Baltimore County Now
Division Chief, Neighborhood Response Team
Baltimore County Department of Planning
Thriving small businesses strengthen our traditional commercial areas and bring new shopping, restaurants and services near neighborhoods. Baltimore County’s Neighborhood Response Teams focus on connecting small businesses with the resources they need to create large community impact. Here a few recent successes from the past three months.
The Pikes Theatre had not shown a movie since 1983. Today, the Pikes is once again a destination for movie goers, thanks, in part, to Baltimore County’s Commercial Revitalization Program. A building improvement loan from the County helped Ira Miller, an experienced local movie theatre operator, to reclaim the art deco building as a community movie theatre. With an upgraded menu at the attached Pikes Diner, Pikesville’s traditional commercial corridor is brimming with new activity.
The Green Turtle, a well established locally owned restaurant in Towson, now features the Turtle Shell, a rooftop bar and grill with expansive views of downtown Towson. Thanks to public and private financing from the restaurant owners, a local bank, Baltimore County, and the Maryland Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, the Green Turtle can be more competitive with national restaurants coming to Towson Square, a new entertainment venue just a short walk from the Greene Turtle. Towson Square will feature a 15-screen Cinemark movie theatre, eight new restaurants, and a parking garage.
Colin’s Seafood and Grill, a locally owned upscale, sit down restaurant was a just what the Liberty Road community wanted. The County’s Neighborhood Response Team connected the owners to the State’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program, which provided funding to build-out the 146 seat restaurant in the Randallstown Shopping Center. Colin’s opened this fall and is now a Randallstown favorite.
Towson, Pikesville and the Liberty Road Corridor are three of the County’s 16 designated Commercial Revitalization Districts, areas that are often the front doors to many well established neighborhoods in Baltimore County. Neighborhood Response Teams in the County’s Department of Planning work closely with business and community organizations to identify opportunities for small businesses to grow and sustain these traditional commercial areas.
Is your business in a Commercial Revitalization District? For maps and more information visit our website Baltimore County’s Neighborhood Response Teams and Commercial Revitalization Program.
Baltimore County Office of Communications
What started in the ‘60s as the place in town to get Frye boots became a friendly sports bar for college kids in 2004. Now, the Greene Turtle in Towson is ready to take on a new role: a casual, restaurant that appeals to families, neighbors, and film fans.
“We see the Greene Turtle in Towson as a family-priced option for dinner before a movie, a gathering spot for local high school teams after a lacrosse game, a date night destination, and a neighborhood night spot for adults,” said co-owner Jill Guidera Packo, who with her brother Jeff Guidera are following in the tradition of the family owned Finkelstein Bootery at 408 York Road. “What’s new is the rooftop Turtle Shell.”
When you step into the new third floor addition, you’re in a sleek, open, comfortable space with panoramic views of downtown Towson. There’s seating for over 100 at custom-made wood tables or at the long, full service bar. A separate kitchen serves the Turtle Shell, which features a steam seafood bar.
From the glass enclosed rooftop you see expansive views of downtown Towson – look south down York Road past Towson University; look north at the changing reflections in Towson City Center. Windows open in warm weather to catch the breeze and an open deck area features heaters in cooler weather.
The new Cinemark theatres at Towson Square (opening later in 2014) are expected to attract more than 500,000 movie-goers each year, making the Greene Turtle a fun, locally-owned stop before or after a feature.
It’s a great time to be a restaurant in Towson --and an even better time to visit what’s new downtown.
Jordan Fish, Baltimore County Tourism & Promotion
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, Baltimore County is in the holiday spirit! Be sure to check our list of the many events and programs going on around the County during the month of December. From train gardens to tree lightings – it’s the most wonderful time of the year in Baltimore County!
Christmas Open House at Basignani Winery - Christmas time very special at Basignani Winery. Visit the north Baltimore County winery for its annual celebration of the Tuscan Christmas. Experience an Italian Christmas as Basignani transforms the tasting room and piazza into a little piece of Tuscany. Taste the wines and try some seasonal Tuscan Christmas treats.
December Saturdays at DeJon Vineyards - Join DeJon Vineyards, located in Hydes, during the first 3 Saturdays of December for free live music, tasty treats, and decorative scenery. They deck the halls with a giant Christmas tree and train garden in the tasting room. Each week different acoustic musicians will perform classic holiday songs, as well as their regular catalog of tunes.
Holiday Hoopla - December 7th is the official start of the holiday season in Dundalk! The Dundalk Renaissance Corporation joins forces with Dundalk-Eastfield Recreation to create a day with lots of tradition, memory-making and fun for all ages. Some of the event highlights include a parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a delicious cookie tour, and the train garden at the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum.
Holidays at Hampton....a Yuletide Celebration - Get into the holiday spirit early with “Holidays at Hampton” where the public can celebrate the season at Hampton Mansion, Baltimore County's only National Park. The “Holidays at Hampton” Yuletide weekend, Dec. 13th - 15th, includes special evening tours, antique cars, period crafts, musical and dance performances, African-American storytelling and unique holiday shopping in the Museum Shop. All of the festivities are free and open to the public.
Holiday Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland - Kids of all ages will enjoy the Holiday Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland. The layout features the Bromo Seltzer Tower and a burning building, complete with fire engines and hoses crisscrossing the fire ground. Watch Antique O-Scale trains and a street car wind their way past many of Baltimore’s famous neighborhoods and landmarks.
Jacksonville in Miniature for the Holidays - Now in its third year, Jacksonville in Miniature has grown into an animated wonderland. Train team members combine their talents to create replicas of local landmarks, scenes of "life in Jacksonville", and, of course, operating model trains. Located at the Jacksonville Senior Center, the 2013 display is expanding beyond Jacksonville to include the Ocean City boardwalk and the Washington D.C. Mall.
Towson WinterFest - Presented by the Towson Chamber of Commerce, WinterFest features numerous events in the downtown Towson area throughout December. Activities range from family friendly breakfasts with the Grinch and Frosty, to Ho Ho Happy Hours at area bars and restaurants. Check out the full schedule of events.
Wine Country Christmas at Boordy Vineyards – On December Saturdays, through the 21st, Boordy's Barn is the perfect setting for seasonal merry-making with traditional music, a tour of the winery, and steaming Wassail (a specialty from Boordy for over twenty-five years). Wines may be purchased by the glass or bottle for enjoying in the barn with your friends. The wine shop will be brimming with gifts for the hard to please wine lovers!
To find out about other great happenings in Baltimore County throughout the year, visit the Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion events calendar.