order.

Key Federal said in court papers that as of Sept. 29, 1992, the Thompsons owed $415,824, including $42,918 in interest and $3,920 in late fees.

A bankruptcy judge rejected the reorganization plan in January, and the restaurant closed a week later.

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