UPDATED: This Friday, The Valley Inn in Brooklandville will be open daily, starting at 4:30 p.m. Diners can sit in the bar area and enjoy a scaled-down menu until the restaurant's dining room opens in about two weeks.
Dinner will be served at first, but eventually, the restaurant will be open for lunch, too.
I caught up this afternoon with owner Ted Bauer, who also operates The Oregon Grill in Hunt Valley. "We wanted to start out very slow until we got to know the building a bit," he said. "People have been very excited about it."
For the past three weeks, the historic restaurant, which has undergone renovations, has been open on Fridays and Saturdays to faithful fans, who were curious to check out the updates. The restaurant closed in late 2010 when Ted acquired the property from Bud Hatfield and his family, who had run the popular establishment since the 1920s. At one time, it was a popular gathering place for the horse-country crowd.
Currently, the restaurant's new kitchen, under chef Tom Hawkins, an Oregon Grille sous chef, is serving appetizers like oysters and steamed shrimp, a selection of soups and salads, sandwiches including a 10-ounce burger and shrimp salad, and a few larger plates featuring mahi mahi and steak.
Before the restaurant closed, the building, pictured, near the upscale Green Spring Station mall, was showing its age. The food was old-fashioned (lobster Newburg, hot turkey sandwiches with gravy), but the mint juleps were great.
After Ted was granted a liquor license in 2010, the old restaurant, officially in Lutherville, remained vacant as the restaurateur sought various approvals for updating the premises.
Under his management—he started the Mt. Washington Tavern in 1979 before opening The Oregon Grille—the Valley Inn should be ready to take on this century.