Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rising from the ashes. Months after the historic Mt. Washington Tavern burned to the ground, it is getting ready to reopen again.
Monique Griego has an inside look at the new and improved Mt. Washington Tavern.
After the fire, the entire building had to be demolished. But just one year later, the tavern is back and the community couldn’t be happier.
October 2011: The historic Mt. Washington Tavern was reduced to ruins after a raging fire. A general store back in the 1800s, the restaurant has been a Baltimore staple for than 30 years.
“It’s been really a mainstay of the city restaurant scene,” said one person.
“These were the only three walls that survived the fire, as well as the steel structure in the back room,” owner Rob Frisch said. “Everything else was completely gone.”
Within days of the fire, Frisch was already planning its reconstruction, renovation and eventual reopening. Now, it’s just days away from filling the void it left behind in the village.
“It was a type of restaurant that you would go back to again and again and again,” said a patron.
And for the first time in more than a year, the kitchen is alive with energy and excitement.
“See this place. Look at it. It’s awesome,” Steve Johnson, who works at the restaurant, said.
“Feels good to be back!” chef Sam Shivers said. “It feels great to be back, actually.”
And while the staff and customers are anxious to get the tavern up and running, so are the surrounding businesses.
“They were the gorilla of the village, so they really brought in a lot of business,” Maryanne Barker of La Chic Boutique said.
And by many accounts, the restaurant is coming back better than ever. While Frisch made it a point to maintain the historic value, there was also a lot of improvement.
“We’re coming back with a better design but it’s still going to be the tavern,” he said.
Almost all of the tavern’s staff will be returning and Frisch said that makes a customer reopening more like a family reunion.
The Mt. Washington Tavern opens to the public next Wednesday starting at lunchtime.
An exact cause of the fire was never found. Investigators could only determine it was accidental.