Morty's will change its name, image Redecorating and expanded menu expected to boost appeal to families CARROLL COUNTY FARM/BUSINESS

November 11, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

In addition to a new name and new owners, Morty's is getting a new image.

The barbecue-style restaurant on Route 32 in Eldersburg will be Nathan Henry's by mid-December, the new owners told the Carroll County liquor board Tuesday.

After that, the facility is in for more than a few changes.

"We intend to upgrade the menu and provide more variety," said Michael Williams of Catonsville, one of the restaurant's three new owners. "Right now, they're heavily into chicken and ribs. Our background is American, continental-style dining.

"We'd like to make it more of a family restaurant."

A sample menu submitted to the liquor board showed entrees such as pasta primavera, shrimp Amelio, chicken Malibu and rigatoni. Soups, such as navy bean and French onion, and salads were also featured.

"We'd like to have more innovative cuisine than they have now," Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams said he, Arthur Chris Fedrizzi of Eldersburg and Raymond D. Jordan Jr. of Elkridge were scheduled to settle on the property this week.

The sale was contingent on receiving the liquor transfer from Morty's, which the county liquor board approved Tuesday.

"Chris and I started looking for a restaurant to buy a couple of years ago," said Mr. Williams, 31, referring to the partner he met while working as the restaurant manager of Cacao Lane in Ellicott City. He also has been the manager of Fiore's in Westminster and restaurants in Baltimore.

Mr. Fedrizzi, 30, told the board he is a graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary Institute and has worked in establishments in Baltimore, San Francisco and Seattle. He was one of the top chefs at Cacao Lane.

Mr. Jordan, 48, is a frequent Cacao Lane customer who agreed to go into business with the two. He told the board he expects to be the "silent partner" of the three.

"I like Eldersburg," said Mr. Williams, who plans to move to Carroll County by the end of the year. "It's a growing community and I was impressed with how nice the people are when they don't even know you.

"Catonsville is a nice place, but I will enjoy coming here."

Changes to the restaurant will include extensive redecorating, and removing the pool table and pinball machines on the second floor, Mr. Williams said. The bar and stools will probably remain for people to wait until called to their tables.

"Within the first couple of weeks, we'll be converting over," he said. "We want to have an atmosphere that's more conducive to dining."

County attorney Charles W. "Chuck" Thompson Jr. said Morty's second floor currently has a loud, bar-like atmosphere with a jukebox.

"We definitely want to change that atmosphere," Mr. Williams said. "We're going to bring a stereo system in so we don't have to rely on the jukebox for music.

"We're considering using the upstairs as our smoking section, so they are totally separate."

Initially, the restaurant will employ 15 to 20 people, he said. However, the owners expect to add at least five employees within a year.

"I would prefer to keep my employees to anyone over 21 years of age," Mr. Williams said, allaying the liquor board's fears of minors serving alcohol. "However, I don't know how easy that will be in this area.

"The dishwashers and so forth will probably be 16 or so, as long as they are covered by a work permit."

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