I was shattered to find out that the Brass Elephant has closed its doors. There was a good article in the Sun today, in which I am quoted, about the high-end restaurants that are shuttering in the economy. I loved the Elephant. We spent many happy times there. Here’s a little story:
Before I moved to England, my final celebration meal was at the Elephant, and when I came back to Baltimore, one of my first outings was there again. That's the one event that stands out in my mind the most.
For several years, during the lighting of the Washington Monument, Jack Elsby, the Elephant’s manager and I would serve cocoa to all the visitors in the park. It was free to everyone and we were happy to do it. It was a little pre-Christmas, small-town celebration. Then the city decided that the vendors had to charge for their food/drinks, so Jack stopped doing it. But at the lighting, I'd always stop by the restaurant for a quick hello and a drink.
Late in 2005, I had to come back to Baltimore unexpectedly, and not many people knew I was coming home. It was right before the Monument Lighting, so I met up with the Blonde and the Redhead. We watched the lighting and then headed up to the Elephant. It was crowded, as usual, and Jack was running around.
I spotted him through a crowd of people and just grinned. He looked up and saw me and he just lit up. We made our way over to each other and hugged. He told me that he'd been thinking about me all day because of our tradition of serving cocoa, and then he looked up and I was there.
It was a tiny personal moment in hundreds of happy moments that I've spent at the Elephant, and one that I will never, ever forget.
I hope that everyone associated with the Brass Elephant can find another job. RIP.