State offers assistance to city restaurant $212,000 loan would help Harry's renovate, expand

May 29, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Harry Sirinakis, owner of Harry's Main Street, received word yesterday that he will receive a $212,000 state loan to renovate and enlarge his popular downtown eatery.

Sirinakis, 37, is the third-generation owner of the restaurant, known for its chili dogs. It was popular with members of the former Baltimore Colts when the team had its pre-season camp at Western Maryland College. The restaurant, at 65 W. Main St., Westminster, celebrated its 50th anniversary downtown two years ago.

"We're really excited about this project," Sirinakis said of his planned $540,000 expansion. "Our goal is to make the restaurant a little more upscale to appeal to the newcomers, but, of course, we're going to continue to cater to the old-timers. We don't want to alienate anyone."

Sirinakis, who took over from his father in 1987, said he will expand the restaurant from 115 seats to 145. He purchased an adjoining property about two years ago with an eye to expansion.

"I believe downtown is making a comeback. That's why we decided to invest in this site," Sirinakis said.

Westminster officials expressed enthusiastic support for Sirinakis' plans.

Thomas B. Beyard, director of planning and public works, said "the project will help revitalize the west end of Main Street."

Sirinakis is the third local business owner to receive a state loan through the Neighborhood Business Development Program. The program, created three years ago, lends assistance to projects that contribute to a broader revitalization effort.

Coffey Music, formerly in the Winchester Exchange, and Paradiso Italian Restaurant on Locust Lane received low-interest state loans that enabled the owners to renovate vacant properties.

Coffey Music opened at its new location in the old T. W. Mather & Sons department store in November. Paradiso hopes to open next week in the long-vacant Glass House behind the Winchester Exchange.

Pub Date: 5/29/98

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