The Elephant’s replacement, The Manor, gets liquor license, plans early February opening

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Photo by Ed Gunts.

Six months after The Elephant restaurant closed in Mount Vernon, new operators are aiming to open its replacement in early February.

The liquor board voted 3 to 0 today to grant a new Class B license for The Manor, a restaurant and ultra-lounge planned for the four-story building previously occupied by The Elephant.

The Manor is the latest venture of Joshua Persing and Robert Gay, who previously operated G.A.Y. Lounge at 518 N. Charles St.

Gay said after the liquor board meeting that his group, The Manor Baltimore LLC, is working to complete improvements and inspections in time to have a soft opening on Feb. 6.

“We’re going to be offering lunch and dinner, modern American-type food,” Gay told the liquor board members. “The neighborhood is really responding to it very well. We had a meeting a couple of nights ago, so everybody’s kind of excited.”

Because the former restaurant has been dark for the past half year, the building hasn’t had much of a “street presence” lately and the Manor team wants to change that, Manor team member Steven Preston told the board. “We’re really trying to breathe life into this stretch of Charles Street.”

In granting the restaurant license, the liquor board approved The Manor’s request to have outdoor table seating, live entertainment and off-premise catering.

Gay told the liquor board that The Manor will seat 99 on the first level and 50 upstairs. Attorney Stephan W. Fogleman said the operators have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association that states they won’t bring in any third-party promoters to hold events–a source of contention between the neighborhood and past operators of the building who drew late-night crowds.

Fogleman also said the operators are making a capital investment of $423,000, well over the required figure of $200,000.

On Tuesday, Gay and Persing met with the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association and outlined their plans for the restaurant. They said Parker Greene will be the chef and Brian Scott will be the general manager.

Greene is a Baltimore County native and Towson University graduate who has worked at the Oregon Grille, The Grille at the Harryman House and The Manor Tavern. Scott has previously worked in Mount Vernon with City Café and Sascha’s Catering, which was affiliated with The Elephant.

So what is an ultra-lounge? At the neighborhood meeting, several residents asked the operators just that. Persing said it’s not a mystery.

“The word ultra-lounge,” he said, “is simply meant to portray an upscale lounge.”

Ed Gunts

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