Harbor gaining another eatery Rouse Co. bringing Planet Hollywood to help retool area

November 11, 1997|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

The Rouse Co. yesterday announced a long-awaited deal with Planet Hollywood that will bring the movie-oriented theme restaurant to Harborplace, and serve as the linchpin for the retooling of the downtown retail and tourist attraction.

Set to replace The Limited and other stores with a two-level restaurant by spring that will seat more than 250, Planet Hollywood becomes the latest trendy eating spot to enter the Inner Harbor, on the heels of the Hard Rock Cafe in the Power Plant and plans for an ESPN Grill.

"Planet Hollywood has become one of the most exciting and important developments in the entertainment world, while enhancing the business and cultural life in each of its locations," said Keith Barish, chairman of Planet Hollywood International Ltd., which is partially owned by actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis.

As with most of its other 63 locations worldwide, though, the Orlando, Fla.-based chain's Baltimore restaurant will be anything but subdued, attempting to woo patrons with pink and green-striped awnings, a vaulted entrance, palm trees and a free-standing illuminated sign.

The 13,000-square-foot Planet Hollywood, which will feature California cuisine and a store to peddle its self-promoting merchandise, will also be one of the few in the chain to offer outdoor seating.

The restaurant, which has signed a 15-year lease with Rouse, is expected to employ roughly 275 people, a Planet Hollywood spokeswoman said.

"It promises to be an outstanding attraction for downtown Baltimore and the Inner Harbor," said Anthony W. Deering, Rouse's chairman and chief executive.

But more than simply a new entertainment restaurant with a waterfront view and a collection of Hollywood and television memorabilia, the Columbia-based real estate concern hopes that Planet Hollywood will become the cornerstone for the revitalization of the 17-year-old project.

In addition to Planet Hollywood, Rouse has added a Cheesecake Factory, Capitol City Brewing Co. and a J. Paul's restaurant at the 145,000-square-foot urban mall.

The new restaurants are part of a more than $25 million Rouse renovation of Harborplace, which generates more than $1 billion in sales and $62 million in taxes annually. The developer continues to seek more than $5 million from the city and the state to offset the costs of the redevelopment, however.

For Planet Hollywood, which opened its first restaurant six years ago, the Baltimore location is part of a $110 million push to expand in 17 cities and capitalize on the public's fascination with themed restaurants.

"Baltimore has become one of the top locations for the film and television industry, and the addition of Planet Hollywood Baltimore adds another star to our famed Inner Harbor promenade," said Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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