South Baltimore Business Roundup

| June 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

Ken Horsman Passes Away  

Ken Horsman, the owner of Illusions Magic Bar, passed away on May 12th at the age of 58 after a battle with melanoma cancer. Horsman ran the business with his son Spencer. Prior to Illusions, the space was formerly the home of his magic shop called Ken-Zo’s.

About Horsman from Illusions‘ website:

At the age of 18 he traveled with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Baily Circus for 5 years where he performed as a professional clown. During his last two years he served as the “Boss Clown” of the Clown Alley. On the show he also served as the “Advance Clown”, traveling ahead of the show handling public relations serving as the “Good Will Ambassador” to Ringling, he promoted the show town to town on radio, TV,
and newspaper.

Upon leaving the Circus in ’81, he was hired by McDonalds to replace Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald. For over 20 years he represented the McDonalds corporation for over 500 restaurants across the Washington D.C, Virginia & West Virginia region as one of the worlds most recognized cultural icons. He is an expert in marketing and public relations having worked on multiple occasions along side presidents & movie stars. Upon working for McDonalds, at the age of 24, Ken purchased property in South Baltimore/ Federal Hill. He opened up his first magic shop on the 1300 block of Light Street, known as Ken-Zo’s.

With the business growing, he then purchased 1025 South Charles Street and moved the store over to that location where Illusions has currently been operating for 3 years. The magic shop, Ken-Zo’s, was one of the largest magic shops in the country.


Amazon Locker Now at Shoppers

Amazon partnered with Shoppers Food and Pharmacy stores to provide package lockers for deliveries. Packages can be sent to and picked up from the Shoppers at 857 E. Fort Ave. at Southside Marketplace. Shoppers is open from 6am to 11pm.

Blue Agave Team Opening Another Restaurant 

The team from Blue Agave Restaurant y Tequilieria recently purchased No Way Jose Café and now is expanding to Harford County. The team will be taking over the Main Street Oyster House at 119 S. Main St. in Bel Air. The space has been Ropewalk Tavern, The Green Turtle, and Dark Horse Saloon. From The Baltimore Sun:

Brian Acquavella, owner of the Blue Agave Restaurante y Tequileria in the Federal Hill section of Baltimore, is acquiring the Oyster House from its owners.

“It’s a great space that they did a great job in, and I kind of like the challenge of people saying it’s a space that can’t succeed,” Acquavella said Tuesday.

Acquavella stressed the Main Street Oyster House would remain in its current form through the end of this year. He said there could be subtle changes to the menu, but “any drastic changes” will not be made until at least 2017.

Federal Hill Space Available 

Real Divas Are Large left its space at 1129 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill, but still has an online store. The space is currently available for lease.


Construction Begins at Lion Bros. in Hollins Market 

The $11 million redevelopment of the historic Lion Bros. building in Hollins Market has begun construction. From Baltimore Business Journal:

Cross Street Partners, the development company spearheaded by C. William “Bill” Struever, is completing negotiations with four businesses that will occupy more than half of the building’s 37,500 square feet, said John Renner, Cross Street’s development director.

“The construction has started and we are getting ready for the delivery of space to the first tenant by Dec. 1,” Renner said on Monday.

Samos Hosting Hiring Event

Samos Greek Island Grill, which is coming soon to McHenry Row, is hosting a hiring event on Friday at its Canton Crossing location at 3745 Boston St.

More information is available on its Facebook Page.

Downtown Sailing Center Building New Pier

The Downtown Sailing Center at 1407 Key Hwy. is building a new pier. From Baltimore Business Journal:

The Downtown Sailing Center is building a new pier off Key Highway thanks to donations from the state and a “local family foundation.”

The nonprofit that offers sailing instructional classes is beginning work on removing a dilapidated pier that extends into the Northwest branch of the Patapsco River at 1407 Key Highway near the Baltimore Museum of Industry, according to an email newsletter from the organization. A new pier is expected to be in place by mid-July, said Lynn Handy, executive director of the Downtown Sailing Center, in an email.

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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.