Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Second Clyde’s

Last night Tom Meyer, the president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, recalled that the Columbia restaurant was second restaurant to carry the Clyde’s name, even though it was the third restaurant in a group that now includes thirteen establishments in DC, Maryland and Virginia, nine of which carry the Clyde’s moniker. The downtown Columbia location opened in 1975.

Tom was in Columbia last night to formally announce that the company had signed a new ten year lease and would embark on a major renovation beginning January. The restaurant will close down for about two months as crews work around the clock on the first major makeover of the popular Columbia eatery since 1985.

The five year effort to create a new urban core for Columbia is slipping into high gear with five major projects announced so far this year. First it was the announcement of the new residential and retail projects in the Warfield neighborhood on the Broken Land Parkway side of The Mall. In March Dave Costello purchased the site next to Copeland’s restaurant with preliminary plans calling for a mix of offices and residences. This summer Howard Hughes announced that Whole Foods had signed a lease to build a new 40,000 square foot store in the former Rouse Company building.

That’s a pretty impressive start, especially considering the current state of real estate development. Last night the county exec and councilperson Mary Kay Sigaty were also hand to accept laurels from their hard fought battle.

Later in the evening Ken told me that this won’t be last announcement of the year either, hinting that another lakefront project is in the final stages of negotiation.

Somewhat shamelessly, a few of those who tried to keep all of this happening also came to celebrate and enjoy Clyde’s free drinks and food. Liz Bobo, who along with her husband Lloyd Knowles mounted a concerted effort to stop the redevelopment legislation were there as well as Columbia council member Cindy Coyle. All three were backed the effort of Alan Klein to unseat Mary Kay in the last council election for her support of the redevelopment. 
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