Ripken, wife back new restaurant

Couple join partnership opening a bar and grill at Green Spring Station

Investing

July 21, 2000|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. and his wife, Kelly, are entering the restaurant business with a Baltimore-area native who operates a dozen New York City restaurants.

The Ripkens and Andrew Silverman, along with several other partners, have agreed to lease a 6,643-square-foot space at Green Spring Station, an upscale commercial and retail center at Joppa and Falls roads in Baltimore County.

The site was home to Harvey's restaurant, which closed in March after 20 years.

The still-unnamed restaurant is expected to open in late November.

Silverman, a 46-year-old Reisterstown native, said yesterday that he has been talking with the Ripkens for three years about a possible partnership. He said that he envisions operating several crab and seafood restaurants with Ripken, but that their first venture will be an American-style bar and grill.

"We were thinking of seafood all along, but this opened up," Silverman said yesterday. "This is a great location for what we want to do."

Ira Rainess, Ripken's business manager, said the restaurant will not feature a sports theme, nor will it capitalize on the baseball player's celebrity.

"I don't think he'll greet you at the door, but there's a better chance you'll just see them eating there," Rainess said. "They are looking at it as a fun project. They are doing it more as a local neighborhood place."

The Ripkens live about 15 minutes from Green Spring Station, and Rainess has had an office in the complex, but is relocating.

The Ripkens are unlikely to be involved in the daily operations of the business, but will play a role in designing and decorating the restaurant and selecting a menu, Rainess said.

A dining establishment will expand Ripken's Maryland business ventures, which include a Columbia sports fitness center and the BayRunners minor-league basketball team. He has never been involved in the running of a restaurant.

But Silverman has. He operates four adjacent restaurants in Manhattan's Flatiron district, and several others only blocks away. They offer a broad spectrum of food, from sushi to steak to seafood.

"It's not my business. It's my life," Silverman said.

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