The story of Maryland is full of entrepreneurial businesses and developing a regional cuisine at local restaurants – these places were, and continue to be, cornerstones in their communities. We call these places legacy businesses, and we want to highlight their commitment to Maryland and their contribution to heritage tourism. First order up – Pen & Quill Restaurant in Baltimore.

In our work to highlight cultural tourism, we often hear about family-owned and -operated places that offer quality products and authentic experiences; and all too often, we’re hearing about them struggling or closing. In response, we at Preservation Maryland will continue to strengthen our partnerships among these businesses and share their stories with you.


Pen & Quill Restaurant, Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Baltimore City

Long known as a place for special occasions – whether celebrating an anniversary with a steak dinner or enjoying a fine cocktail with friends – The Chesapeake Restaurant was a Baltimore mainstay for generations. From the 1930s through an expansion in the 1960s, the restaurant’s spacious interior allowed for comfortable dining in luxury lounges. Tragically, the business never fully recovered after a fire in the mid-1970s.


Following reinvigorated interest in the neighborhood along North Charles Street near Penn Station, the storied property is now occupied by Pen & Quill Restaurant – named for the original second-floor piano bar of the old Chesapeake.

Partnering with Pen & Quill and the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Preservation Maryland hosted a series of happy hours to bring people together to share their stories – memories of marriage proposals, celebrity sightings, and The Chesapeake’s comically low historic prices. Memorabilia collected, that will be on display at Pen & Quill, included Baltimore Colts drink stirrers, menus, a porcelain creamer, and many matchbooks.

If you have memories or artifacts to share, email submit@presmd.orgPhotos by Kurt Waters, Waxter Intern with Preservation Maryland. Kurt has a degree in Environmental Design, and graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in Photography. He has an interest in documenting the buildings and culture of fire fighting history in Maryland. Learn more about Kurt and our Waxter Internship program.