Rain poured from the sky like the amber liquid once poured from Charles Village Pub's taps.
Owner Rick Bielski didn't mind as he prepared to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Charles Village Pub on West Pennsylvania Avenue. The rebuilt bar will replace the former pub at the same Towson location, which was destroyed in a Jan. 29 fire.
"It could be good karma, having rain during the groundbreaking," Bielski mused.
He was joined by co-owners Melanie and Eric Wagner, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, other local dignitaries, fire crews and many of his loyal employees and customers from over the years.
"Like a college student the morning after a night at CVP," Kamenetz said, "the pub is rising from the ashes."
Kamenetz noted that CVP—long a destination for both the business meeting crowd and area college students—is rebuilding at the same time that, down the street, Urban Outfitters is moving in.
The pub owners are using the opportunity to upgrade, adding a new rooftop patio and revamped signage, among other things discussed at a design review hearing last month.
Towson resident Andrew Lang came to the event in the CVP uniform he wore for three years as an employee. The 30-year-old had frequented the pub since he was 17.
"I was heartbroken" after the fire, said Lang, who was not working the night of the blaze. "This was my favorite watering hole for years."
Now employed at Ryleigh's Oysters in Federal Hill, Lang hopes to return when the pub reopens, which could be by the end of the year.