Having a ball at the bash for Art Modell's 80th birthday


July 07, 2005|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

If you have to celebrate your 80th birthday, you might as well do it up in style. That's exactly what former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell did recently. Actually, credit should be given to his wife, Pat, who invited 150 or so to a shindig at Harbor Court Hotel.

"It was over-the-top gorgeous, which I expected it to be, because Pat has such exquisite taste," reports guest Carole Sibel. Carole says Pat didn't want huge flower arrangements getting in the way of people mingling. So, floral designer Jake Boone designed huge balls of roses that hung from the ceiling.

Everything about the party was unique, according to Carole. From the first course at dinner - a delicious version of mac 'n cheese with crabmeat, served in a martini glass - to the evening's entertainment. Comedian Red Buttons "had us in stitches for 40 straight minutes" with a routine that included a series of one-liners that began with "You know you're 80 when. ... "

Even when it came time for dancing, Pat provided a special touch. Carole said she had covered the dance floor with a canvas painted with Art's likeness in a variety of expressions.

The cake was presented by five Ravens cheerleaders. The Ravens weren't the only NFL team represented. Carole's hubby, Bean, spotted a rather strong New York Giants contingent - including owners Wellington Mara and Preston Robert Tisch, GM Ernie Accorsi and Hall-of-Famer Frank Gifford, with wife Kathie Lee.

Bean says one nice thing that Pat did was seat the out-of-towners with locals like Buzzy and Cheryl Krongard, Mayo Shattuck and Colts Hall-of-Famer Lenny Moore.

"It was a chance to meet a lot of really nice people," he noted. Bean says the whole night had a pleasant, intimate feel."[The party] wasn't loaded with football players or [sports] writers. There were just a lot of people who were friends of Art's from over the years. ... It was really a warm and affectionate night."

Burgers and fries

You're going to see a passel of new burger joints in the next few months. And all with the same name - Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. The first opened in Reisterstown on Memorial Day weekend.

General manager Matt Demers says the name refers to Virginia businessman Jerry Murrell's five sons, with whom and for whom he started the business 18 years ago. Matt says the Reisterstown Five Guys is No. 46.

Everything's fresh, says Matt. There isn't a freezer on the premises.

"We order all our food twice a week. Everything is constantly brought in fresh. ... We hand-press the [hamburger meat] every morning, and the fries are fresh-cut here."

The menu reflects the eatery's simplicity. Short and sweet. A hamburger is $3.89, a bacon burger is $4.39, bacon cheeseburger $4.89. There's a kosher hot dog at $2.49, cheese or bacon dog for $2.99 and bacon cheese dog for $3.49. You also can ask for your choice of veggies - onions, mushrooms, green peppers, jalapenos - to be grilled and topped with cheese in a bun for $1.79. The eatery's got regular fries for $1.89 and large fries for $3.79. They're served boardwalk style - thick, long, skin on - with either salt or Cajun spices. That's it. Everything's made to order. And if you call your order in, Matt says, the Five Guys folks will wait till you arrive before dropping your fries in the fryer, so you get them fresh and hot.

The restaurant has tables for about 40, but service is simple. You order at the counter and pick it up in a paper bag. If you're eating in, you simply tear open the bag and eat out of it. There are no plates.

While you're waiting, you can shell and munch on the peanuts sitting out for you.

Five Guys is hot-hot-hot. According to its Web site (www .fiveguys.com), four more franchises will be opening in our area soon - in the Inner Harbor, on North Charles Street, in Westminster and White Marsh.

You'll find this Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, 410-526-8975, at 11708-B Reisterstown Road, in the Cherry Vale Plaza shopping center in Reisterstown. Its hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

LPGA Championship

Did you know there was a strong Baltimore connection at Sunday's big LPGA Women's World Match Play Championship? The tournament was played at Hamilton Farms, an exclusive golf club in Gladstone, N.J., which is owned by Baltimorean Dennis Townsend.

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