The Pikes Cinema Bar & Grill

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Brandon Rust is the first to acknowledge that his restaurant in the old Pikesville Cinema building needed some help. “The food sucked; I’m not afraid to admit it,” says the general manager, who decided to make some changes. Rust, whose family has owned the restaurant since 2006—redubbed it The Pikes Cinema Bar & Grill and refurbished the menu to coincide with the reopening of the art deco-style movie theater, shuttered since 1986 and recently revived by Ira Miller’s Horizon Cinemas, owner of both the Rotunda and Beltway movie houses. The menu is pleasantly eclectic: stuffed oysters packed with spinach, shrimp and cheese, pasta and burgers and many Mexican options. The retro décor—including a mash-up of almost-life-size statues of film characters from Laurel and Hardy to the Blues Brothers—gives the place a quirky air. Don’t forget the full bar with boozy shakes and classic cocktails. No, this isn’t fine dining, but locals seem delighted to have a place to nosh before or after a film. “At least 75 percent of the people who come in tell us about coming here when they were kids,” says Rust. 921 Reisterstown Rd., Pikesville. 410-653-5545

—Martha Thomas

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