Attman's Weighing A Bigger Building

Corned Beef Row Fixture Would Double Capacity

July 16, 2009|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,ed.gunts@baltsun.com

The owner of Attman's Delicatessen, a mainstay of Baltimore's Corned Beef Row for decades, is exploring plans to build a new restaurant next to its existing one, which would be renovated for new uses.

The restaurateur is scheduled to meet with Baltimore's Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel next month to present plans for a one-story delicatessen that would rise at 1101 E. Lombard Street, next to the current deli at 1019 E. Lombard Street.

Attman's is one of three delis that line Corned Beef Row, along with Lenny's and Weis'. Attman's was founded in 1915 as a grocery store and deli at 2000 E. Baltimore Street and has occupied its current location since the 1920s.

If Attman's moves ahead with its project, it would be the latest of several ventures planned for east Baltimore, including housing by A & R Development Corp. near the intersection of Central Avenue and Lombard Street and new housing and shops planned for Fells Point and Highlandtown.

Mark Attman, a third-generation member of the family that runs Attman's, said a new restaurant would enable the company to serve the community better by doubling the number of seats, from 40 to 80, providing outdoor seating, hiring more employees and possibly expanding its operating hours. He said it also would represent a commitment to the East Baltimore community where the family has been in business for years.

"We've been committed to the city of Baltimore for a long time," he said. "We believe in the city and want the city to do well."

Attman said the current deli building most likely would be renovated for another retail use to increase the amount of commercial activity along Lombard Street. Corned Beef Row, he said, is a good location to take advantage of development that is taking place east of the Inner Harbor, such as the new headquarters of Legg Mason in Harbor East and Morgan Stanley at Harbor Point.

"It's a good place to be. It's accessible. And it's not as expensive" as some parts of the city, he said.

Design approval is required because the proposed restaurant site is part of the Albemarle Square Planned Unit Development, adopted to guide construction of the mixed-income community that replaced the old Flag House Courts public housing project.

Attman said his family owns the land at 1101 E. Lombard Street and would not seek city funding assistance for the project. If it moves ahead and can get design approval in time, he said, construction would begin in early 2010 and be complete by late 2010. SGA Companies of Montgomery Co. is the architect.

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