Rams Head opening a new tavern inside Howard's Savage Mill

Mill's owners say historic complex needs a full-size restaurant

May 12, 1999|By Jamal E. Watson | Jamal E. Watson,SUN STAFF

A popular Annapolis tavern has announced that it will open a similar business in the historic Savage Mill early next month, bringing the first full-scale restaurant-bar to the Savage area.

For the past few months, construction crews have been working inside the mill to make way for the Rams Head Tavern, a 270-seat, two-tier restaurant with a full bar. The restaurant will be modeled after the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, which was established in 1988 and has expanded into a mega-complex, including an amphitheater.

Bill Muelhauser owns the Annapolis tavern, and his son, Kyle, will be the owner of the Savage restaurant. Jay Winer, one of the mill's owners, said yesterday that a restaurant and bar would be an added attraction for the 500,000 tourists who visit the mill each year to shop.

"This is a terrific addition," said Winer. "It was clear to us from the beginning that shoppers and tourists really wanted a major restaurant inside of the mill. This is going to be a knockout."

Rams Head will operate in unused space in the mill, Winer added.

A small cafeteria inside the mill is doing well financially, Winer said, but he believes that the large crowds at the mill require something bigger. He said that because the mill is considered a historic property, restricted renovations were needed to maintain the character of the building.

The 175,000-square-foot complex, formerly a 19th-century textile mill, was purchased by Winer's family in 1950. Since 1993, the mill has been operated as a shopping complex, with a host of shops not found along the usual retail path.

Support for the tavern has been gaining momentum among local residents, said William Waff, president of the Savage Community Association. Waff said the restaurant would serve as a place where residents could gather for entertainment and would give the area a financial boost.

"I think it's going to be great," he said. "With the tavern being at the mill, we're actually going to have a night life here in Savage."

At a Howard County liquor board meeting last night, Waff testified in favor of the tavern's liquor license application. Alcohol is served at the mill's cafeteria, Winer said. He expects Rams Head will receive a liquor license without major problems.

Hilary Roggio, who will manage the Savage tavern, said plans are under way to hire workers.

"We're beginning to get everything organized," she said. "We hope that everyone, including residents in the area, can come to the tavern and just have fun."

Pub Date: 5/12/99

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