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Oh, Brother!

Local restauranteurs keep it all in the family.

Jane Marion - April 2018

Oh, Brother!

Local restauranteurs keep it all in the family.

Jane Marion - April 2018


Joshua and Stephanie Hershkovitz. -Matt Roth

In honor of National Siblings Day, we rounded up Baltimore kin who own restaurants together. "It's comforting working with someone you trust," says Josh Sullivan, who co-owns Wet City with his older brother, PJ. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished together."

Joshua, 40, & Stephanie, 43 Hershkovitz, co-owners of Hersh’s Pizza

Early Years: “I was a terror,” says Josh. “I was a bully to her, a crazy little kid who took out the brunt of my emotions on her—I sprained her arm once, I jump-kicked her in the back. But when she went to college and I started high school, we became the best of friends.” Big Little Brother: “We definitely fought, but not in a mean way,” says Stephanie. “It’s just that Josh was a little maniac. Josh is much bigger than me—he came out of the womb the size I was at 3.” Food, Glorious Food: “We are doing this because we love food,” says Josh. “When we have time off, our families go out and eat together.” Air Time: “What makes it work is that we are good at clearing the air,” says Josh.  “A lot of siblings who work together have these big blow-ups. We have a lot of laughs—we keep it light.” Sleep On It: “When Josh got twin beds in his room when we were kids, I’d sleep in his room,” says Stephanie, “but I’d sleep walk and sleep talk and pull all the covers off of him. After that, my mom prevented me from sleeping in his room.” Cutting Corners: “The way that my mom tells the story is that you could put Stephanie in the corner with a book for two hours and, two hours later, she’d still be reading the book,” says Josh. “You’d take Josh and put him in the corner for two hours, and two hours later, the corner would be gone."


Lori Gjerde, 47, and Carrie Podles, 44, co-owners of Wicked Sisters and Huck’s American Craft

Sister Act: “I’m much more quick-tempered and outspoken than she is,” says Lori. “I’m also much more of an abstract thinker.” Selling Out: “My sister always likes to remind me of the time that I sold all of her clothes at a consignment shop when she left for college,” says Lori. “I remember selling things—I just don’t remember them being her things!” Working It Out: “My dad probably went into shock looking down and seeing us working together,” says Carrie. “It would have made him happy.”


PJ, 40, and Josh Sullivan, 35, co-owners of Wet City

United They Stand: “Even as children, we’ve always stuck together,” says PJ. “Occasionally, a neighborhood mother would say Josh was too young to tag along with my crew, so I’d have to say, ‘Either he comes, too, or neither of us go.’” Dirty Jobs: “PJ is very good at getting things done,” says Josh. “He’s good at building relationships and using his network. I prefer getting my hands dirty. In high school, while he was getting the neighborhood kids together for some adventure, I was maintaining my VW Bug or learning how to make grandma’s raviolis.” Living the Dream: “It’s been a dream of ours to open a bar/brew pub for ages,” says PJ. “It's finally all coming together!”


Alex, 33, and Eric Smith, 27, managing partners, The Atlas Restaurant Group  

For the Ages: “Eric and I always got along great because we were far apart in age,” says Alex. Personality Points: “I am very reserved and typically a quieter person,” says Eric. “Alex tends to be more outgoing, social, and more in the spotlight.” Brotherly Love: “It would be impossible to count how many things I have learned from Alex,” says Eric.  “He is the best mentor and business partner a younger brother could ask for.”





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