Old mill finds new life as tavern


July 05, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

Chalk up another new restaurant for Hampden. And this one - Kolpers Restaurant & Lounge - isn't even on the Avenue, aka 36th Street. On the other side of Falls Road, and down the road a piece, you'll find this upscale tavern.

According to restaurant manager Stacey Haubner, the building housing Kolpers was built in the 18th century as a cotton mill. She says owners David and Connie Kolper spent the past three years renovating and adding to the place, opening it about a month ago.

The original building's stone walls surround Kolpers' dining room, she says. The room is carpeted and offers warm wood and black accents; wood tables, black chairs, black napkins, black centerpiece candles. Seating totals about 45.

Haubner says you'll find the bar in the new part of the building - a big, black granite-top rectangle with 32 seats around it and 16 high-definition, flat-screen televisions above. There are 12 high-top tables in the room as well. For overflow and private parties, Kolpers also offers an upstairs dining room with its own bar that can seat about 30.

Haubner says Kolpers is aimed at the professional folks who want a laid-back, casual feel - "tavern-y." And the menu reflects that.

Appetizers include crab balls ($11.95), hand-cut onion rings dipped in Yuengling beer batter and deep-fried ($5.75) and chicken quesadillas ($6.95). On the salad side, you'll find a Cobb ($7.25), Caesar ($4.95) and cheese tortellini salad ($6.95).

The entree list offers blackened yellowfin tuna ($17.99), grilled brandy-marinated pork loin ($16.99), New York strip steak ($17.99) and manicotti with meat sauce ($15.95). Because Kolpers is going for the tavern effect, there is a selection of burgers and sandwiches ($7.95-$9.95).

Like any tavern worth its salt, Kolpers already has its own story, as related by Haubner.

"David [Kolper] made up a list of [life] goals when he was 18. He's accomplished them all ... to own real estate, have a family [four kids], to become a master plumber. He owned a plumbing company for the last 20 years. ... He's 41 now, and this was the last on the list. And it's beautiful. It came out really nice."

Kolpers Restaurant & Lounge, 410-467-5657, is located at 1520 Clipper Road. It's open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

At the bistro

A first for a 6-year-old Roland Park institution: Petit Louis Bistro is offering Sunday brunch. Tony Foreman, who owns the eatery with chef/wife Cindy Wolf, says it's something many restaurant regulars had been requesting for quite a while. In addition to the full a la carte menu, you'll find about six brunch specials every week - things like a mushroom, bacon and Gruyere cheese omelet ($12); French toast with cinnamon butter ($10); and steak frites (steak and fries) with a poached egg ($24).

"It might be one of the best ways to enjoy that restaurant," Foreman says.

"It often functions as the extension of [neighborhood] people's living rooms. On Sunday afternoons, I see a lot of newspapers broken out and people ordering that extra cafe au lait."

Sunday brunch hours for Petit Louis Bistro, 410-366-9393, are 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You'll find the restaurant at 4800 Roland Ave.

If you have information regarding a local restaurant's opening, closing or major changes, please e-mail that information to sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax it to 410-675-3451.

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