Fells Point is buzzing about news that Jimmy’s Restaurant, a dining spot popular with politicians and others, is going to be sold to Rustem “Rudy” Keskin, the owner of Rudy’s Mediterrean Grill in Columbia.
The Baltimore Business Journal reported yesterday that Jimmy’s owner Nick Filipidis has signed a contract to sell the restaurant at 801 S. Broadway and hopes to complete the transaction by the end of the month, ending 70 years of ownership by the same family.
Filipidis did not disclose who the buyer is or what changes the buyer would make. A representative for the city’s liquor board said Jimmy’s has a liquor license under a corporate entity and she is not aware of any application to transfer it.
Today there are strong indications that the buyer is Keskin, who owns Rudy’s Mediterrean Grill at 7185 Columbia Gateway Drive in Columbia. Its slogan is “A Taste of Turkey in Maryland.”
Several Fells Pointers have posted messages on Facebook pointing to Keskin as the contract buyer.
Sure enough, Keskin’s Facebook page has a Dec. 1 message, written in both English and Turkish, about his plans for a restaurant in Fells Point. His English message does not say where he is opening other than Fells Point, but his Turkish message, when translated, states that the new location is “801 South Broadway…Jimmys Restaurant.”
“To all of our valued customers: in addition to our Columbia location, we finally received good news today that we have been approved for our new location in Fells Point, Baltimore,” Keskin wrote. “The new location is an active restaurant, but in a few months, we will add our famous Turkish cuisine as well. If you’re in Baltimore, please stop by in historic Fells Point to see our new location and enjoy our delicious cuisine.”
Jimmy’s Restaurant opened in 1946 and has been operated by the same family ever since. It opens early in the morning and serves plenty of comfort food, from eggs and bacon to meat loaf, with a generous side order of politics. Over the years, it has become a favorite of figures such as outgoing Sen. Barbara Mikulski and the late William Donald Schaefer, former mayor and governor.
“End of a political era,” commented Baltimore politics watcher David Troy on Facebook.
“I hope the new owners understand just how important Jimmy’s is to Baltimore,” said former mayor candidate Alan Walden, in a Facebook message.
“Sadly, soon there will be nothing left of Fell’s Point for the commoners,” lamented Joan Masopust, president of the Fells Point Community Organization.