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One of our very fine sponsors DellaRoseâ€™s Avenue Tavern in White Marsh has decided to spread their wings in a big way. No not just the wide variety of Buffalo Wings that they feature â€“ theyâ€™ve expanded into Canton in the beautiful First Mariner Bank Tower near the corner of Boston and Clinton Streets.
I can tell you that words or pictures donâ€™t do the place justice â€“ seeing in person is believing! And some of these seats are so great for viewing all the action on a plethora of flat screens that Iâ€™ve suggested they entertain the idea of permanent seat licenses. Of course being the customer-centric business that they are, Tony & Joe DellaRose snickered at the idea.
Recently I sat down with the two proud owners and diehard Ravensâ€™ fans to get their take on the new tavern, why they expanded, what they are doing differently in Canton and of course how they think the Ravens will do in â€™07.
Tony Lombardi: DellaRoseâ€™s Avenue Tavern in White Marsh has been a very successful venture for your family. The tavernâ€™s lineage begins in East Baltimore, migrated to BelAir Road, then White Marsh and now here in Canton. Letâ€™s be clear, this is not a replacement for White Marsh â€“ this represents an expansion. Why are you expanding, why Canton, what differences will your regulars notice when comparing the two and what is the official name of the new place?
Joe DellaRose: We have been at the Avenue for going on 9 years and thought it was the right time for our business to expand. We picked the Canton Tower because of the growth that is coming to that area. The interesting thing is this location is only 2 miles from our familiyâ€™s original spot at Ashland and Glover. The official name of the place is DellaRose’s @ Canton Crossing. This place has the same feel as the White Marsh location, but with a few new twists.
TL: A few of the things that I noticed upon my first visit: 1) The Mack-Daddy shuffle board table; 2) The lounge and fireplace area; 3) Its rich look; and 4) The patio which will offer some unique possibilities and ambience. Talk about those things and other things that you have planned in Canton.
Tony DellaRose: My Dad and uncle had a shuffle board table at the bar on Ashland and Glover. Joe and I always said our next bar would have one, so this whole place was designed around the table. As for the rich look, my wife was the designer, has expensive taste and damn near took us broke. On the patio we envision Ravens Pep Rallys, radio talk shows, outdoor happy hours, a spot for private parties, and a whole lot of other good things to come.
TL: Radio talk show, eh? Hmmm, Iâ€™ll get back to you on that one. Will White Marsh customers see similarities in the menu items and will there be any items unique to Canton?
TD: The goal is to have the same menu at both places. Right now we left off some items. Just until our kitchen gets used to the volume of food we will be serving. The difference in Canton will come in the nightly specials, including a pasta bar station for pasta night on Thursday’s where guest can build there own pasta dish and watch it being cooked in front of them. Also, steak night on Saturday’s, where our chef Brandon will choose the cut of steak and seasonings and marinades on a weekly rotating basis.
TL: Some great ideas there guys! White Marsh has become arguably the best Ravens bar on the planet. What do you have in store for your Canton patrons who bleed purple come football season?
JD: The Canton patrons will be subjected to the same antics our White Marsh patrons have come to love and clamor for. We are trying to figure out how we can put Tony in 2 places at one time.
TD: AND Make No Mistake â€“ this rule is universal: If you come to DellaRose’s on Sunday no matter where it is you better be wearing PURPLE!
TL: Anything else about the new digs that our site visitors should know?
JD: Our customers should feel right at home and we want them to have a good time like they do at White Marsh.
TD: We just want to do the same things we have always done and be exactly who we are. We just want to open our selves up to a new audience.
TL: Last season was a very good one that ended very abruptly and disappointingly for the Ravens. A 13-3 season is a very good one for a Ravens bar. What are you expecting from the 2007 Ravens this season and would you care to make any predictions? Might there be a February road trip to Arizona in our future?
JD: You can’t predict the future, but we already put our money down in Vegas.
There you have it folks. If you are looking for the energy of a well established Pro Bowl-like performer, the excitement of Canton and waterfront ambience, then start your next night on the town at DellaRoseâ€™s @ Canton Crossing located near the corner of Boston and Clinton Streets in the First Mariner Tower just a Steve McNair pass away from Merritt Athletic Club.