Tribune Print Share Text

Terrace Cafe now open

Innovative restaurant design offers fresh take on casual dining

Created date

November 26th, 2013
Terrace Cafe photo

The last, but certainly not the least, project of Charlestown s multimillion-dollar modernization renovation is now open for business. Last month, the Terrace Caf , one of six restaurants at the Catonsville, Md., Erickson Living community, completed a $2.3 million renovation that includes a brick hearth oven, teppanyaki grill, rotisserie, yogurt/salad bar, full cocktail bar, as well as an alfresco dining area equipped with a sound system for outdoor concerts.

Collective vision

The project was a collaboration betweenCharlestowndining services, Erickson Living, and RLPS, an architecture, planning, and interior design firm in Lancaster, Pa., that specializes in 65-plus living communities. Input from Charlestown residents was also incorporated into the overall design plan. Everyone had a chance to give their input, which is pretty dynamite for a corporation of our size, says Larry Snowberger, director of dining services at Charlestown. The first thing you notice when you walk into the restaurant is the large A-frame roof with 17-foot ceilings. Exposed red brick walls with high window sills give the new 4,100-square-foot caf a feel familiar to that of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It s a whole new look designed to capture the spirit of a downtown marketplace, says Snowberger. We doubled our seating capacity to now hold 96 people with a variety of seating options, including booth and banquet-style seating, tables and chairs, bar stools, and soft seating with sofas and upholstered chairs.

Interactive experience

Unlike the former cafeteria-style cafe where diners selected items from one line and then paid at the end of the line, the food service area in the new Terrace Caf is designed in an innovative triangular shape to keep things moving and encourage interaction between the customer and the chef. Now you go directly to the brick oven station and order a pizza or enjoy a made-to-order stir-fry at the saut station. Everything is prepared to order right in front of you while you wait, says Snowberger. There is also a fresh salad bar which doubles as a yogurt bar at breakfast. The new caf opens for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for lunch and dinner. The addition of a cocktail bar means diners can enjoy lite fare after hours from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., a change that was a direct result of customer feedback. We re excited to offer residents the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer after dinner or while they munch on lite fare like cheese and crackers, Buffalo wings, or a Rueben, says Snowberger. And while many Americans are cutting back on eating out these days, the new caf fits in nicely with Charlestown s flexible meal program which allows residents to choose 20 or 30 meals each month and decide how they wish to use them treating family and friends to dinner, eating more than one meal on the same day, or dining once a day over the course of the calendar month. Some new dishes now offered at the Terrace Caf include rotisserie chicken, ribs, and pork loin; flatbread pizzas; a variety of casseroles like homemade baked macaroni and cheese and lasagna; gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with cheddar and green apples, blue cheese and pears, or blue cheese Buffalo; as well as gourmet burgers, breakfast pizzas, and made-to-order omelets.

Endless choices

Of course, the Terrace Caf isn t the only dining option on Charlestown s 110-acre campus. The Fireside Restaurant offers American cuisine with a full salad bar, while a nightly buffet is offered at the Refectory, and full-service continental cuisine is served daily in the Chesapeake. The Shortline Caf offers casual dining in a bistro setting, and the Atrium Restaurant features dining with spectacular views. Our marketplace store in the Charlestown Square Clubhouse was also turned into a caf as a result of the renovations, which took place over the last year, says Snowberger. You can go in and get breakfast and enjoy Zeke s coffee, which is a local grind here in Baltimore. Although it can get tricky trying to satisfy the appetites of so many people, after two years, Snowberger still gets excited about his job. Our goal was really to expand our offerings and create a new, inviting restaurant that will carry Charlestown into the future, says Snowberger. I think we ve achieved that goal!