After years of rumors -- "Yes, it's always for sale for the right price; no, I'm not selling," Bill Oliver always said -- The Wharf Rat finally has been sold, as reported in Rob Kasper's Baltimore Sun blog. Here's the guts of it:
The Wharf Rat, the restaurant and brewery at 206 W. Pratt St. that has served as a fountainhead of English ales in Baltimore, has new owners. Donald Kelly, who has operated bars in Connecticut and Justin Dvorkin, a brewer at Fordham Brewing, bought the business from Bill Oliver on Tuesday. The price was not disclosed.
In a brief telephone interview Wednesday, Kelly said he and his partner do not anticipate making substantial changes to the restaurant and brewing operation. "We like the concept; we bought it for the brewery," said Kelly.
Steve Jones, the current Wharf Rat brewer, will continue making the establishment's beers, called Oliver Ales, Kelly said. (Whew!)
Oliver will retain ownership of the Fells Point pub also named the Wharf Rat.
Cool. Dodged that bullet. Bill Oliver gets his money out -- I'm sure, the place does well -- and we get to keep drinking Steve Jones's great beers. No problems here, keep drinking.
(Just a note, folks: Rob Kasper does a hell of a job in Charm City. Oughta read that blog.)
Hey, dude, it's Kasper, not Kaspar. And good on you for having enough computer time to get the scoop on me--I knew well over a week ago, but Bill Oliver was pleading the Fifth lest he jinx the deal before the closing. I'll update on my blog as soon as the promised interview transpires!
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