After years of vacancy, what was once the space occupied by Riordan’s Saloon is slated to become another restaurant—Factors Row.
"We used to say a certain month—now we're saying 2011," said Bruce Gardner, owner of Factors Row, on when the restaurant will open.
"As soon as we get the permit, we can start banging nails," Gardner said.
He said once that process is underway, it should be, "somewhere between 90 and 120 days."
"I would say Michael Mallinoff, city manager, and his staff have been essential in getting through—in speeding up the process," commented Gardner.
As for the menu, Gardner ensures it'll be different.
"The chef is very clever—he's very farm to fork," he said, though he didn't want to say who that chef is because, "he's still working."
Gardner is no stranger to the restaurant business.
"I've been in the restaurant business since I was 12-years-old," he said. "I grew up in Cape Cod and we had two restaurants in Boston—in Faneuil Hall."
More recently, Gardner owned the now-closed Station Grill in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station for the past 20 years.
Factors Row will encompass three floors of seating with approximately 169 total seats. It will include a show kitchen, allowing for wine dinners, guest chefs and and other events.
Gardner said the restaurant has secured a license, allowing them to sell liquor until 2 a.m. and added, "we can also sell bottles of wine and beer to go."
The origin of the restaurant's name is explained on its website.
“The present building located at 26 Market Space, Annapolis, Maryland, is the last remaining part of the original three-story Wallace, Davidson and Johnson Building, which was known as Factors Row,” states the website. “Constructed in 1771, it extended from Main Street to Cornhill Street at the head of the city dock. It was used as a warehouse by representatives of British merchants, called ‘factors’ who made arrangements to ship Colonial planters' produce to England and Scotland in exchange for British goods.”
Riordan’s, a much-loved bar and restaurant, had been open for more than 30 years – it was owned by former pro basketball player Mike Riordan, who closed it in 2007.
City documents show that leading up to that closing, the restaurant’s facade was deemed dangerous by the city – they required scaffolding be erected covering the entirety of the front of the building.