Good news for Abell is bad news for Highlandtown. Plans to convert the old Haussner's space into a microbrewery have been scrapped.
The news that brewer Stephen Demczuk had signed a lease for the oldCapital Beverage Corp. bottling plant in Abell means that Demczuk won't be going into Haussner's after all.
Last June, Demczuk was considering Haussner's as the site for a German-style "guest-house" and microbrewery. Demczuk's plans were supported by the Highlandtown community and business associations. A deal was said to be close at the time but things fell apart.
"It's unfortunate," Demczuk said about Haussner's falling through. "It had a lot of space, but it was too expensive and too run-down. Everything needed updating, the plumbing, the electricity, you name it."
Haussner's, a Baltimore dining institution closed served its last strawberry cake on October 6, 1999. Since closing, the building has operated, briefly, as a steak house, and as the headquarters for Moveable Feast.
It's been on the minds of some Baltimorean's lately because of the return of "Mad Men." In August 2009, a re-creation of Haussner’s baroque interior was a setting in the show's third-season opener.