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Baltimore County Now

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Date: May 16, 2012

Fronda Cohen
Baltimore County Office of Communications

By lunch time, I’m ready to get away from the computer, breathe some fresh air, and go for a walk. I’m lucky that I work in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Towson, where I can mix my need for a mid-day stretch with a serving of local cooking -- and a bit of retail therapy for dessert.

Towson is where the ‘shop local’ movement becomes more than a slogan. Today’s lunch break started with a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.    

For more than a year, there was a gaping hole at 19 West Pennsylvania Avenue where the popular Charles Village Pub stood (CVP to the regulars).  A fire completely destroyed the building in January 2011, with 100 career and volunteer fire personnel and 25 trucks deployed to fight the blaze. This week, CVP owners Rick Bielski, Eric Wagner and Melony Wagner gathered their Towson community friends, family and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for the official grand opening of the bigger, better CVP. What’s old is new again, with the pub keeping its comfortable vibe and adding a new rooftop deck, more lounges, and plenty of TVs for all things sports. Check out the antique scoreboard and whiskey barrel tables on the second floor. The menu’s been remodeled too, with classic pub fare and famous CVP burgers joined by flatbreads, sesame tuna, blackened chicken pasta, and stuffed rockfish. I’d better come back for dinner.

I love to prowl through the Surprise Shop (122 Allegheny Avenue), a consignment/thrift store housed in the historic stone former rectory of Trinity Church. I’ve found vintage costume jewelry, 1930s black glass goblets, new leather belts from Talbot’s and designer items. Other days, I’ll stop by BeadWear (29 Allegheny Avenue) for unique Made in the U.S.A. jewelry, gifts and crafts, or window shop for special occasion jewels at Grillo & Company (17 Allegheny Avenue).   

Shopping local – it’s good exercise and good for the local economy. Not bad for one lunch break.


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