The Towson hangout has never looked better, gleaming with new granite, brick, and wood. It’s taken almost 15 months to rebuild the Charles Village Pub after it was destroyed by fire in January 2011.
The re-opening of the popular college bar is coming soon. It will definitely be ready by the Towsontown Festival on May 5-6, says co-owner Melony Wagner.
Along with the rebuilding, the owners, who include Melony’s husband Eric and Richard Bielski, decided to upgrade the food offerings. “We wanted to get more into the food end of it,” said Melony, pictured in front of a mural of a Jack Daniels barrelhouse at the restaurant. “The menu is going to be fantastic.”
Two experienced kitchen managers—chef without degrees, Melony explained—will be paying attention to the quality and preparation of the food.
While there are still typical pub-fare offerings like burgers and nachos, the menu also has flatbreads, specialty sandwiches, and entrees including stuffed rockfish, sesame tuna, and steak and (crab) cake.
There is also a late-night menu served until 2 a.m.
Melony hopes to bring in diners of all ages and phase into the college-student crowd in the evening. “We’re known as the college bar,” she said, “We want to get away from just that image.”
The four bars will be able to accommodate all the drinkers and diners on two floors as the crowd spreads out among upstairs and downstairs dining rooms, outdoor patio, and rooftop deck. It has a 600-person capacity.
Twenty former employees are returning to the restaurant. “We’re very fortunate with our staff,” Melony said. “It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on.”
Melony speaks from first-hand experience. She and her husband met as bartenders at Charles Village Pub almost 20 years. They eventually married, had three kids (ages 4,6, and 8), and became co-owners of the restaurant 11 years ago.
They’re excited to be back to the business of running a restaurant. “It’s our first opening,” Melony said.
Photos by me