It’s no secret that Towson is in the midst of a monumental revitalization, and city restaurants are taking note.
Within the past few months, a number of city spots—including Canton stalwart Nacho Mama’s and McHenry Row beer bar World of Beer—have orchestrated suburban spinoffs in the area, and now, The Point in Fells is following suit.
“That area is getting a nice little facelift,” says Erica Russo, owner of the 6-year-old Thames Street hangout. “When we came across the property, it just felt like that was the area we needed to be in.”
Russo, a Towson native herself, will open The Point in Towson in the former home of The Crease at 523 York Road this fall. After spending upwards of two years touring sites everywhere from Locust Point and Federal Hill to Hampden and Canton, Russo decided that the county was an ideal fit for her brand.
“We didn’t want to do something too close to Fells because we didn’t want to compete with ourselves,” she says. “If we opened something in Canton, we could possibly pull brunch business from our Fells Point location.”
Though The Point’s original concept—with its signature Skee-Ball, live music, and Jameson bottle club—will carry over into the new space, big changes are in the works for the interior. At 9,000-square feet, the new location boasts indoor seating for upwards of 325—a far leap from the Fells Point flagship which is half its size. Russo estimates that 50 percent of the former Crease building, which has sat vacant since 2011, needed to be renovated.
Upon opening in October, the remodel will yield a glass-enclosed sunroom, three different bar areas with rustic-industrial décor, and an exposed kitchen in the middle section of the restaurant.
“The kitchen is going to be something that’s a little bit different for Towson,” Russo says. “People can grab a cocktail and also get a free show while watching the executive chefs work their magic.”
Core menu items including crab cakes and fried-green tomatoes will remain staples, and the chef will introduce new seasonal dishes every four months. Russo says that the menu, sourced with local ingredients, will also offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
In addition to 27 local beers on tap, the beverage program will highlight margaritas, Crushes, and other fruity cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices and local herbs. Russo hopes that the bar’s late-night audience will come, not only from the Towson University crowd, but also from regulars who live in the county.
“A lot of customers say that they would come down more often if they lived closer, but Ubers are too expensive,” she says. “New businesses also tend to bring new faces and new residents. It’s going to be an exciting adventure to watch the area grow.”
On the heels of unveiling the multi-million dollar Towson Square project last year, downtown Towson is preparing to debut other in-the-works retail and housing developments such as Towson Row and the brand new Shops at Kenilworth.
Russo notes that the current revival in Towson mirrors the state of Fells Point when she purchased the first location there seven years ago.
“Within the last five years, Fells Point has accumulated a large number of amazing restaurants on top of all of the new condos and construction,” she says. “I see the same thing in Towson now that we saw out there then. The revitalization of the area is super exciting. It all brings us back to where we started.”