baltimoresun.com

« R. Kelly to perform at 1st Mariner Arena | Main | Review: At Sweetlife Festival, echoes of the Strokes and Osama bin Laden »

April 29, 2011

No Way Jose Cafe calls for Ryleigh's Oyster boycott

A fan of No Way Jose Cafe has called on some 500 fans of the Federal Hill bar/restaurant to boycott neighboring Ryleigh's Oyster starting tonight.

In a Facebook event he created, Freddie Lang alleges Ryleigh's bought No Way Jose's building, blind-siding the Mexican restaurant' owners, who had been trying to buy the building for themselves. If Ryleigh's has purchased the building, Lang writes, it would push out No Way Jose Cafe.

The building at 38 E. Cross Street is owned by Killian's LLC, according to Maryland property records. Representatives for the company were not available for comment. Neither was management at Jose Cafe or at Ryleigh's, which is run by Brian McComas. 

One rationale for expanding Ryleigh's is to keep up with other bars in the neighborhood that have expanded in recent years, like Mother's, MaGerk's, and the Stalking Horse, which recently added a two-story addition called 30 East.

Curiously, the liquor license of Stalking Horse and Ryleigh's was protested by the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, but as Sam Sessa reported earlier this week, the petition against Ryleigh's was eventually dropped. On Thursday, Stalking Horse's license was renewed by the liquor board.

 Lang, who identifies himself as a close friend of Jose's owner, finishes his note - found here - by asking fans of Jose to boycott all of McComas' establishments, which used to include Billabong Bar, but are now down to Ryleigh's and Taverna Corvino.

There are 500 attending the boycott so far, and more than 3,000 awaiting reply. 

Monday Update: Facebook event taken down. 

Photo: Ryleigh's Oyster Facebook

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Erik Maza at 4:59 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

She's talked about buying the building for over 5 years, if it hasn't happened, it wasn't going to happen

Pretty sure both sides had an equal chance at buying, I don't think anyone was blindsided

actually taverna corvino was closed down almost 2 weeks ago.

@J, Jenn was out of town for family issues for the last month or so, McComas found some sucker to invest and bought the building while she was gone. He's a scumbag and everyone knows it.

Sounds like sour grapes. Funny thing is the building was listed for sale last Fall. Put up or shut up.

Sad, Ryleigh's used to be Sisson's, home of great beer, the first brewpub and the first homebrew club in the state of Maryland. Now they just need to expand to cater to the Federal Hill d-bag crowd. Pathetic.

I hope No Way Jose does close down. One of the worst bars in Federal Hill. It's small and the owners are too cheap to turn the AC on in the Summer which turns it into a suana. Can't believe the place has survived this long, especially considering the food is terrible.

Ryleigh's has great food and I look forward to the expansion.

Although I feel for Joses, if the building has been on the market for some time, its the fault of the owner, and that owners broker, for not getting a deal done.

The market is not put on hold because someone registers interest or because an interested party is out of town.

If there was true interest an offer should of been made or negotiations should have been on going.

I feel sorry for the residents and business owners in Federal Hill who do NOT own mega bars. Fells Point was dealing with this issue years ago. Residential neighborhoods are not the place for mega bars. They will destroy the character of the neighborhood, and make living and running any other business there hell. That is why Power Plant Live opened up- restrict huge bars to this area!

The problem with Ryleigh's buying the building is that now Jose's is on a month to month lease, basically making the business worthless. It would have been okay if somebody else would've bought the building but not your "friend" in the business community.

It's just bad business and pure greed. Jen is a great person and deserves better. I don't have any problems with Brian but this was a very bad business decision.

I can't believe that over 1000 people are boycotting Ryleigh's, that's crazy, and that will affect their business. Great news for Stalking Horse.

if anyone was in fed hill last night and saw the chaos that was happening on cross st. with fights and people being taken away in ambulances and in hand cuffs knows in reality these big monster bars have to stop. How about we just boycott ALL of Fed Hill??The neighborhood is turning into a joke of meatheads, I'm staying away for the rest of the summer.

Need more proof Canton is better? :)

Agreed Louie!

Shame about Jose's though. Especially since Ryleigh's is a big place to begin with.

As annoying as the mega bars are they do serve a purpose. Thats the scene most kids are after when they're 21. (or trying to increase your odds of taking one home) It's great having the majority as far removed as powerplant, but if another neighborhood has to host them, I'm glad it's not fells or canton (sorry if it sounds selfish!). Been that way for a while now and I'd have to imagine anyone who bought a house down there the last 10 years or so would know what to expect? Federal Hill is still a great place to go for daytime drinks & shopping-esp when the weather's nice!

@stacie - I'm not going to post it online for all the interwebs to see, but everyone knows the truth about the "family issues"

Did anyone really expect her to come back and continue to own a bar after these "family issues"?

I hope Joses continues to exist but all this is being overblown from one FB event and a very very small part of the story has been told

^ oops, I meant @LGood

The term mega bar is being used but reality is that there is 1 bar using 3 buildings or 3 using 3 buildings. I don't have an issue if someone wants to expand their business. Being involved with a Federal Hill Neighborhood Assoc. I know that the owners of MaGerks, Reighlys, Mothers, Ropewalk, ect. do a lot for the community. Donations, cleaning, security....they give anytime asked by us. Business is business, it is the bars and restaurants that have made us a place people want to live. This was "blue colar" South Baltimore 15 years ago and Federal Hill now. There are staudiums 2 blocks away that hold 80,000 people. If you don't want crowds move to the county.

Well I had to do a little digging as I am a local and to be honest I was disgusted with all of the mudlsinging. In my search I found the website www.BandCV.com. On it was No Way Jose listed as a past sale. So it wasnt a back door job. So the building was LISTED for sale?? How come nobody mentioned that? Newsflash...there is another Federal Hill bar listed for sale NOW. Gonna B@%! about that one when Rather or Macfual grab it?

Well I had to do a little digging as I am a local and to be honest I was disgusted with all of the mudlsinging. In my search I found the website www.BandCV.com. On it was No Way Jose listed as a past sale. So it wasnt a back door job. So the building was LISTED for sale?? How come nobody mentioned that? Newsflash...there is another Federal Hill bar listed for sale NOW. Gonna B@%! about that one when Rather or Macfual grab it?

Nobody is upset that Mr. McComas wants another business, people are upset that he is possibly going to take over another establishment, his neighbor, for an expansion. Mr. McComas could own all of Cross Street and nobody would be mad, it's just how this deal went down. There are other places for sale and other buildings that he could buy. Hopefully Jose's stays open and everybody is happy.

I really have no dog in this fight. If you twisted my arm, I'd say I've had a better time in Jose's than Ryleigh's, but the terrible reporting on this is almost as ridiculous as the wannabe protest/boycott.

McComas actually bought the bar months ago. Jenn was well aware of it. Anyone saying otherwise is plain wrong. The owner of the property wanted to sell to Jenn, but she hasn't been able to pull the finances together for quite some time.

As for the protest, boycott, etc., on Friday, the Happy Hour looked slower than normal, but by 11pm, the bar was busy again. Saturday, the place was packed. I guess it's difficult to protest while double-fisting Miller Lites.

Jenn's a great person, her staff is fun, and I've had a blast every time I've been in Jose's. It'lla shame if the bar closes for a Ryleigh's expansion.

Wow, there's a lot of people that don't know jacks$*& putting there mouth where it doesn't belong. Just as many people that think they know a lot that know very little. The information age also brings the misinformation age

Crap like this is why I got out of the scene, nothing but high school gossip, slander, mudslinging

Maza, why don't you do some actual reporting instead of adding to the BS. I know Freddie and he's a good guy, but he doesn't know 1/2 the story, he was just going off emotion. You need to do some research and not just link/re-interate the comments of a FB event

Just sounds like business to me.

Jeez, the small bar owner has no future in Baltimore anymore. Greed triumphs all. It's a shame - NWJ was a fun little local place, not a cookie-cutter mega bar.

Jeez, the small bar owner has no future in Baltimore anymore. Greed triumphs all. It's a shame - NWJ was a fun little local place, not a cookie-cutter mega bar.

I'm about done with Fed Hill. If 50% of your income is from Lite beer- I don't want to be at your bar.

Well, even many non Fed Hill craft beer bars derive a ton of income from the lite beers.

Metropolitan being an exception but in general, it is what it is. The folks at Max's aren't all that shy about admitting their big box beers help pay the bills for all the more pricey and rare stuff the beer geeks come in to enjoy.

That said, it does seem like saturation/overkill if Fed Hill adds another megabar. Hopefully going forward there will remain a future, a market for places that aren't just mega swill factories.

Tif,

DK makes a lot of money off of Lite, but still has 30 drafts for you. I will also have a Stol and OJ waiting for you the next time you stop by:)

Props though to Bruce at Metropolitan, he runs a great place.

Donkey Kong makes money off of Lite? Or is that Donna Karan? I have no idea...

"This was "blue colar" South Baltimore 15 years ago and Federal Hill now."

lol...current local revisionist history is unfriggin' believable.

"They (mega bars) will destroy the character of the neighborhood, and make living and running any other business there hell."

Bad news for home owners and small businesses...unless, that is, you are a functioning alcoholic renting in Federal Hill or weekend warrior from the burbs.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
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 erik.maza@baltsun.com. 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.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with baltimoresun.com's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected