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Clyde’s Restaurant Group Enters Baltimore With Rye Street Tavern Takeover

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Clyde’s Restaurant Group, which opened its first of 12 restaurants in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood in 1963, is entering Baltimore for the first time.

The company has signed a long-term lease to take over Rye Street Tavern, a two-story restaurant attached to the Sagamore Spirit Distillery at the Baltimore Peninsula mega-development. 

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Clyde’s will replace the existing tavern with a new kitchen, an oyster bar, and an outdoor island bar that will exclusively serve Sagamore rye whiskey, which has been distilled on site since 2017.

Both the tavern and the distillery are part of Baltimore Peninsula, a 235-acre mixed-use waterfront community being developed by a joint venture among MAG Partners, MacFarlane Partners and Goldman Sachs (GS) Asset Management.

“The partnership is really strong and we’re excited about it — it’s a spectacular location and we all have a kindred spirit, so it was a good fit for us,” Jeff Owens, Clyde’s Restaurant Group’s chief financial officer and head of corporate development, told Commercial Observer.

Rye Street Tavern opened in 2017 as part of the Sagamore Spirit Distillery complex, but closed twice during the pandemic, though reopened for private events in September of 2021.

The restaurant group hired  D.C.-based Grizform Design Architects to overhaul the 12,000-square-foot restaurant building, and also create a large outdoor dining area with waterfront views of the Patapsco River. It’s expected to open in the spring of 2024.  

“Sagamore is the top-selling rye in our restaurants,” Owens said. “We are excited to advance our partnership to a new level and invest in making Baltimore Peninsula an inclusive and extraordinary destination. The waterfront is a really big part of the renovation, and I think we can have a great bar in a really cool setting.”  

Rye Street Tavern was previously run by New York-based NoHo Hospitality Group.

Clyde’s Restaurant Group also has restaurants in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and other neighborhoods of the District, including Clyde’s of Georgetown, Clyde’s of Chevy Chase, Tower Oaks Lodge, Old Ebbitt Grill and The Hamilton.

It’s something of a return for the restaurant group, which operated its signature restaurant Clyde’s in Columbia, Md., for 45 years, but closed the location during the pandemic. Now it’s back to the greater Baltimore area with its new concept. 

Baltimore Peninsula expects to see 1.1 million square feet of new office, retail and mixed-income residential opening this year.

The deal was handled in-house by both sides.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.