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August 18, 2009

Jordan's Steakhouse closed



After reporting in Table Talk last week that Jordan Naftal of Jordan's Steakhouse in Ellicott City will be taking over the now-closed oZ. in Maple Lawn, I got some surprising news today from several sources.

Jordan's is closed, with a sign on the door saying the locks have been changed by the landlord. I've heard from a couple of sources that he's far behind in the rent and servers have not been paid.

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun photographer)


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:31 AM | | Comments (46)


Somebody "liberate" the caesar salad dressing QUICK!

Especially in these times, expanding a restuarant is not a very wise thing to do. He saw the prior place closed due to lack of business. What'd he think was going to happen? Did he think people would collectively say, "oh, my bad let's spend money we don't have for food we don't have to have now that your name is on the door"?
Better to let it die a silent death.

would it be possible that he's abandoning jordan's and re-starting at OZ. let that llc fail, and start off with a lot less debt.....

considering i had JUST bought a gift cert 3 weeks ago (thought i was going to use them last week, but my plans changed).... that sucks....

Wonder if any restaurants in the area will step up to accept unused gift certificates a la Don't know when Bicycle closed; if I ain't bein' too subtle..

I also bought a gift certificate recently so I am very disappointed by this sudden closing. I find it shocking that ONE week after the annoucement that Jordan has purchased a new location, his original location is CLOSED due to non-payment of rent!!

The Rumor Mill Restaurant will step up and honor all Jordan's Gift Certificates with a purchase of two times the face value of the Gift Certificate.

8069 Tiber Alley
Ellicott City

Offer subject to change.

I find it shocking that ONE week after the annoucement that Jordan has purchased a new location, his original location is CLOSED due to non-payment of rent!!

Unfortunately, as a property manager for commercial real estate, I can tell you that this happens a great deal more frequently than you think. The shelter provided by LLCs contributes to it, but it's not as easy to get away from as people sometimes think. It'll come back to bite him if that's truly what's going on. My favorite case of this was when a company was evicted from one of my buildings and then moved less than a mile away and changed the name of their company by one letter. "duh, they'll never figure this one out....", haha.

I appreciate the offer from The Rumor Mill, but my Jordan's gift card is for $100.
That amount would probably cover a dinner for two at Jordan's (without tip), but would require me to spend $200 on a dinner at The Rumor Mill.

My husband predicted this when Jordan Naftal announced he was taking over the oZ. location to expand Jordan's. We had planned to use our gift card for his birthday on Saturday. I hope that when he plans on opening his new steakhouse in November that all gift cards will be honored.

Oh, the Rumor Mill is a real restaurant.

I thought for sure that a was joke.

As to Jordan's, I ate there once. It was very good, but the prices were among the highest, if not the highest, I've seen in the Baltimore area. I know Howard County has considerable wealth, but I'm not sure if the county is that wealthy.

I wonder if oZ will offer the same fare at the same prices as Jordan's?

RoCK, I also thought the Rumor Mill was a joke at first, except that I recognized the address as an actual Ellicott City address and I didn't think a jokester would have gone to that much trouble.

Nonetheless, I checked the website to make sure. :-)

Robert oZ is closed now, as well. A shell of a restaurants as I saw it last week while sitting at the bar in Ranazul. Apparently Jordans is gonna open up shop there and make more affordable and small plate items. I know they had started the small plate theme at the bar at Jordans before it closed. For all we know he may give the new place a totally different name.

The bartender at Ranazul mentioned to be that the hopes the new Jordan's is not going to be exactly like them, They do the small plate thing too. Even with the small plate and drink prices at Ranazul you spend a lot. Maybe Jordans can compete by giving lower prices.

NO ONE HAS BEEN PAID ON JORDANS STAFF FOR MONTHS!!! He owes many employees back pay in the amounts of thousands. I'm happy to hear he has been shut down but sadden that many of friends will never see the back pay he owes them.

Jordans and Ranazul's owner, Carlos are parntnering - and the Rumour Mill will not cost $100 more than Jordan's - and employee's lost there jobs, but someone else lost there business - hello?

Leave it to Rumor Mill with their unfresh sushi and crappy service to offer to honor Jordan's gift certificates.

Well at least there is still good beer in Historic EC. Sunday Monday $1 beers at Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. $100 gift card = 100 beers. Hope something nice goes in there and I hope the employees get paid.

Used to always worry when I saw 2 customers and 14 employees there.

Well at least it didn't burn down this time.

I don't know the first thing about the Rumor Mill, but I'm appalled at all the hate they are getting for offering to accept gift certificates from another restaurant. That is a classy thing to do.

I agree with Lissa-

I think it's great that The Rumor Mill is accepting Giftcards from Jordan's. Wish I had one to use, that place is the best-kept secret in Ellicott City.

The don't have sushi on the menu anymore, nor do they have the "crappy service" as descibed above. I've been eating there since they it!

Bob Pyle wins.

It's disappointing to me that people are taking pleasure that a business has closed. Regardless of what you think about Jordan's, people have put their heart and soul into a business and for whatever reason it didn't work out at this location. People no longer have jobs and the local economy as a whole is impacted; this is never a good thing. As part owner of a neighboring business, I hate to see something like this happen.

We will happily find shifts for anybody that worked at Jordan's and suddenly needs money in their pocket for the next couple weeks. Call 410.313.8530 and ask for Lee or Alan.

Our sympathy and best wishes go out to everybody in the Jordan's Steakhouse family.

Lee Biars
Managing Partner
The Diamondback Tavern

Mr. Biars, I don't think people are taking pleasure in the closing of Jordan's -- certainly not those who are now holding possibly worthless gift cards or unpaid wage claims.

Meanwhile, since you are a partner in the Diamondback Tavern, you may be interested in learning that this blog hosted a spirited discussion last week about a patron who may have had a problem with the cranberry sauce on one of your Thanksgiving Between the Bread sandwiches. You could offer some valuable insight to the readers of this blog. Would you care to comment on that problem?

Jordan's in Ellicott City was a uniquely special restaurant and we have many great memories there. The financial system's collapse and the inability of small business to get access to working capital to help see them through this economy is the real culprit here. Wishing much success to Jordan in the next venture. He should remember that 95% of the people he serves are happy with his service, food, and unique atmosphere. You can't please everyone all the time.

Perhaps I was being a tad oversensitive or reading too much into some remarks, but it seemed to me that at least a couple people were a somewhat happy that Jordan's closed. If that is not the case then I apologize for my overreaction.

As for Jordan's gift certificates, we (owners of The Diamondback Tavern) are currently discussing how we would like to handle this situation. We would like to do something, but we want to see how the next week or so shakes out in terms of whether Jordan's will reopen in Ellicott City, in a new location, or not at all. We don't want to step on any toes, but we will certainly be willing to help people out if the gift certificates truly are worthless.

Also hmpstd, thanks for bringing the other discussion to my attention. I have responded in the appropriate forum and would have done so sooner had I been made aware of it.

Lee Biars
Managing Partner
The Diamondback Tavern

"The financial system's collapse and the inability of small business to get access to working capital to help see them through this economy is the real culprit here. Wishing much success to Jordan in the next venture." -Howardcounty100. +1...Capital is a small business's backbone. I can't speak for Jordan, but I am sure he will do everything in his power to makes things right. I have had the pleasure of working for Jordan and would consider doing it again. Give the man time to get back on his feet and dust himself off. RC

I understand that there is often justifiable anger at restaurants that close with outstanding obligations in the form of unused gift certificates and/or unpaid wages; however, sometimes there is a little too much schadenfreude exhibited.

now unemployeed

and broke (have not been paid in weeks)

i will put all of working there behind me.

Lee thank you for the offer.

its weird going to work and the doors are locked. i think i would have liked being fired instead. then i would know it was my fault.

good luck to all the employees who worked there.
i wish you the best!

and to jordan

where the hell is my money?

That Bob Pyle curse must have worked!

Lee Bairs- Thank you for your comments.

I have worked with Jordon as a previous member of the Restaurant Associations Board of Directors. Jordon spent many personal hours dedicated to the success of the restaurant industry. His time spent on the Board of the MHEF (Maryland Hospitality Education Fund) was only one of many commitments to the Industry. Jordon was responsible for many scholarships and helping aspiring chefs achieve their goals .

I hope Jordon continues in the industry that he has dedicated so much time improving. Ellicott City and the industry as a whole is a better place because of Jordon's involvement. I wish him all the success in the future!

Mike Davis

Its never a good thing for Ellicott City to loose a big business like that, the town needs to be thriving and it isn't. Customers are drying up quickly and business owners can only withstand this recession for so long. I don't think Jordan's planed on this and i feel bad for them and their staff but unless people start supporting their local small business's in E.C. there will be none left to go to.I hope people don't relish in other peoples misery it could happen to anyone (Annabells, Tiber River Tavern ) to name a few .

I am really bothered by the claims that employees have not been paid. That's enough to keep me away from any Jordan enterprise in the future.

If Jordan is as good of a person as others here have claimed, he will make sure his former employees are paid.

If the allegations are true, I'm pretty sure it's a violation of wage laws not to pay employees for working, but it also speaks to his character to not pay and to not warn of dire financial circumstances and give employees a choice to work for free or find a job that will actually pay (esp given the hard times many people are in right now).

My thoughts exactly, BG.

The idea that an employer knows he can't make his payroll yet requires his employees to report each day to work (thinking they will be paid for their work) is just not right. It's the same as stealing.

why hasn't any one of his former employees tracked him down and demand answers from them? I agree with the last 2 comments but he lives nearby and someone knows where he lives. He and his wife had to see this coming for months. They could have told their staff unless they knew and were trying not to have all there workers walk out on them which is what I think they did.They must be in so much trouble that they are avoiding E.C. all together,but you can't hide forever.

The Ceasar Dressing Recipe is for sale!!! With the recession going on, I don't think making money out of this is bad idea. Let me know.


Jordon's may have sponsored new chefs in the area, but for the past several months he has not been paying them. After leading them on for most of the summer, he allows them to go back to school without money for tuition, books, and expenses. Now he "finds" the funds to open a NEW restaurant. We, the public, are expected to flock to this new place! Oh no. I suggest that we either boycott the new place or have the unpaid staff from Jordon's stand out in the parking lot on opening night to demand their back wages.

Yes, this is a horrible situation for everyone involved, and yes, maybe the Naftal's could have done a few things differently over the course of the last year or so. And, as a former employee who experienced the beginnings of this recession and it's effects on Jordan's Steakhouse by also not getting paid, I can certainly empathize with everyone's frustration. But, this talk of "finding" where Jordan lives is barbaric- get a hold of yourselves! Jordan is a decent individual with a great family who are now struggling to get by, just like everyone else.

Also, a few pieces of info regarding his new restaurant- Jordan is not the sole owner of the new venture- it is a partnership with Carlos of Ranazul. He was to manage the establishment, and not own it. This deal had already been inked before the rent dispute was made public. Jordan, for all intents and purposes, was not putting up his own money to open the new place- Carlos was. If you think Jordan was pouring his own money into a new restaurant while the employee's at his current restaurant worked without checks- that he would do something like that- then you are just dead wrong. As I said before- despite this recent situation, Jordan is a decent individual and an honest businessperson. His employee's will receive their money, one way or the other, and no amount of bitching,complaining, threatening, or badmouthing of Jordan and his family on blogs or in person will make it come any faster.

Lay off and let him pick up the pieces of his life and business.

Sorry, double post...

The 2:10 comment is a repeat of the 1:46 comment on the other open Jordan's Steakhouse thread.

So, not only is this person forwarding an e-mail without the permission of the author, they are spamming.

Hey, caesarmaster:

Maybe you should share it with all here. I personally think it's the best I've had in my travels around the country.

Do I smell a new column, EL? Top 10 Caesar salads?


Hummm... Who's Lissa? They have a few posts here and on the other thread... A tangled web- isn't it!

Hummm... Who's Lissa?

"forsure" for sure hasn't been hanging around here for very long.

"forsure" seems to think Lissa is plural. Naw, it only seems that way sometimes.

I am sorry to hear Jordan's closed - that place was pricy, but I had a very wonderful meal there a couple of years ago, and I liked the rich, dark look of the place, too. I'm a former Ellicott City resident, and I'm always sad when a business in the historic section closes, even if in this case it turns out that Jordan's is merely moving.

I have to give the Rumor Mill and Diamondback Tavern credit for being good neighbors and concerned business owners. Good luck to the employees getting their money...sheesh. Tough situation.

Jordan is not a nice person.He makes his living from the blood and misery of dead animals. He was truly a "merchant of death". Bon voyage, good riddance!
Bob Pyle

Enough already. EL

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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