Mere days after the closing of Ridgely & Ferrens, a longtime staple of Towson's dining scene, a new restaurant is gearing up to open in its stead.
Big Sue's Kitchen, a casual eatery, is in the process of moving into the location at 11 Allegheny Avenue after five years in Dundalk.
"Our theme here is country kitchen," said Frederick Dixon, a 24-year Freeland resident who owns the business alongside his wife, the eponymous Sue Dixon. "When you come here, you'll smell the food, you'll see the food. It'll be all fresh."
Selections at Big Sue's will include fresh dough pizzas, subs, soft pretzels and breakfast choices. The restaurant is also expanding its menu to include Ridgely & Ferrens favorites such as pit beef and turkey.
"Most everything is homemade," said Dixon, who noted that most of the recipes used are from his wife, her mother and her grandmother.
Dixon joined the restaurant industry after 25 years as Baltimore City firefighter and time spent as a building contractor. He and his wife raised five children, who all attended Hereford High School.
The family decided to relocate the business from Dundalk following disputes with a property manager.
"We were very successful," he said. "We had customers coming in from Timonium, all over."
And the secret to a successful restaurant, Dixon said, is pretty straightforward, if not necessarily easy in execution.
"It boils down two things: good food and good customer service," he said. "And we've got both."
Big Sue's, which will offer wi-fi, is tentatively set to open in the first week of December, Dixon said. The hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Prices for menu items run from as little as $1 to $15.
Service options include dine-in, carry out and delivery.
The Dixons plan to host a grand opening celebration through the Towson Chamber of Commerce, and will offer a 10 percent off all menu items special that day.