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Mt. Washington Tavern Owner Vows to Rebuild

A two-alarm blaze destroyed the popular Mt. Washington Tavern before dawn Monday.

Rob Frisch stood with his employees and neighbors on Monday morning, head craned back with a look of disbelief on his face as he stared at the smoldering remains of the

Before dawn, he received a call that the tavern he owns was on fire. He jumped in his car and raced to the scene to find eight fire trucks battling. By late Monday morning, as Baltimore City firefighters still fought to put out hot spots, Frisch’s thoughts turned to his employees.

“We’ve got 70 employees and I’m very concerned about them because they’re dear friends,” Frisch said.

Frisch vowed the blaze would not be the end of the Mt. Washington Tavern.

“We’re absolutely going to rebuild and we’re absolutely going to be better than ever,” Frisch said.

Frisch, who worked at the restaurant for more than 20 years before buying it, said other merchants in the area have offered space so the restaurant can establish a temporary office and get ready for business again.

“The outpouring has been terrific,” Frisch said.

Ed Bloom, chef and owner of , stood on Newbury Street across from the tavern and observed the damage.

“It looks small. It looks so small,” Bloom said.

Andy Gorelick, 54, works in the insurance industry and was on the scene for business, but it was also personal for him. He remembered hanging out at the tavern on Thursday nights when he was younger.

“It was the total meeting place for anyone in town,” Gorelick said.

Evan Keyser, 27, is a big fan of the tavern’s hamburger. He said that the  year before he may have eaten there every Monday because of the restaurant's “hamburger night.”

“This place has a hamburger to die for,” Keyser said.

Keyser, who now lives in Cross Keys but grew up in Pikesville, said the loss of the tavern would be felt especially around Thanksgiving because it’s a favorite gathering spot for the people where he grew up.

“Everybody from Pikesville comes here,” he said.

Nick Dorsey October 31, 2011 at 05:41 PM
The Tavern was the "hang out" spot Thursday's for the local media after the news casts. We would receive a fax from Charley telling us what the specials were going to be, and after the 10 or 11 o'clock news (depending on the station) we would "hit the Tavern". It was a time to unwind, and socialize with your co-workers, and, collegues from across the dial. Great Memories!!! Nicholas Dorsey
Leslie F. Miller October 31, 2011 at 06:41 PM
I was a freelancer for 15 years when I'd gotten a contract job, and I was invited to my first-ever Christmas party. It was at the Tavern, where the food was great, and the drinks were plentiful. A drunk coworker hit on me. I felt like a normal person! But I'd been going to the Tav regularly. My last real job, in 1994, was at a design firm behind Ethyl and Ramone's. The salad was killer. This is sad. Good luck to all of you.
ralahinn1 November 01, 2011 at 06:58 AM
I wish them much luck re- building. I don't go there a lot,but it was a good place to take my daughter when we were in the area( we are both adults,lol)
Susan Linthicum November 01, 2011 at 04:17 PM
I worked at The Tavern in 1980 and have many fond memories. I had my first date with my current husband the night before Thanksgiving in 1995 at The Tavern. We were saddened by the news, but have every faith in Robbie and his wife, Holly. It WILL be better than ever. Susan Linthicum (Sparky)

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