Deep in the Heart of … Dundalk
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 19th January 2017
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September 16, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Texas Roadhouse coming to Merritt Park; “A major benefit to our community”

Source: Deep in the Heart of … Dundalk

It’s the kind of call that you’re really happy to get. Good news always seems to make the day go better.

John Ayers, former president of Norwood/Holabird Community Association (NHCA), recently received that type of phone call from Mr. Peter Grose, vice president at Regional Management. The topic of discussion was a major restaurant chain coming to Merritt Park Shopping Center.

And, unlike Vanguard’s claims, this one is really happening.

This story all started a few years ago, when Mr. Grose spoke at Mr. Ayers’ NHCA meeting about plans to give the old Merritt Park Shopping Center a face lift and attract an A-1 businesses.

Needless to say, Mr. Grose struck gold on this one, just like the old Texas panhandlers.

The news that the Texas Roadhouse steakhouse is setting up shop in the refurbished Merritt Park Shopping Center is a major coupe for Mr. Grose, especially after it now appears that the three supposedly trendy eateries—Chipotle, Panera, and Five Guys—apparently chose not to sit the table set by Mr. Weinberg.

The battle for an A-list business was not an easy one for Mr. Grose, who has spent the last couple of years giving Merritt a transplant, despite having a hard time finding a blood (business) donor to breathe life into the once thriving shopping center. However, along came something so tender and juicy that it will make the once almost vacant center feel full again, pardon the pun.

The timing couldn’t be more impeccable, as Merritt is engaged in a battle with the on again, off again plans for Merritt Pavilion, which has yet to snag a headliner like Texas Roadhouse. Did I mention they will build a brand spanking new shinny building. Let’s hope there will be some well paying jobs for our citizens of Dundalk who could surely use the work.

Come to think of it, what will happen if Merritt Pavilion doesn’t come up with a few tenants in the same vein as Texas Roadhouse?

The only one who knows the answer to that question is Mr. Weinberg, and we aren’t getting any information from him at the moment.

I remember one of Mr. Ayer’s NHCA meetings from long ago where I interviewed Mr. Grose, and I saw the plans for Merritt, which then seemed to be a tall order to fill. Now with the steakhouse in the saddle, it’s giddy up and “Hi Ho Silver,” or—in this case—gold for them there shopping center tycoons.

Sorry again for the puns. With news this good, it’s just so easy to be “funny.”

Here is a quote from the steakhouse’s website that seems to make it a perfect fit for Dundalk:

“It all began on February 17, 1993, when Kent Taylor opened the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana. Kent’s goal was to own not just a family restaurant and not just a steak restaurant, but a place where everyone, of all ages, could come and have a great meal and great fun for a great price.”

Now if that doesn’t say a mouthful for Dundalk, I don’t know what does.

Kudos to Mr. Grose’s commitment and persistence. This just might be the shot in the arm that Merritt Park needs to be alive again.

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