Minna Shavitz, Pimlico Hotel co-owner

November 06, 2008|By JACQUES KELLY

Minna Shavitz, a greeter at the old Pimlico Hotel restaurant where she was also an owner, died Sunday at Ruxton Health and Rehabilitation Center of complications from old age. She was 98.

Born Minna Sacks in Gainesville, Ga., she attended Sullins College in Bristol County, Va.

In 1930, she met Leon A. Shavitz, who was a traveling salesman who sold men's hats. They met at her father's general store and married the same year.

The couple moved to Baltimore when her husband opened Nate's and Leon's, a West North Avenue delicatessen. She assisted him in the business as a greeter and cashier at the store, which was open 24 hours a day.

The delicatessen became a popular meeting place. Family members said Mrs. Shavitz, however, was not a cook and would keep her telephone books in her kitchen's oven.

In 1948, her husband became co-owner of the Pimlico Hotel on Park Heights Avenue, where Mrs. Shavitz visited from table to table.

"She was gracious and took care of her people. She had an incredible memory for names," said her daughter, Gail Kaplan, who also owned and operated restaurants in Baltimore and is now in catering.

Mrs. Shavitz left the business nearly 50 years ago. For many years she spent her winters in Florida.

Services were held Monday.

Survivors also include another daughter, Reta Davis, Baltimore; a sister, Sara Cohen of Atlanta; 10 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Her husband of 47 years died in 1977.

Jacques Kelly

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