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Mealey's Restaurant & Pub (Formerly Mealey's Table), New Market, MD - Serving Traditional American Classics - Closed


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In what might be the biggest restaurant news ever to hit Carroll County, Mealey's Table will be opening next month in New Market (although the restaurant itself is in Frederick County). The chef is none other than Nate Waugaman, the brilliant, underrated talent who has been Chef de Cuisine at Addie's for the past several years. Rather than rewriting Nate's description, I'm going to copy it word-for-word here. Congratulations, Nate - you have been one of the best chef's in the DC area for a long time, and it's high time you get the credit you deserve.

Cheers,
Rocks

The new place is Mealey's Table, New Market Maryland. We will be open 7 days a week for dinner as well as Saturday and Sunday for brunch. There will also be a small market that will cater to commuters with coffee and pastries as well as some ready to go sandwiches for people that want a bite to eat during the day. The managing partners are Raina Hull and Patrick Forest, both most recently from 8407 kitchen in Silver Spring. My last day at Addie's is this Saturday, and the goal is to have Mealey's open by the first week in April. The menu will change several times a week utilizing as much local product from the surrounding areas as possible (If I could it would be 100% local), but some people need lemons in their tea, which obviously doesn't grow locally. I will be focusing heavily on whole animal butchery and expanding my charcuterie, which for what it is worth uses no artificial nitrates in the curing process. The main dining room will seat around 80 guest with a large community table on one side of the dining room. There is also going to be a hip lounge/bar and a private dining room that will seat 40-50 guest( not sure exactly at this time). There will also be an herb garden outside the restaurant that will provide a wide range of fresh flavors during the growing season. The website is up, but is just a homepage and a guest book at the moment, mealeystable.com.
I can give more details as I get them.

I hope to see you soon.

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Mealey's Table is now open and serving dinner every night from 5-9:30 p.m. and we are open for brunch Saturday & Sundays 10 a.m - 2 p.m.

Our menu is always changing as local products change & items become available (the only items currently in our walk-in that are not local are limes, lemons, & celery). Brunch entrees range $9-15 and dinner entrees $19-25.

Brunch Menu:

THE GOODS

Mushroom Omelet

Local Farm Eggs, Sauteed Mushrooms, Herb Butter Sauce

Maple Glazed Scrapple & Eggs

Candied Onion, Field Greens, Grilled Baguette

Corned Beef Hash

Poached Eggs, Asparagus, Brandied Peppercorn Sabayon

Fried Catfish Biscuits

Red Cabbage, Pickled Vegetable Tartar, Field Greens

Shrimp & Grits

Fresh Shrimps, Stone Ground Goat Cheese Grits, Country Ham Jus, Scallion

Chicken Fried Steak

England Acres Beef, Peppered Egg & Lemon Sauce, Braised Cabbage, Hash Browns

Toad in a Hole

Sally Lunn, Rashers, Arugula Salad

Granola Parfait

House Made Granola, South Mountain Yogurt, Strawberries

SIDES

House Made Scrapple

Farm Egg

Goat Cheese Grits

Hash Browns

Fresh Pork Sausage

Dinner Menu:

SMALLS

Organic Greens

Pickled Mushroom, Cucumber, Radish, Asparagus, Roasted Garlic Aioli, Bread Crumb

Braised Beef Tongue Salad

Charred Sweet Onion, Tangerine Lace, Hot Mustard Vinaigrette

Sesame Crusted Chesapeake Oysters

Green Goddess Emulsion

Pig's Trotter Terrine

Baby Greens, Citrus, Strawberry, Toasted Pecans, Citrus Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad

Goat Cheese Spuma, Vincotto, Beet Chip, Truffle Oil

Steamed White Water Mussels

Chorizo, Lemon Zest, Shallot

Shrimp & Grits

Fresh Shrimp, Stone Ground Goat Cheese Grits

Country Ham Jus, Scallion

Marinated Beef Skirt

Chili Oil, Yogurt Lettuce Sauce, Fresh Herbs

Braised Beef Short Rib

Roasted Shallot, Beet Puree, Crispy Potato

SIDES

Braised Bitter Greens

Vinegar Roast Onions

Roast Potatoes

Fresh Herbs, Roast Garlic, Saffron Aioli

Honey Caraway Glazed Carrots

Micro Mustard, Sea Salt

Fried Green Tomatoes

Saffron Aioli, PIckled Cabbage

MAIN COURSE

Braised Beef Spaghetti

Celeriac, Lovage, Red Verjus-Mustard Gelee

Sauteed Shad Menuire

Shad Roe, Fennel Confit, Lemon, Chervil, Beurre Noisette

Aged Maryland Pork Chop

Red Cabbage Puree, Potato Mousseline, Braised Cabbage, Baby Swiss Chard

England Acres Sirloin

Potato Gratin, Glazed Carrots, Spinach

Crispy Soft Shell Crab

Asparagus, Deconstructed Ravigote, Arugula Blossom

Poached Organic Chicken

Dandelion Greens, Candied Chicken Confit, Farm Egg, Red Onion, Chicken Fond

England Acres Meat Loaf

Tender Spinach, Shitake Mushroom, Potato Gnocchi, Sweet Mustard Glaze

Fried Chesapeake Catfish

Beluga Black Lentils, Spring Allium, Fennel Tartar

DESSERTS

Shoo Fly Pie

Raisin Compote, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Goat Cheese Smearcase

Pipe Dreams Fromage, Kirsch Soaked Dried Cherries

Basil Panna Cotta

Blood Orange Sorbet, Cardamom Crescent

Orange Supremes

Flying Dog Cake

Porter Chocolate Cake, Espresso Ganache, Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Bites

Fresh Baked Cookie Platter

Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate Chip and Walnut, Cherry Oatmeal

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Apparently the guy with the money behind the rebirth of Mealy's pulled the plug on it after last night's service. I do not know who the guy is but I am guessing he's a dick. Nate, Patrick and Co. were doing some really cool stuff in the old building, and to 86 it after six weeks is attrocious. I live in New Market and visited a restaurant filled with locals late last night on my way home. The community was very interested in following this place. Maybe had Mr Moneybags bought them a damn sign prior to last week it may have been busier. Nate's charcuterie will be missed (unless he sells it to me hint, hint) Patrick seems to have his head on straight. I wish the staff, who really had the rug pulled out from under them (I spoke with one server who only learned of this before her shift, Nate said he learned Thursday) well. I wish I had spread the word of this place better, in this forum and others. lesson learned.

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Apparently the guy with the money behind the rebirth of Mealy's pulled the plug on it after last night's service. I do not know who the guy is but I am guessing he's a dick. Nate, Patrick and Co. were doing some really cool stuff in the old building, and to 86 it after six weeks is attrocious. I live in New Market and visited a restaurant filled with locals late last night on my way home. The community was very interested in following this place. Maybe had Mr Moneybags bought them a damn sign prior to last week it may have been busier. Nate's charcuterie will be missed (unless he sells it to me hint, hint) Patrick seems to have his head on straight. I wish the staff, who really had the rug pulled out from under them (I spoke with one server who only learned of this before her shift, Nate said he learned Thursday) well. I wish I had spread the word of this place better, in this forum and others. lesson learned.

So how many of the 30-40 employees hired left their old jobs to come work for this operation?

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It is a great shame and breaks my heart. If anyone has jobs for my staff let me know and I can send them your way. And Jeff, my charcuterie is not for sale yet. But nice try, I hope you had a great time last night. We sure did.

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This is an interesting tidbit from frederickgorilla.com:

After Mealey’s closed, someone needed to show the restaurant to prospective buyers, and since Price {a town council member} lives next door to Mealey’s, he offered to help. At one point, he even showed the property to Bryan Voltaggio and Hilda Staples. The two are business partners in VOLT and Lunchbox, restaurants in Frederick City—and were looking for new opportunities.

“We seriously considered it … for a short while,” Staples says, remembering her walk- through. “It’s perfect. The restaurant is in really good condition, and the town is beautiful.”

But for all of the positives, there was an over- powering negative, she says—American Bank. The bank held the deed and without its approval, no deal could go forward.

“The bank was horrible,” Staples says. “They were rude to the point where we could not communicate with them. They were dismissive. I called them and told them I was from VOLT, and I was told to tell my husband to call—that they would only do business with a man. It was so bad that I asked, ‘Is this a joke?’

“That kind of response from a banker sitting on a building was unbelievable,” Staples adds. “So, then I understood why it wasn’t moving— the bank was the problem. So, we concentrated on Frederick.”

Really? A bank actually said that to somebody? Is that even legal?

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"I called them and told them I was from VOLT, and I was told to tell my husband to call—that they would only do business with a man. It was so bad that I asked, ‘Is this a joke?’"

Really? A bank actually said that to somebody? Is that even legal?

No.

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Apparently the guy with the money behind the rebirth of Mealy's pulled the plug on it after last night's service. I do not know who the guy is but I am guessing he's a dick.

The investor behind the restaurant is going to bring his grandson in as the chef, according to Tim Carman here.

<_<

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This is just sad, given the immense effort that all concerned obviously put into the reopening of Mealey's Table. I was looking forward to a visit soon, but will hope that the Chef and managing partner are able to make this concept work in a more welcoming environment. Given the unspeakable conduct experienced by Hilda Staples and Bryan Voltaggio at the hands of the bank who owned the property, I wonder if the business community of New Market really understands what will bring visitors to a small town whose main downtown attraction, antique stores, seem to be closing at a fast clip. I've been to New Market, and its claim to be the "antiques capital" of Maryland is absurd. It's got a very pretty Main Street with a few stores, and not much else to offer a visitor. A restaurant like the renewed Mealey's Table could create a real draw for visitors from nearby, who might spend some money in the town.

The thought that a banker could treat Hilda Staples, who was the instigating force behind Volt, as a nuisance is horrendous. In addition to the obvious sexism, it shows unbelievable ostrich-like tendencies. She and Bryan Voltaggio created a real destination restaurant in Frederick, which in turn created buzz for the town, its historic downtown district and increased business for all there. They could have helped jump-start the business district in New Market, though the bank was apparently too dumb to realize it. And when Nate Waugaman tried to do the same thing, the investor pulled the plug after a month and a half.

I hope that he will have better luck closer to DC, and that all the employees who were let go end up in more stable situations.

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Six weeks? Unbelievable. He should have just bought Powerball tickets for short-term entertainment.

There are fools, damn fools, and wannabe restaurant investors. NB.

(And then there are the few who know what they're doing; lang may yer lum reek!)

Wow.

I had originally logged on to express whatever inadequate words of sympathy and support I could offer to this very noteworthy and praiseworthy effort.

As someone who, despite the outward appearance of enviable success, was barely able to salvage four of my six functioning operations from near total failure at one point or another, and who recently had to leave on the table what should have been my entire earnings from the past two years as well as what would have been my foreseeable earnings for the next three to four years in order to avoid an even greater failure, that inadequate sympathy and support still stands.

However, the degree of uninformed or speculative vilification (or at best partially informed or mis-informed--I too am speculating here) from people purporting to be experts in the restaurant business (if I knew how to multi-quote, I would have included Don's snark-face with the above quote) forces me to comment, perhaps inappropriately, on a few basic points of restaurant ownership and operation.

To be fair, the sloppy and imprecise reporting in the link to the Post above, rather than clarifying what appears to my eyes as the obvious situation, seems to have added fuel to the vitriolic fire.

Defective journalism notwithstanding, to anyone with an actual knowledge of the basic workings of the restaurant business (Jeff, your admirably heartfelt and passionate reaction to this news was based, at the time, on less information than has since become available to others, and no disrespect is intended) it would be more more than reasonably likely to infer that the reviled cattle "farmer" Carl Miller (I would love to see what happens to a reporter in Texas who calls a cattle rancher a farmer, but hey, who I am I to question anyone's authenticity?--insert self-mockery smiley face here) is actually the property's leaseholder (or owner) and what most would consider to be the restaurant's actual "owner".

(The dirty little secret--one of many, really--in the restaurant business is that outside of debts, liabilities, access to the check book and the account books before the investors get to see them, most of what we call "restaurant owners" don't own shit besides whatever houses, cars and jewelry they put in their wife's or kids' names).

In the article, despite its flaws, it is nonetheless reasonably clear that the chef and managing partner were operating under a management agreement of some sorts and did not hold an equity stake in the business--despite the clear inequity regarding their substantial investment of sweat equity. Further, it seems reasonably inferable they were actually the victims of a third, un-named managing partner who by neglect or lack of experience and/or necessary wherewithal failed to fulfill the necessary financial accounting requirements of the agreement, thereby violating it and at some point voiding it. This by the other partners' own admission. Whether financial misconduct by this person effecting both the owner and the operators can also be reasonably inferred by the circumstances is anyone's guess.

All of this pure speculation on my part, I hasten to add--but from a professionally knowledgeable position.

As regrettable a loss as this is, and one that we are correct in being enraged or highly disappointed by, I would hazard to say that the named parties on both sides are equally victims in this story.

I am sure that on the talent and craft and professional side, nothing will keep these creative talents from rising to their meet all of their challenges and fulfill all of their potentials. And as far as the restaurant owner is concerned, it seems as though he is making genuine efforts to restore sustainable employment positions and restaurant services to the community to the best of his ability and with whatever resources he has available (When did a family member or friend coming to the aid of another become a bad thing on this board?).

On a final note, my personal apologies to all involved for hijacking this topic.

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Points taken. Yes, my jab was snarky and too quick, and ultimately is just armchair whining about third party disappointment. Apologies to all, and especially to Carl Miller.

Mr. Miller is reported to be the property's owner, having purchased it from the hedge fund that bought Mealey's and nine other properties from American Bank, and then having signed a deal with Forest and Hull to operate a restaurant. Cattle ranching is something of a hobby on his three farms, as Miller made his fortune as founder and chairman a huge regional civil engineering construction firm still owned by his family. To Jeff's speculation, if we judge a man by his deeds then we have to consider that the Millers are also major and longtime benefactors of the Montgomery and Frederick agricultural fairs, 4H, hospice programs, and the American Diabetes Association, hardly the hallmarks of a dick.

Landrum keenly observes that the crux of the matter may lie with the irregular recordkeeping and the fired partner. Carman doesn't pursue this issue further, so there's no way of knowing if this was a matter of small-but-important amounts (say taxes) or something with more direct financial impact, like making sure that the operation isn't being bankrupted by having untracked inventory walking out the back door (which, I have been told, is alarmingly widespread in the industry).

On the spectrum of possible adjustments to a new operation, shutting down is an extreme but occasionally necessary choice (cf Corporate Bar & Grill), but to give up so soon after opening suggests that somebody walked - or was led - into this situation with unrealistic expectations. I just hope that everybody is able to recover quickly.

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I've been to New Market, and its claim to be the "antiques capital" of Maryland is absurd. It's got a very pretty Main Street with a few stores, and not much else to offer a visitor.

At the risk of sounding like Joe H ;) , thirty years ago the claim was true, or close to it. And there were several B&Bs, and Mealey's was always busy. On the weekends parking was damn near impossible.

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I'm a complete restaurant outsider:

Seems like a business plan to me... to hire a staff, especially one versed in the "Black's method" for 6 weeks to a) set up my new restaurant and b ) show my people how to run it. An accounting irregularity gets the accountant fired. And anyone with experience in farms and engineering firms knows that it might take more than 6 weeks before one can reap the rewards.

Mr. Miller hired what he needed, got what he paid for and now can move on. Are consultants cheaper? Will consultants generate some income during their engagement? I may be wrong about the intentions here, but that's ultimately what Mr. Miller did. And it isn't illegal - in fact, now he can say "hey town, I'm going to go back to the old Mealy's." but with the knowledge of how to actually do it.

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When did a family member or friend coming to the aid of another become a bad thing on this board?.

Employees are notified on June 2nd that they're losing their jobs that very night.

On June 4th, an article comes out stating that the owner "plans to install his grandson, Jack Hand, as chef of the revamped Mealey’s Table, which the investor says will more closely resemble the old, family-oriented Mealey’s Restaurant...."

That is one hell of a loyal grandson, rushing to the aid of his family on less than 48 hours notice. A remarkably agile change in business plan over the weekend, too - one could almost say, Landrum-esque.

Hope everyone was paid well for what amounted to carpentry services and building improvements.

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Hope everyone was paid well for what amounted to carpentry services and building improvements.

You know, I was thinking that this business plan is better than the one I've sometimes seen (and been a victim of) where the idea is to pull in a staff...maybe give them one paycheck, then just stop paying untl they go away - which would probably be about a month's worth of free work.

Sans any contract to the contrary, Mr. Miller saves any legal wranglings by paying the staff what they are due, while cutting them loose at the earliest opportunity.

I'd bet three things here: 1) Nate and the stafff will get paid, no matter how morally wrong the process was. 2) Mr. Miller or someone close to him watched every step of the way to take notes and learn. 3) there was a lot of extra effort essentially 'donated' to this place.

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Employees are notified on June 2nd that they're losing their jobs that very night.

On June 4th, an article comes out stating that the owner "plans to install his grandson, Jack Hand, as chef of the revamped Mealey’s Table, which the investor says will more closely resemble the old, family-oriented Mealey’s Restaurant...."

That is one hell of a loyal grandson, rushing to the aid of his family on less than 48 hours notice. A remarkably agile change in business plan over the weekend, too - one could almost say, Landrum-esque.

Hope everyone was paid well for what amounted to carpentry services and building improvements.

Correction, the grandson came in with Carl to inform Patrick that the restaurant was closing, then proceeded to sit down and the two of them ordered dinner. Further insult to injury, while I was in Patrick's office learning the news, the two of them were already going through my office next door. I then had to plead with them not to go through the kitchen when Carl asked me if I would take his grandson down and show him what products he had to work with. I hadn't even had a chance to tell the staff, so I told them that I would not, and out of respect for the hard work that my staff was still doing they would need to come back in a few days, after we had a chance to tell everyone. So, rushing to his grandfathers aid, is a far cry from how things went down.

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So, rushing to his grandfathers aid, is a far cry from how things went down.

Don, you were being facetious, no? I was being blunt. I think we were saying the same thing - that this was planned some time out. But I could be wrong. The question is - how far out?

As for showing the grandson what he products he has to work with: 800-659-6044

In fairness, we are still only hearing one side of the story. Bookkeeping oversights are bad, and I don't know how much of a "package deal" the staff was. Maybe, like in a marriage, there's lots of collateral damage when the trust is broken and innocent people are hurt during the breakup. It doesn't mean the move to separate is wrong. I don't know. But to let someone go, then expect a cooked meal from them, that's kind of low and seems in line with the whole recent history of Mealy's.

I wonder what the real trace of ownership is. Is Plack still involved? Who are the new investors; what hedge fund? It is possible it was the same old people, just changing their name and putting a new (more respectable) face out there in Miller? (note, they didn't seem like much of a bank as an investment club). Did the title to the property ever actually change hands? A restaurant up the street from my house tried the same basic stunt a time or two, claiming a change in ownership when nothing really changed. They annouced their permanent closing today.

Maybe someday I'll be a reporter. In the meantime I only have time to ask the questions, knowing that it is rare that I think "there's more to this story" and end up wrong.

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Yeah, my conspiracy theories might be a bit overdone.

While the bank guys seem like people I'd not do business with, Mr. Miller does. And while the cuts may have been deep and sharp, and Nate may not have deserved it...it may simply have been a case of Mr. Miller circling the wagons/cleaning house when he saw something he didn't like. And right now he may simply feel he needs trust more than he needs skill. I dunno. It doesn't make it easier for Nate, and maybe we'll never know what the real intentions were.

Shutting up for now.

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Here's the line from the Post article that jumped out at me:

"At the same time, Forest believes older generation diners like Miller and his kind “don’t understand the concept of a la carte....They wanted the soups and salads with their entrees.”

Yes, I'm sure there's a great deal of complicated stuff going on the behind the scenes that none of us know about. But maybe it's as simple as a chef and an owner not being on the same page when it came to the basic concept of the place.

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Points taken. Yes, my jab was snarky and too quick, and ultimately is just armchair whining about third party disappointment. Apologies to all, and especially to Carl Miller.

Mr. Miller is reported to be the property's owner, having purchased it from the hedge fund that bought Mealey's and nine other properties from American Bank, and then having signed a deal with Forest and Hull to operate a restaurant. Cattle ranching is something of a hobby on his three farms, as Miller made his fortune as founder and chairman a huge regional civil engineering construction firm still owned by his family. To Jeff's speculation, if we judge a man by his deeds then we have to consider that the Millers are also major and longtime benefactors of the Montgomery and Frederick agricultural fairs, 4H, hospice programs, and the American Diabetes Association, hardly the hallmarks of a dick.

Landrum keenly observes that the crux of the matter may lie with the irregular recordkeeping and the fired partner. Carman doesn't pursue this issue further, so there's no way of knowing if this was a matter of small-but-important amounts (say taxes) or something with more direct financial impact, like making sure that the operation isn't being bankrupted by having untracked inventory walking out the back door (which, I have been told, is alarmingly widespread in the industry).

On the spectrum of possible adjustments to a new operation, shutting down is an extreme but occasionally necessary choice (cf Corporate Bar & Grill), but to give up so soon after opening suggests that somebody walked - or was led - into this situation with unrealistic expectations. I just hope that everybody is able to recover quickly.

What he said.

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I went back in September, but it's been too long for me to recount details with any kind of specificity. My persistant general impression is that it was exactly the kind of country dining experience one might choose to take older relatives to, but not a foodie destination in itself...certainly not enough of one to warrant hurrying to make a post. I recall being underwhelmed by their touted fried clams, and especially by the cream of crab soup, which was more like paste than crab. YMMV.

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I went back in September, but it's been too long for me to recount details with any kind of specificity. My persistant general impression is that it was exactly the kind of country dining experience one might choose to take older relatives to, but not a foodie destination in itself...certainly not enough of one to warrant hurrying to make a post. I recall being underwhelmed by their touted fried clams, and especially by the cream of crab soup, which was more like paste than crab. YMMV.

I heard they lost another chef, and it's suffering right now (maybe not financially, but qualitatively).

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