GrillMarX Steakhouse and Raw Bar Opens Third Maryland Location in The Hotel
Photos by John T. Consoli
As College Park continues its transformation with new housing, retail and other businesses, its latest upscale eatery is primed to make its mark.
GrillMarX Steakhouse and Raw Bar opens today in the space previously occupied by the Old Maryland Grill in The Hotel at the University of Maryland. The elegant yet casual restaurant, which also has locations in Olney and Columbia, is known for its hand-cut steaks, as well as seafood, salads, sandwiches and cocktails. It is the latest addition to the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private partnership that aims to place the community among the nation’s best college towns.
It’s critical to have a high-quality, full-service restaurant like GrillMarX at The Hotel as an anchor of activity and vibrancy next to the core of campus, said Ken Ulman, UMD’s chief strategy officer for economic development and president of the Terrapin Development Company.
“I think it will serve an important need for the university, whether it’s hosting somebody’s graduation dinner, a board of visitors meeting for a college, or trustees’ dinners or lunches,” he said. “Because it’s such a large space, there are a lot of different possibilities.”
Driven to the community’s growth and the location’s proximity to campus, the ownership group is opening the College Park restaurant in a 10,000-square-foot space in The Hotel, with an open concept, high ceilings and ambient lighting. Cozy booths upholstered in red leather line the main dining room, which includes a bar and a view into the kitchen, and a private dining space, lounge and patio offer a variety of seating options. That upscale but comfortable vibe appeals to customers with differing budgets, said part-owner Jackie Baker-Nees, including students, parents, alums and other members of the community.
The owners honor the College Park restaurant’s connection to campus with distinct Maryland features. They added state flag details on the wall and in the logo’s “X,” hung silver terrapin shell art and kept the original mural from the Old Maryland Grill depicting state scenes, including the M on campus.
“When you come in, each store kind of has its own personality,” said GrillMarX Restaurant Group’s Andy Leach. “It’s not supposed to be overly stiff. … We don’t have a 1-800 number to call corporate from. It’s still kind of a small-town flavor.”
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and for brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday, with catering and delivery available. Menu items range from prime rib to ahi tuna salad to Maryland-style crabcakes, maybe with an ice cream sundae or crème brulée for dessert.
“You could come sit at the bar, you could have a $44 filet and it could be the greatest filet of all time—or you can get chicken tenders,” said Head Chef Doug Kellner. “We try to ignore the (fancy steakhouse) stigma and just have a great, quality restaurant.”
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