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Power Plant Live! getting two more restaurants

The Cordish Cos. announced Wednesday the final touches to its $10 million relaunch of Power Plant Live!, including two more restaurants and the need to hire hundreds of new employees for incoming tenants.

This is the first upgrade for the venue that attracts more than 3 million visitors annually and brings in more than $35 million in sales a year, according to the company. The announcement was made at the site by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President J. Kirby Fowler Jr., and The Cordish Cos. Chairman and President David S. Cordish.

“Ten years after we’ve opened, it’s been a roaring success,” Cordish said. Power Plant Live! opened in phases during 2001 and 2002, according to spokeswoman Megan Slattery.

Joe Squared and Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden will open this summer. It will be the second location for the pizza restaurant, which has its first spot in Station North.

Watch video from the press conference at Power Plant Live!

The beer hall will be built in a 3,500-square-foot, glass-and-steel pavilion located near the entrance fountain, right across from the Port Discovery Museum. Leinenkugel’s will offer about 40 specialty brews.

As part of the upgrade, Power Plant Live! has added a permanent outdoor stage, a new valet entrance, a glass-and-steel roof that covers part of the outside area and a 9-by-12 foot LED video screen to show concerts and sporting events.

The fountain at the entrance to Power Plant Live!, long broken, is now working.

“You can’t just leave a property static,” Fowler said. “Many people invest once … but you’ve got to keep reinvesting.”

Fowler announced some of the new music acts coming to Power Plant Live! this summer, including Apocalyptica, Finger Eleven, regional band Mr. Greengenes and indie rockers Steel Train.

Every weekend in June will feature free concerts on the Live! stage, with bands covering ’80s and ’90s hits.

Since last year, The Cordish Cos. has lured new tenants, including the Baltimore Comedy Factory, TATU Asian Bar & Grill and PBR Baltimore, a country-western bar/club. Luckie’s Tavern also expanded in April, adding an outdoor seating area with a large selection of canned beer, live music and food.

“Thankfully The Cordish Cos. are not resting on their laurels,” Rawlings-Blake said. “By bringing in PBR, the Comedy Factory, Leinenkugel’s and Joe Squared … we are taking something great and making it even better.”

A job fair will be held June 15 to fill positions from busboys to managers, Cordish said.

“The most important three words we can say right now: jobs, jobs, jobs. As mayor, I cannot be happier about this,” Rawlings-Blake said.

The attraction has generated approximately $25 million in taxes and employed thousands of area residents during its time, according to the company.

To further boost traffic, the area will host a series of free concerts and events, including the return of its Friday Night Live! concert series and a “Downtown is Happy” happy hour event every Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The entertainment complex, which cost $30 million to build, gets its name from the nearby Power Plant building, which was also developed by The Cordish Cos. The complex also has more than 200,000 square feet of office space, more than 80 percent of which is leased.

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