Never underestimate the power of pancakes. While breakfast is a weekend-only affair for many fine dining restaurants, Miss Shirley’s, (named after beloved employee Shirley McDowell), is a place where the most important meal of the day is also the most delectable. As one of three establishments under the auspices of Crazy Man Restaurant Group, Shirley’s is a Baltimore mainstay. It was also a catalyst for the company’s expansion into a cluster of popular eateries within the W. Cold Spring Lane business district.
At the helm of it all is Eddie Dopkin, who received a Distinguished Entrepreneur Award from the University of Baltimore in 2009. Here, he tells us a bit about Crazy Man’s history and why doing business in Greater Homewood is a worthwhile pursuit.
Tell us a little about your business.
We started out at Loco Hombre and Alonso’s. When the Hair Cuttery left the 410 W. Cold Spring Lane location, we jumped on the opportunity to use that property to create a place where breakfast, lunch and brunch were the focus seven days of the week, which has allowed us to come up with some extremely unique dishes that people love. As word spread, so did our wait. When a larger space across the street became available, we moved Shirley’s over there, to 513 W. Cold Spring Lane. We just completed an expansion of that space to add more seats and a larger waiting area. We’ve also grown as a company, with the addition of S’ghetti Eddie’s and Roland Park Bagel Co. to the W. Cold Spring Lane business district, plus two more Miss Shirley’s: one in Annapolis and one in the Inner Harbor.
What makes Greater Homewood the ideal location?
The community, the people and the families, are great. We love the historic houses, the greenery, and the people. It has a great “small town” feel, but is still minutes from everything you might need, so it’s not so secluded from the rest of the city.
As a family owned business, it’s important that families like ours feel comfortable with us in the area and feel like they can go into any of our locations and have a good experience. Roland Park is great for that- full of families and hardworking people who care about their neighbors and their neighborhood. We wanted to be able to contribute to the area as well, by beautifying it and regulating things like trash cans and holiday decorations. We are very conscientious of the appearance of our businesses and ways in which we can positively contribute to the neighborhood.
Why do you support GHCC?
We really care about the community and the people around us. Their opinion is very valuable to us because we know they care about the area too. The work that we do around the restaurants, from keeping the streets clean, to planting more greenery and landscaping, is not just for the customer appeal but for the people who live around here.
Also, a really good community surrounding your business can help it succeed. Baltimore is often called the “City of Neighborhoods” and it’s important for those neighborhoods to stay connected. GHCC is a valuable organization because of its commitment to improving north Baltimore, solving any issues that come up and providing a large scope of services for residents and businesses. Every community in Baltimore should have an organization like it.
Photo courtesy of North Baltimore Patch.