Back in August of 2013 after dining at newly open “The Chesapeake” restaurant, we wrote: “Leaving the Chesapeake around 8 pm, it was barely a quarter full. Right next door, “Tapas Teatro” was bustling and it looked like you would have had to wait for a table. The striking contrast seemed easy to explain. I’m guessing that “Date night” couples going to nearby “The Charles” or “Single Carrot Theater” aren’t eager to pay $50 (plus tax and tip) for a couple of nondescript burgers and beers and a single shared dessert at “The Chesapeake”. If the new Chesapeake doesn’t wake up to the fact that it’s in artsy Station North rather than upscale Harbor East, we’re thinking that it will meet the fate of its defunct namesake in a year or two.”
An article in the Baltimore Sun on May 24th commented on the “temporary” closing of The Chesapeake as of May 23rd and that the owners hope to have it re-opened in about three weeks. The Chesapeake’s web page announces that “The Chesapeake is a historic building undergoing a complete historic renovation after a 25-year hiatus. Featuring two restaurants, an event space, 3 office spaces and 6 apartments”
Perhaps telling and revealing, the Sun article discussed that owners Ernst Valery and his wife Dana Valery, who also own Milk & Honey Market in Mount Vernon, have hired a new Baltimore-based but unidentified restaurant management company to take over day-to-day management of “The Chesapeake” when it re-opens.
Is it just us or does that sound like that business at The Chesapeake may have not been going too well and the owners realized that some significant changes were needed? We still predict that if the owners want The Chesapeake to be more of a success, the menu – where there’s an extra charge to add cheese to a $15 burger or an entree salad runs $16-$18 – needs some major revisions to be a better fit with the artsy Station North Arts District.
Hmmmm! A new report in the Baltimore Sun indicates the owners of The Chesapeake have made a deal with the Karzai family (Yup, the brother of the current Afghanistan President who lives in Baltimore and owns/runs Helmand, “B” and Tapas Teatro) to take over management of their restaurant. Word is that when it re-opens, Karzai may decide to open it with a new concept with a new name and menu. It’s an interesting saga!!!!!
2014/06/09 Update: The Baltimore Sun reports that the “Red Parrot” Asian food restaurant chain will be opening up a new branch in the space between Tapas Teatro and the former “Chesapeake” restaurant. Rumor has it the “Chesapeake” name will instead be applied to the entire building formerly occupied by the original “Chesapeake” (which now will serve as an “umbrella” for two restaurants, apartments and who knows what else! <Wink>