South Baltimore Business Roundup

| May 29, 2012 | 3 Comments

Illusions Magic Bar’s Horsman on National Televlsion

Bmore Interested is reporting that Spencer Horsman of Illusions Magic Bar is going to perform tonight on NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent at 9pm.  Spencer has been a performer since the age of 8, taking after his father Ken, whose resume includes many years as a clown with Barnum and Bailey’s Circus as well as many years as Ronald McDonald.  After owning Ken-Zo’s magic shop on Charles Street, Ken and Spencer opened Illusions in the adjacent property at 1025 Light St. in Federal Hill.  Good luck to Spencer! I’m also interested in seeing Howard Stern as a judge who is one of the most brutally honest people in entertainment history.

Update:  Spencer Horsman got three emphatic yeses from Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osborne with a dangerous escape artist act.  He will move on to the Las Vegas portion of the competition.  He even had Howard Stern still taking about his performance in his one-on -one segment.  Congrats to Spencer!

Harborview Liquors Nears Opening 

A new liquor store on 549 East Fort Ave. named Harborview Liquors appears close to opening.  The outside tile cornice has recently been painted and, when driving by the other day, I noticed coolers in the location.  Should be  a good spot for a liquor store as the Riverside neighborhood does not currently have one. A liquor store that you can walk to easily is also very valuable as nighttime parking is very tough in the area.  I noticed the need for a liquor store in the area when walking to Baba’s Kitchen and having to walk to Ostend St. before heading east on Fort Ave. to bring a bottle of wine to the great BYOB restaurant.  This should be a nice addition.

New Homes on Light St.

There is a lot of grass that breaks up the western side of the the 1600 block of Light St.  The lot has featured a portable fence (that once even fell down on a car a couple of years ago) and a “house to be built sign.”  The four townhomes are now under construction as the footers have been put in place in the last few days.  On the other side of the lot, Green Door Properties and Steve Strohecker  rehabbed eight small townhomes on Elkins Lane that will back up to these new houses.

Long and Foster’s Steve Strohecker is the developer of the property and he shared some information with  “We are building four 2,100 square foot rowhomes with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, rooftop decks, hardwood floors and more.  We’ve had the property for several years, so and we felt now was the right time to build, and the banks agreed.  We are going to keep the backyards open facing the houses on Elkins to give the courtyard type feel.  The Construction will be completed by Hawkeye Construction.  We hope to have the homes on the market in August for $299,999.”

This should be an improvement to the appearance of Light St. and once again development from the north and south pinching off the corner of Heath St. and Light St.  As far as the Victory House goes on Light and Heath, I am hearing that there are strong efforts right now to remove the problem property and to stay tuned.  I can’t tell you how much of a difference that would make to the troubled corner across the street from Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle School.

New Educational Poker Blog

Have you ever wanted to learn the game of poker or just improve your game?  Check out, a new educational blog about all things poker.  By the time the Harrah’s Casino is built in South Baltimore, there may be table games – and there will definitely be video poker machines – so make sure your skills are sharp.

Soccer Stadium Updates

In the ongoing drama that is the DC United Stadium situation, there is once again news that looks pretty favorable for a new stadium in Westport is South Baltimore.  Baltimore Business Journal is reporting that a new study was signed off on last Wednesday by Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Governor O’Malley to study the cost of building the soccer-specific stadium.  The $175,000 study will determine the cost of building the 20,000,-25,000 person stadium.  From the article:

D.C. United has agreed to repay the state the entire $175,000 of a new feasibility study being conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority if the team does not move to Baltimore.

As part of the study, D.C. United has agreed to help complete architectural and engineering design of the proposed stadium, according to the agreement. The design will be specific to the Westport waterfront site.

Analyzing this information, there are two ways to look at this information.  DC United is a team that has struggled financially because of their stadium situation. In my experiences with professional sports franchises, they are incredibly cheap with expenses outside of player salaries.  So for DC United to risk $175,000 plus the cost of designing the stadium if they don’t move to Baltimore seems like a pretty big risk, especially for a franchise that is not currently profitable.  Or maybe $175,000+ plus is a small risk if they are going to get a new stadium in Washington, DC.

Personally I feel this stadium is definitely going to happen.  This is yet another sign that DC United is probably moving to Baltimore. Not a single bit of news has broken in Washington about any positive developments for  a stadium in a long time. The DC government has refused to build venues for their sports teams in the past other than Nats Park, in which they were put in a corner by MLB.  The DC government has a huge deficit and has refused to help DC United in any significant way.  It also doesn’t help that the United has the 14th best attendance in the MLS out of 19 teams.

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.