State senator opposes restaurant, bar project Developer wants to use old Glen Burnie store

September 29, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The man proposing a bar and restaurant for the largest vacant building in Glen Burnie's urban renewal district has run into a formidable opponent: the area's state senator.

Matt Powell will be explaining to the Glen Burnie Town Center Committee tomorrow his plan to put Peter's Bar and Restaurant into the Robinson's department store building near B & A Boulevard and Crain Highway. The committee must approve projects in the urban renewal district.

But in a written statement to the committee, Sen. C. Edward Middlebrooks said the establishment would be a glorified nightclub selling "Junk Yard Punch," a 32-ounce drink containing five liquors. "This project goes against everything that many people for decades have been working hard to avoid and that is returning the Glen Burnie Urban Renewal area back to the unwanted nightclubs, bars and establishments that existed in the 1960s, which many people still remember," he said.

Middlebrooks pointed to Powell's general business statement, which included a description of the restaurant theme: "Peter is a hard workin, well-schooled, twice-divorced, good lovin, heartbreakin, helluva guy," and "This guy is nuts and you'll see just how nuts every time you come in."

The senator did not return telephone calls Friday.

Powell said Peter is a caricature, a tongue-in-cheek reference to his father, Peter Powell, 67, for whom the restaurant is named.

No one named Peter will greet customers, Matt Powell said.

Middlebrooks "took my concept statement and took it out of context," said Powell, noting that his business plan also refers to the kitchen as the "Road Kill Grill."

The "Junk Yard Punch" is not 32 ounces of pure liquor, he said, decribing the drink as 2 1/2 ounces of mostly rums, mixed with juices, fruit and ice.

"The reality of the Junk Yard Punch is it's just a cool name," said Powell, 35, who has been in the restaurant business 15 years. "Many, many restaurants have a signature name" for drinks.

A restaurant in the urban renewal district is eligible only for a Class H liquor license, said Patricia Barland, the county's urban renewal manager for Glen Burnie.

Under the Class H license, 51 percent of a restaurant's business must involve selling food and serving hot meals at least twice a day, said Barland, and the remainder of the business can be devoted to selling beer, wine and liquor.

Powell, who applied for a Class H liquor license last month when he presented his plans to the Town Center committee, said he knows "if I don't live up to that, I'm not in business."

A liquor board hearing is to be held at 6: 30 p.m. Oct. 8 in the County Council chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

Peter's is to have a brick facade trimmed in green, seating for 179 people and a dance floor for more than 50. It will serve Southwestern-style food.

"I envision Peter's as a post-pubescent playground," Powell said. "I want a place that adults can come and have fun."

But Peter's "is not a dance club and it is not a nightclub" he said, reiterating what his business plan says. The bar and restaurant, which would seek to appeal to the 21 and older crowd, would have a casual dress code, though T-shirts, tank tops, cutoffs, torn or tattered jeans and hats on men wouldn't be allowed. The "grunge" look, sleeveless vests and oversize pants are out, too.

"The Metallica follower, Kurt Cobain disciple or the Snoop Doggy Dog fan won't appreciate Peter's," the business plan says.

The music mostly will be from the 1980s, a mix of rock, disco, reggae, contemporary and novelty tunes.

The Robinson's building has been vacant for more than seven years.

Pub Date: 9/29/96

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