Busch's is closing too

TABLE TALK

September 30, 1999|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

In its day, Busch's Chesapeake Inn on Route 50 was the Haussner's of Annapolis. The artwork couldn't compare, but after 53 years the restaurant has the longevity and the loyal following. And the wait staff has been there for a large part of the time the seafood restaurant has been open.

Now Busch's is closing, bought out by the WaWa chain of convenience stores. Its last day will be Oct. 3, and its contents will be auctioned off Oct. 11 by Atlantic auctioneers. "There's no real story here," said co-owner Joan Busch. "We just decided it was time."

When Robert Busch and his parents opened the business in 1946, it was just a stand with no running water. It blossomed into one of the area's best-known seafood restaurants, famous for its crab imperial, stuffed rockfish, crab cakes, oyster stew and cream of crab soup, and became a popular stop for people on their way to the Eastern Shore.

So what's next for Mrs. Busch and her family now that the restaurant is closing? (She and her daughters still do all the baking.) "Oh, honey. After 50 years I'm going to retire," she said with a laugh.

Gettier's last toast

Last Saturday night at Gettier's, formerly the Orchard Inn (1528 E. Joppa Road), the staff drank four bottles of Dom Perignon and closed the doors of the Towson restaurant for good. The reasons were purely financial, said owner Michael Gettier. Major renovations were about to be started, at a cost greater than he and his family had anticipated. They reluctantly decided not to make the commitment. "It was a well-thought-out decision," said Gettier. Right now, he added, "I have no plans."

Outstanding gift certificates will be redeemed if customers send them to the restaurant by registered mail.

Whither Morgan Millard?

First the sign at Morgan Millard (4800 Roland Ave.) said the restaurant was closed temporarily for renovations, which is often restaurant-speak for "we're closing." The phone rang unanswered when customers called. Then the rumors started: The staff had been fired. Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf of Charleston had bought the restaurant, which was once the site of a pharmacy and one of Baltimore's most-beloved lunch counters.

Not so, said Foreman.

When asked if there was any truth to the rumor that he and Wolf were planning to open a bistro there, Foreman hesitated: "We've had a look at the space. To say anything else would be premature."

Aldo's on `The Best Of'

Little Italy's newest restaurant, Aldo's (306 S. High St.), will be featured on the Food Network's "The Best Of" show in December. Chef-owner Aldo Vitale and his staff are re-creating a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast.

Wonder how Aldo's came to be selected? "We talked with several public-relations people, and it came highly recommended," said Ilene Mathews, executive producer of the show.

Two other Baltimore restaurants, Sabatino's and Hollywood Diner, have been featured on the show in the past.

Liquor at Suzie's

Suzie's Soba, Hampden's noodle shop and restaurant at 1009 W. 36th St., now has a liquor license. Owner Suzie Hong is serving sake, Sapporo and Kirin beers and red and white wine. "I've also expanded my menu," she said, "to include such dishes as tonkasu, a pork cutlet, and flame-broiled tuna and salmon appetizers."

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; fax to 410-752-6049; or e-mail to elizabeth.large@baltsun.com.

Elizabeth Large's reviews of restaurants appear inside the Sunday Home & Family section. This Sunday: Gemini Bistro in Fells Point.

Pub Date: 9/30/99

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