WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Bruster’s Real Ice Cream will be joining Sardi’s Pollo A La Brasa Chicken in the former Pizza Hut on the corner of Railway Lane and Massey Boulevard.
A building permit filed with Washington County Building Services shows that 100 Railway Lane will be split to accommodate the ice cream shop along with Beltsville-based Sardi’s Chicken.
Bruster’s has been around since 1989 and now has over 200 locations, including in Chambersburg, Pa., and Frederick. Each location is allowed to make up to 24 flavors per day out of its 150 flavor catalog. You’ll find your cones, mixes, sundaes and ice cream cakes here like you would at Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins. However, the flavors are made in store and not trucked in. The chain is based in Bridgeville, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
The 4,100-square-foot ice cream parlor lists possible hours as 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week with 30 employees. Those hours will likely be adjusted according to the season.
(I will never forget the fine folks at the Erie Times-News introducing me to Bruster’s there in the summer of 2006. Couldn’t get enough of it, really and am glad there will be an easier one to get to than Chambersburg and Somerset.)
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — A poultry-loving restaurant with a straightforward name is coming to the North Village Shopping Center in Hagerstown.
Just Chicken filed for building permits to take over Suite 18728 at the shopping center located on the corner of Longmeadow Road and Pennsylvania Avenue, according to county records. The permit describes the eatery as a charcoal chicken restaurant that will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week and employ 10 workers. It appears it will go into the space beside AutoZone that’s becoming a restaurant carousel.
There are scant details about Just Chicken. Pecking around online, the only existing restaurant that pops up is a Just Chicken in St. Louis, Mo., and no signs point to the operations being related. When there is more info, it’ll be updated here.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — An upstart chain of Ohio restaurants will be taking over Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery’s space soon in the Valley Mall.
Columbus, Ohio-based Rustic Barrel Sport & Tap is showing on its website that it is coming soon to the Valley Mall, listing the same phone number — 301-582-5300—that Tilted Kilt uses. It signals that the days—maybe even as soon as Sunday— could be numbered for Tilted Kilt’s Hagerstown location. The Hagerstown Tilted Kilt is no longer listed on the chain’s website, with Frederick being the closest location. No closing date has been posted, but with the restaurant de-listed from the corporate website, it could be any day now.
An opening date has not been posted, but it will take some time to renovate that space, re-hire existing employees, hire new employees and get the liquor license in order.
Never heard of Rustic Barrel? Neither have I. The chain is brand new, filing for its trademark in April. It should not be confused by similarly named Rusty Bucket, which also is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. So far, there are locations in Columbus and Canton, Ohio; Florence, Kentucky; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and opening soon in Novi, Michigan, as well as coming soon to Hagerstown.
Rustic Barrel boasts local and national craft beer, plenty of TVs and video walls to watch sports with something called “totchos” on its menu—tater tots with loaded toppings like you’d find on nachos. You’ll also find burgers, salads, sandwiches like the Salmon BLT, flatbread pizzas and full entrees. Check out the full Rustic Barrel menu to see what’s appetizing.
There’s a few moving parts to this takeover. For starters, this isn’t the first time Rustic Barrel is taking over a Tilted Kilt. The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, which also saw a Tilted Kilt being taken over by Rustic Barrel, kept track of those takeovers:
On Sept. 9, This Week Community News of Lewis Center, Ohio, reported that a Tilted Kilt in Columbus, Ohio, was being converted into a Rustic Barrel. That also seems to have been the case in Florence, Kentucky, the site of the first Rustic Barrel that opened four weeks ago.
In San Diego, a Tilted Kilt shuttered after the Chargers moved to Los Angeles. In Morgantown, W.Va., a Tilted Kilt closed two years ago in a busy shopping center filled with other restaurants. Yes, it is unusual to see a national chain restaurant see instability to the point of closures and franchisees ready to flip it for something else.
In Annapolis, a corporate-owned location closed in June after losing a lawsuit for unpaid rent at Westfield Annapolis and facing lawsuits from contractors, according to The Capital Gazette.
Tempe, Arizona-based Tilted Kilt is in the category of “breastaurants” as Hooters and Twin Peaks but with kilts, and opened its Valley Mall restaurant in May 2013. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten that Cafe Rio Mexican Grill opened just the month before beside it, with that quickly shuttering and making way for Primanti Brothers. I’ve only been a couple of times and other than a major football game, it seemed to be dead while other restaurants along the front of the mall were buzzing. The Scottish-themed food wasn’t wooing me either.
Do you think Rustic Barrel will have more success than Tilted Kilt?
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md.—Peruvian-American fusion restaurant Sardi’s Chicken is pecking away to open inside the former Pizza Hut at 100 Railway Lane in Hagerstown.
Sardi’s Chicken of Hagerstown LLC applied for a permit to remodel the hut-shaped building across from Massey’s Hyundai and Kmart, according to Washington County building records.
Beltsville-based Sardi’s started in 2008 and now has 10 Maryland locations, including one in Frederick plus one Pennsylvania restaurant in Philadelphia.
The menu includes chicken with Peruvian spikes, beef short ribs, marinated lamb chops, skirt steak, plantains and more. It’s a mix of Peruvian food, Southern food and as common with many modern Peruvian dishes, you’ll find a Chinese influence thanks to the Chinese immigration that Peru experiences. The Chinese-Peruvian dishes always make for a flavorful combination.
The restaurant’s catering business also catered President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball, according to the Sardi’s website.
(Updated) WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Hurricane Grill & Wings will be blowing into Hagerstown soon from Florida.
The website for Valley Plaza’s owners show the wings, burgers and beer restaurant will be coming to the former Cinqo de Mayo restaurant in front of Kmart and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The shopping center also has a Tractor Supply Co., store. (The plaza is now actively trying to find a replacement for the aptly named Hard Times Cafe, too.)
After this story was first published in June, permits filed in September that this will be a sister restaurant operation. This location will be the chain’s Hurricane Dockside Grill, according to permits filed with Washington County. It’s the same company but an employee at the Tavares, Fla., location told me they serve more seafood at the Dockside locations. Typically, Dockside is a waterside location but maybe the franchise decided to switch things up.
Originally built as a Ground Round (oh, I feel old now), the new Hurricane Dockside Grill space has been a revolving door for over a decade.
Hurricane Grill & Wings is based in Fort Piece, Fla., which is on the Atlantic coast halfway between Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach. I’ve dined at their Sarasota location that also went in a revolving space for restaurants at the Westfield Sarasota Square mall. It didn’t last long and closed only after. I ate at the Sarasota location and liked the outdoor element that could only work in Florida and the ambience matched the name and location. Will I feel like I’m in Florida there, sipping on a margarita in Maryland?
The big question is how long will this location survive? Not only did the Sarasota location close, but after I moved from Sarasota, Hurricane Grill opened in a former LeRoy Selmon’s in Bradenton, Fla. It had a kitchen fire and never reopened. It also had a construction lien placed against it.
Its Laurel, Md., location is already closed. However, the Elkton, Md., location is still open.
“The Hurricane Grill & Wings brand is on the move, and we are proud that Steve and Chris Girard want to be a part of this exciting time for the brand,” said Martin O’Dowd, president of Hurricane Grill & Wings. “Hurricane Grill & Wings is growing rapidly, and the Western Maryland market is an area that we’ve long targeted for franchised growth.”
“With our vast experience in the franchise industry as multi-unit franchisees for other restaurant concepts, we knew that Hurricane Grill & Wings would be the best brand to add to our portfolio for their superior product and core values,” said Chris Girard, franchisee of Hurricane Grill & Wings. “We look forward to inviting the Hagerstown community to Live with Flavor® at Hurricane Grill & Wings.”
Hopefully the Girard family figures out how to avoid the issues (and a fire) that the other locations encountered.