Reviving 'Robinson's Corner' Restaurant in long-vacant store would fill void in Glen Burnie.

September 06, 1996

THERE WAS A time when "Robinson's Corner" in Glen Burnie was a landmark -- not only because of the department store of the same name near the juncture of B&A Boulevard and Crain Highway, but also because it was the location of one of the only two traffic lights between Baltimore and Annapolis. Hard as it is for anyone driving between those cities on local highways to fathom now, that was a fact 60 years ago.

Robinson's was notable in another respect. Started by Irving E. Robinson, former general manager of Mayer's department store in South Baltimore, it was one of the earliest attempts by a retailer to go after the growing suburban market. Ironically, Robinson's later fell victim to another trend in suburbanization -- the creation of the enclosed Harundale Mall and later, the flashier Marley Station.

Robinson's building has been vacant for more than seven years. Periodically, there has been interest in recycling it. A couple of years ago it was to be turned into an Italian restaurant, but nothing came of that. Now another bar and restaurant says it will move into Robinson's and occupy the first floor of the two-story building by November.

Peter's Bar and Restaurant would strengthen Glen Burnie's downtown, which fell on hard times when big retailers moved to shopping centers on nearby Ritchie Highway and Ordnance Road. Reoccupancy of the old Robinson's, the last vacant building in the town center, would make a strong symbolic statement about revitalization.

A restaurant at Robinson's could be a good match. A multi-screen movie complex sits across the street. A District Court and state and county offices are nearby, as well as Anne Arundel Community College's northern campus. Peter's proposes to have a Southwestern-style menu, seating for 179 people and a dance floor for more than 50. On nights when it is not otherwise occupied, it would have non-alcoholic teen programs.

Nothing, of course, will bring back such long-gone Crain Highway establishments as the WB&A lunchroom, McMahon's Barbecue restaurant, Lipin's Toyland or the Lady Glen dress shop. But a restaurant at Robinson's may hasten the revival of what was once one of Anne Arundel's major shopping hubs.

Pub Date: 9/06/96

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