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January 27, 2009

The Vine to become Avery's Pearl

That's about all I know at this point -- that a place called Avery's Pearl will soon occupy the space where The Vine used to sit.

I've got a call out, and I'll update everybody when I know more.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:48 AM | | Comments (29)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


That's awesome, I work right next to that building and have been sadly looking at the empty place.

That's weird, I could have sworn I heard that they were building a multi-unit residential building there. And from the looks of it, it appears to be several garages on the ground level construction.

Is this the Bicycle's sister restaurant that is opening?

Avery's Pearl is the sister restaurant of Ryleigh's which is the step father of the new Turner's which should open soon as "?", heard, Billabong, but can't see how.

The Bicycle's sister restaurant is going to be called Ullswater which is going where the Sly Fox Pub used to be. The Sly Fox is where the Sky Box used to be.

Then there is the Rowhouse Grille on Light Street which is opening later this year.

is rowhouse grille going to be across from don't know, jason?

that project seems like it's been going nowhere & it's been an eyesore for years.

are you affiliated?

Lot of step fathers and sisters and brothers and cousins. Sounds too incestuous for me.

lowercase m,

The Rowhouse Grille is located two blocks away from Don't Know and I am not affiliated with it. It is located at the 1200 block of Light Street. The eyesore that you are talking about is owned by my landlord and they are still talking to banks, but as you know, with this economy, they can't get any money to rehab it. If they ever fix it up then I might be affiliated with it, only time will tell.

Any additional info yet Sam? Opening date, etc? Looks like it's coming along nicely.

Neighbor, I haven't heard anything back from Brian McComas yet. I just called him and left another message.

Heard this weekend from one of the folks at Ryleigh's that AP should open in about a month or so. That's all I got though...

Well, if McComas is anything like his partner Shane Mitchell, he'll never return my calls. Sigh.


Maybe brian isn't returning your calls because he's too busy in court.

After recently being sued and losing to his inlaws for squandering lots of their money away, Brian is now the proud recipient of multiple judgements.

Not to mention, that technically Brain doesn't own Rhyleighs, his wife does, being a convicted felon and all. For stealing millions from investors.

Not a guy anybody should be supporting.

You want an investigative piece? How about the counless felons that "own" bars here in Baltimore despite not being allowed to own bars due to their convictions.

OWK...Thanks for the post. I had heard the rumors about McComas, but have never seen anything concrete in writing. Any idea what the felony conviction entailed? I won't hold my breath waiting for the Sun to do an investigative piece.

Avery's Pearl is supposed to focus on charcuterie -- homemade sausages and cheese and stuff.

I heard from someone at Ryleigh's that it was due to open in February, but that was a couple months ago and they were behind schedule then.

Avery is apparently the name of McComas' daughter.

Here's the skinny....

* Turners to become an "Australian Dive Bar" - This looks the most promising in my opinion. It will be run by everybody's favorite Fedeal Hill Australian bartender.

* Juniors to become an upscale steak house.

* The Vine to become Avery's Pearl, an upscale steak house.

All owned and operated by McComas. I think Brian may be biting off a bit more than he can chew.

Oops, Juniors will be become an upscale Italian restaurant, not a steakhouse.

It seems counter-intuitive for all these restaurants/bars to be completely re-invented in this economy, especially as "upscale". I know it has to cost a ton of money to get these kinds of places up and running, and it doesn't seem like many of them stick around long enough to make back the capital investments.

I feel like Baltimore isn't really lacking upscale steak houses and Italian restaurants right now, what kind of market research are these guys doing?

Also, I'm with JD on the incest comment, haha. Didn't know restaurants could breed.

incestuous nepotism or vampiric liaisons?
anyone identified as the fanged ones?


Here's the skinny on Brian McComas... Brian is a convicted felon. He swindled millions from investors when he worked in the financial sector (myself included). Everything he owns was taken from him by the Feds.

He retained Rhyleighs because it was in his wife's name, not his. The only reason Brian took an interest in Rhyleighs was because he had no other job to attend to. That's when Rhyleigh's went through the renovation process a few years back. Once again, Brain cheated the city and didn't follow the terms of the permits he was issued, so, the city shut the renovations down and Rhyleighs just set there for quite a few months.

Rhyleighs finally opened, and its done pretty well. Thankfull for his newfound success and anxious to move forward with his plans to take over Federal Hill, Brian borrowed a large sum of money from relatives.

He planned to use the monies to to buy No Way Jose and Turners. He was going to move No Way Jose to Turners and knock the wall out between Rhyleighs and No Way Jose, making for a very large Rhyleighs.

The owner of No Way Jose understood that going into business with Brian McComas was probally not a good idea. Too bad his realatives didn't realize this. After the deal fell through, they wanted their money back and Brain refused.

Instead, he, once again, stole the money and is now using that money to purchase Turners, the Vine and Juniors.

What amazes me more is that there are people on this fourm who know this is the turth and won't comment. LiquorBoarding, Jason, Mark Twain, GDA, Rather, Tomato Head, PaulWRobinson, etc...

Brain is a bad guy. He's a small scale Madoff who has made a living scamming others.


Perhaps I should bring a huge roll of paper to the shindig so we can create a flow chart (or "bar tree") of who owns / owned / will be owning a FedHill establishment. I'm in need of a visual representation of jason's post.

Courtney, I'd say cool, do it, but I doubt anybody is going to be coherent enough to comprehend it.

Wow. Brian seems to be doing a lot in spite of th $700k judgement just entered against him.

Look it up. Public record.

Think of the exercise as a bit of comic relief. OK, maybe not. Nevermind!

Billabong is having a soft opening tonight. Jorbie, "by everybody's favorite Fedeal Hill Australian bartender." (Twain) will be running the show, should be a good time.

Didn't there used to be an Australian bar in Federal Hill about 6 or 7 years ago? Boomerangs or something?

Boomerang used to be where Mad River is now. I believe it was about 6 years ago.

Is Avery's still going to open since McComas declared bankruptcy to avoid paying some of those judgements? Taverna Corvina? Billabong? RYLEIGHS!!??

I agree not to patronize a crook, but it should be noted that Ryleighs did reset the bar for food in Federal far as I am concerned, it is head and shoulders above every other place.

Is Avery's still going to open since McComas declared bankruptcy to avoid paying some of those judgements? Taverna Corvina? Billabong? RYLEIGHS!!??

I agree not to patronize a crook, but it should be noted that Ryleighs did reset the "bar" for food in Federal far as I am concerned, it is head and shoulders above every other place.

Frankie, You are exactly right about Ryleigh's resetting the "bar" for food in Federal Hill. I don't know McComas' business however I do know good food when I eat it. Taverna Corvina has great food and Billabong has great atmosphere. I am looking forward to Avery's Pearl opening, the last I heard was mid to late summer, just a rumor. I am sure the food will be awesome.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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