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Brass Elephant could reopen by spring

The “old lady” is coming back.

Baltimore’s historic Brass Elephant restaurant could reopen as early as spring with new owners, a real estate agent said Wednesday.

Workers were busy Wednesday inside the Mt. Vernon landmark checking the restaurant’s kitchen and operating systems, and the sale could close within 30 days, said Martin Kibbe, a ReMax Studio Realtor who listed the upscale eatery.

“We are getting the old lady up and in good shape,” Kibbe said. “Now, it’s all coming together.”

Kibbe declined to reveal details of the pending sale, only to say a closing is expected within 30 days.

“I have had fun showing it,” he said of the restaurant. “It’s alive in many people’s memories. I have heard a variety of stories from lots of people” about events in the restaurant.

The Brass Elephant, at 924 N. Charles St., is listed at $895,000 — drastically lower than the original asking price of $1.8 million.

The restaurant’s previous owners closed it in August 2009, citing slow businesses as a result of the economic slowdown. The fine dining offered in the ornate Victorian restaurant featured seafood and Northern Italian fare. An upstairs Tusk Lounge was a favorite meeting place for downtown workers.

The building that holds the Brass Elephant was built in 1870. The restaurant had been open for three decades before it was closed, and was a popular site for wedding receptions and family parties. Baltimore filmmaker Barry Levinson mentioned it in a book he wrote about his hometown.

The restaurant’s owner, Randy Stahl, purchased it in 1980 with a partner, Jack Elsby.

Owing $313,000 in unpaid debt, Stahl faced an August 2010 auction by PNC Bank, which was called off, and the restaurant returned to a listing.

The 8,244-square-foot building was assessed at $499,300 by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation on July 1, 2011, records show. That is a decrease from a 2010 assessment of $541,500.

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