In 1768, it was the age-old mantra that led Ezekiel Towson to build his tavern at York and Joppa roads: Location, location, location.
And now, 243 years later, the bar—one of Towson's first establishments and once the area's prime watering hole for weary travelers—is making a comeback thanks to the owners of the Rec Room and Recher Theatre.
The new tavern, located in what was once the Rec Room's billiards hall on the corner of York Road and Shealy Avenue, will open in late September or early October, owner Brian Recher said.
Recher, 51, has unique ties to Towson. His family bought the Towson Theatre in 1959 and ran it until it closed in 1992. He and his brothers, Steve and Scott, reopened it as the Recher Theatre in 1996. He said it was his own history with the area that led him to the centuries-old name.
The Towson Tavern, according to Maryland Historical Trust documents, "may have been the business which began the long history of Towson as a commercial center." The Towson family sold the property in 1802 and, at some point, it became a hotel. The original building was demolished in 1929.
Now Recher wants to make the revived Towson Tavern a mix of the old and new.
"What we're going for is a traditional look, something like a Ruth's Chris or a Capital Grille," he said. "It'll be a real fit for Towson."
Recher said he's aiming for the business lunch crowd. He will offer some lunch and dinner selections, with the menu set to grow as Recher renovates the Rec Room's kitchen.
"If you keep it simple and just make people happy, things will be fine," he said.
The new bar will be accessible through the Rec Room, but like The Crease, the other York Road bar where Brian Recher once worked, it will have a slight dress code (collared shirts for gentlemen). He said he's shooting for a different atmosphere from the Rec Room.
"It's not for the kids," he said.