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October 14, 2010

Flay possible for Maryland Live!

flayThe Cordish Company just announced that Maryland Live, its Arundel Mills "gaming and entertainment facility," will include a Bobby Flay restaurant, if the plan is approved by voters. Flay is shown here at Bobby Flay Steak, his first steakhouse, which opened in 2006 at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Anyone been?

Also announced for Maryland Live! - Obrycki's Crab House and Seafood Restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steak House, the Cheesecake Factory, and a new live music venue to be operated by Rams Head.

Anne Arundel County voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether to allow Cordish Cos. to construct a 4,750-slot casino on a parking lot at the mall. Proponents of the casino, lead by a group called "No Slots at the Mall," are leading an effort to vote down the ballot referendum and prevent the casino from being built.

Photo courtesy Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa


Posted by Richard Gorelick at 12:07 PM | | Comments (32)


The project could be nixed by Anne Arundel voters next month, so don't start making those dinner reservations just yet...

Shouldn't it be "opponents"?

That said, I love to gamble so bring the slots on!

Guess I should have read the whole item before posting!

I haven't been to Bobby Flay Steak, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mesa Grill when I was in Manhattan a few years back. I had a duck dish that was amazing.

They should really include this information in the Pro-Question A ads. I think that could change a few minds

I have been to Bobby Flay's steaks at the Borgata, and although I did not want to-I really enjoyed the entire experience, from the Kobe strip to his homemade steak sauce...

Anyone who votes against this project is just selfish. Many jobs to build it and many jobs to run it. Please wake up.

Golly, I wonder if the timing of that announcement has anything to do with the election. No, surely not--Mr. Cordish would never present pie-in-the-sky as an inducement to vote in favor of his project.

I will vote AGAINST it and I am not being selfish. They need to put it at a different location. If you lived in that area and KNEW the traffic problems you would say the same thing. It looks like people are for it as long as they don't have it in their own back yard. IT could be good for Md, but the location is wrong! I'd love to see the entire idea with the new announced entertainment placed in a more remote area and away from the mall with highways built to go to it. It does not need to be in a mall parking lot and will force many people who are barely hanging onto their homes to be forced to sell them.

The idea that a developer strives to make his development "something that people will want to visit" is encouraging but completely irrelevant to the issue that voters face on November 2nd.

The issue that will will be voting on is whether zoning bill 82-09 should go forward. As currently written, this zoning provides absolutely no protections for residences, schools or places of worship. The Maryland State Constitution provides for the city of Baltimore a 1/4 mile buffer around any existing residence, school or place of worship. As a resident and voter in Anne Arundel County, I want the same level of protection.

Diana - quit cutting and pasting all over the paper, please.

Cookie Berger-
Same thing

Same thing.

Wait, you three aren't made up names from one person?

Call up Sherlock Holmes, I'm suspicious.

Oh, good grief. *If* the slots are voted in THEN there will be a RamsHead venue, and a Bobby Flay restaurant.
The RamsHead venue will not help booking at the RamsHead Live ( Baltimore location) What national act wants to play a mall? Either the Baltimore venue suffers due to a push to fill the new venue, or national acts skip the area entirely.
Bobby Flay... I'm just rolling my eyes. Everything he does is a slight rework of a basic recipe, usually for the worse. I'm so far from caring if he has yet another link in his chain restaurant "empire", but alas, mall+casino= PLEASE we need a chain!
I'm most annoyed that this press release is obvious pre election propaganda.

I would welcome this project. That way I can stay out of Baltimore City and Annapolis for first class dining and entertainment.

No restaurants, however popular, can solve the basic dillema. When slots were approved, a hefty percentage of voters undoubtedly assumed that the Anne Arundel site would be Laurel Park. Then the track's owners balked at paying a hefty fee, citing uncertainty over whether or not it was refundable -- and Cordish's bid won by default. In terms of size, facility, atmosphere and a dozen other factors, Laurel Park is still the logical place to put a casino. And Bobby Flay's T-bones notwithstanding, I'll give two to one that the voters bet against slots at the mall and the race track gets another shot.

I recently moved to Anne Arundel and totally ignorant about this Slots at Mall idea. Konwing this while moving , I would have never ..... Guys understand, Casino, Gambling .... all this do not have place a family oriented neighborhood. Please stop it and stop this Rich Developers from screwing us just for Money.

These places are such an asset to the area. We are always looking for something new to do, a nice place to go out, and this place will provide just that. Who cares about slots? I'm in it for Ruth Chris, Rams Head, etc. By the way, I live near the mall too. If I was worried about traffic, crime, etc - I would have gone out to the sticks! I don't understand ppl who have made a conscious choice to live near a huge mall spewing such complaints?

They're getting desperate - playing on voter emotions. Despite the dining enticements, it still makes no sense to install a gambling casino on mall property within a residential area when most voters expected the slots to go to Laurel Race Course. And we know now that Cordish used the County Council to help change the location all in the name of greed. There can still be all of this, but put it where it makes the least impacts to the community. Laurel already accepts gambling - it has been there for decades.

I'd rather have Colonel Sanders at Laurel Park than Bobby Flay at the Mall.

Vote No on Question Flay!

Doany of you realize that if slots are voted down it will be YEARS before slots could be awarded to Laurel Park or anywhere else in AA County, costing the state and county and schools and public service providers tons of money.POint One: Penn NationalGaming, part owner of Laurel, already operates the slots in Cecil County and BY LAW, they can't be awarded another license...this would have to be changed in the legislature and onther wholenew law written and new bidstaken,and new places zoned...are we talking years even without the lawsuits?
Anyone who votes against this proposal,knowing the delay it will cost Maryland in getting millions of dollars in much needed revenue,is just incredibly selfish and willing to take much needed money from schoolchildren by causing a
delay in improvements in their education...years they will never get back. How can you defend such selfishness ...just because you are being NIMBYs.

Won't somebody please think of the children!

Now, where are my talking points?

Bobby Flays Steak House is my favorite reason to go to the Borgata in AC. I try and eat something there every trip and am amazed at the flavors - everything I've had has been fantastic. We sit at the bar and order a meal without an entree usually, to cut costs and never miss the steak. The soups are consistently full of flavors, complex yet simply presented.

I was for the casino at AA Mills before this announcement. Now, I hope all the NIMBYs fail at their attempts to delay this casino. As far as Laurel Park goes, I can't see myself ever going there and the thoughts of a payoff for the DeFrancis family (and they will somehow get one) turns my stomach. Magna is a terrible firm that has bankrupted many while Strobrach (sp.) just gets richer.

Anne Arundel County had slots years ago, until the "good people" voted them out. Slots were widely available throughout the county. The Ritchie Highway Farmers Market had them, I used to play there on occasion. The children, churches, and housing developments survived just fine.

I just love it when the "good people" are against something, the first thing they bring up is "the children". Get over it, bring on the slots.

I'm with Meekrat on this one.

When casino gambling came to Detroit, it was supposed to provide money for all those things we couldn't afford, like police, fire, fixing the roads and schools. Detroit was going to have tax base again, and the new golden age could start. And the buffets were going to knock your socks off.

While the buffets were good for a year or two (they suck now), Detroit hasn't seen that money. We have a higher class of criminal near the casinos, but if your money is being stolen, does it really matter how?

I don't care if people gamble. To try to sell slots as a financial windfall for the state is simply a lie, however.

I have been to Bobby Flay restaurants in Las Vegas and in New York. Both were surprisingly memorable experiences, and I would welcome one to the area. Arundel Mills needs something to make the area appealing. In recent years the general clientele of the mall have become ignorant, impolite and thuggish. I wouldn't call it a family environment now, and certainly question the parenting skills of anyone who does.

Gambling is a terrific form of social entertainment; however, a slot machines only facility is just depressing. Slots are the antithesis of social and require approximately as much gaming skill as buying a lotto ticket. If there were table games I would be behind this project 100%. At least if you lose $100 playing Spanish 21 for 3 hours, you had 3 hours of entertainment, socializing and drinks for $100 – about the same cost of going to a nice dinner, and a great deal more mentally stimulating than a visit to Dave and Busters.

I also highly approve of a dress code on the casino floor, like you find in the upscale hotels in Puerto Rico. If only more of the restaurants in Baltimore would follow similar policies. Maybe we should do a list of Baltimore favorites that still require people to dress appropriately for dinner…?

I went to Bobby Flay's in Atlantic city and had a thoroughly forgettable meal. Average steak, average service, and WAYY above average prices. A total rip-off as far as I'm concerned. I'd never go back.

Oh yeah...and to top it off, someone on the staff stole my debit card number and used it to order thousands of dollars worth of cosmetics from some Staten Island company. I got the money back without a hassle (thanks, BOA!), but it was just the icing on the proverbial RipOffe Torte that was Bobby Flay's.

Destiny's Child (think Beyonce before she went solo) was a national act and I think they only performed at malls. Then there is the original "Mall Diva" Tiffany who was also a national act, though very breifly.

Cynthia et al,
If this is voted down, slots will NEVER (emphasis added) be in AA County. The residents of the Russett community near Laurel Park were staunch opponents when then Gov. Erlich tried to get slots there. I have a colleague who lives in the community and she informed that the residents are already organizing and will try to get a referendum on the 2012 ballot to stop slots at the track.

I haved lived in AA County all my life and thought the site would be a perfect alternate site if slots were ever approved (think Glending/Sauerbrey) when the Arundel Mill project was proposed years ago. BTW, does anyone out there know what happened to the golf course that was included in the original project that was proposed to the county?

Chris, you are correct; however I don't think those sorts of acts would go with the faux elegance that the idea is trying to portray. Certainly not a crowd that would end up at Flay's or be even legal to get within 20 feet of the slots parlor. From a marketing perspective, the ideal national act would inspire people that want to spend 300 a head before even walking through the door to the slots, and yet to set foot in the mall proper.

Unlike the high rollers at the Vegas and Atlantic City hostelries, slots players are not big spenders. Luring them to part with their dinero has meant offering attractive meal deals and sumptuous buffets -- like the awesome glut that Charles Town puts out every Sunday. Dropping some well-known restaurant names was shrewd marketing by Cordish and company with November looming. But if the voters fall for the ploy, why do I think that the negotiations with the well-known eateries will come up short, rapidly replaced by "all you can eat."

You can't move next to a mall and then complain about commercial development. Arundel Mills was designed to be an entertainment area- and having new restaurants and music venues are a perfect addition. I know a few people who could use the jobs too.

I have head numerous people state that people who live around Arundel Mills Mall shouldn't do so because it is an entertainment area. In that case, one can say that about ALL Malls, shopping centers, etc. Also, most new development consist of zoning which includes houses, shopping, schools, businesses, etc. However, most people do not want a slots parlor in their neighborhoods!! Cordish knows this and that's why he kept quiet until after the November 2008 election. Now he is using tricks like this ad to persuade voters from the real issue and that is should slots be at Arundel Mills Mall right next to the Food Court and Children Palace. I bet you money that Cordish wouldn't want his own slots parlor near his house. What makes everyone think people around the mall want it near them. Finally, numerous people who live near the mall aren't being selfish. They are voicing what most voters think and that is the best place to put them is at Laurel Racetrack.

@Frank: You are so right. It is the people who don't live in the area that are being selfish. Those that are voting yes, are doing so under the presumption (and empty promises) of big revenues for schools and public services. What a bunch of bunk. Lottery revenue goes to the Stadium Authority and not to education as was promised. The only one who will profit will be Cordish and it will be at the area residents' expense. We've been had and are being had again.

I hope they can come up with more interesting food choices! I already have a favorite Ruth's Chris with our favorite waiter, and there is a cheesecake factory less than a mile from my house. When I go to a casino I want something different!

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner 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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