New restaurants come to West Baltimore and Arundel Mills and a new (and controversial) fountain coming to Union Square are among the most-read business stories of the week. The list also includes the Baltimore Grand Prix receiving new management. The Top 5 business stories of the week are:
1. Panera Bread opening on W. Baltimore St. — by Daily Record Staff
Panera Bread, a national chain of fast-casual restaurants, plans to open its third location in Baltimore City Wednesday at 400 W. Baltimore St., a retail redevelopment project across from the Hippodrome Theatre.
More than 50 full-time and part-time employees are expected to work in the 4,671- square-foot restaurant.
2. Suns could set on Hagerstown — by Maria Zilberman
The majority owner of the Hagerstown Suns has signed a letter of intent to move his minor league baseball team to Winchester, Va., but citizens in that community are pushing back against the idea.
The potential move comes after Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals, with whom the Class-A Suns are affiliated, requested improvements to 82-year-old Municipal Stadium, where the team has played since 1981.
3. Union Square Association replacing Mencken monument — by Melody Simmons
Union Square activists are at odds over the removal of a fountain dedicated to H.L. Mencken in the historic park — and some are chafing because the $8,000 replacement, bought with funds from the neighborhood’s annual Christmas cookie tour, will not be rededicated to the stogie-chomping critic who lived in a rowhouse facing the square.
“Time moves on,” Chris Taylor, president of the Union Square Association, said of the decision not to rededicate the new waterworks in Mencken’s name. “It’s not like we’re taking away from anything in the past, it’s just time moves on.”
4. Baltimore Grand Prix management contract approved by Board of Estimates — by Maria Zilberman
The city’s Board of Estimates voted 3-2 Wednesday to approve a contract with Downforce Racing LLC for the right to run the Baltimore Grand Prix for the next five years.
Comptroller Joan M. Pratt and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young voted against the contract.
“Given the past experience of this event and looking forward, I am more in tune that this event be successful for the city and the citizens not be burdened with additional expenses,” Pratt said. “Therefore I am opposed to this item until I receive definitive answers regarding the city’s true financial commitment and the items that I’ve aforementioned.”
5. The Prime Rib to open at Maryland Live! Casino — by Melody Simmons
The Prime Rib is getting some prime real estate.
Baltimore’s celebrated steak house said Wednesday it will open a restaurant and piano bar at the Maryland Live! Casino at Arundel Mills.
The Prime Rib will join a culinary circle that includes Bobby’s Burger Palace, Phillips Seafood and the Cheesecake Factory at the Hanover casino that last week celebrated a topping-off ceremony as a milestone in its construction. The $500 million casino is expected to open in June.