MaGerk’s in Bel Air, Maryland

About 30 years ago, I had a career (which lasted all of one night) as a dishwasher at a restaurant called, Uncle George’s.  The owner of the place (Uncle George) was very moody and quick-tempered.  I recall that I broke a plate and he went into a rage (cussing me out in English and in Greek).  Then (five minutes later), he offered me some rice pudding, and told me to take a half-hour break.  Well, once the restaurant closed for the night, Uncle George started letting all of his friends into the joint.  They all started getting drunk.  Uncle George had me wait on them, so that I could learn the trade of being a server.  The only thing was, it was now 4-in-the-morning; and I was a 16-year-old who was hanging with a bunch of middle-aged men (who were partying).  Well, this was a time long before cell phones.  My mother couldn’t burn up my cell to see what was going on with me.  So, she showed up at the restaurant, and started banging on the door.  She exchanged a few words with Uncle George, and that was the end of my career as a dishwasher!  Anyhow, years went by, and I moved to Seattle after high school.  I did not return (to live) in Harford County, again, until 2010.  Uncle George’s no longer exists.  The rumor I heard was that he burned the place down for the insurance money.  Then again, this is Harford County where untruths often become repeated legends.  What now stands in Uncle George’s place is a club called, MaGerk’s.  I finally made it to MaGerk’s a couple of weekends ago; when I crashed the Class of 1987’s High School Reunion (I graduated before 1987, but wanted to see some childhood neighbors from that class year).  The MaGerk’s bouncer really made my night, because he carded me!  The entry lighting must be really bad if that dude thought this middle-aged man was under 21-years-of-age!  At any rate, I was very impressed with MaGerk’s.  It had a nice mix of peope from all ages and backgrounds.  Plus, they have a great courtyard.  I love me a courtyard, and if I still smoked, I’m sure that I’d be out there (doing just that)!  Oh, and MaGerk’s has live shows!  That, right there, is enough for me to visit (again and again).  But, I do need to try their food.  I didn’t eat anything while I was there!  Just drank, and giggled (to myself) about Uncle George!



Filed under Bel Air, Live Shows, Personal

2 responses to “MaGerk’s in Bel Air, Maryland

  1. Jason Kozlowski

    It is saddening the way you speak of George. I was a regular in Uncle George’s with my father when I was a child. It was the type of place that is hard to find these days. George was always really nice, giving me snacks and money to play the arcade games that were in the original restaurant. The restaurant did burn in the late 80’s or early 90’s, but it was not for insurance. George did rebuild, and re-open with a nicer more modern restaurant.

    As long as George owned it, Uncle George’s was one of the best restaurants in Bel Air. A few years later he sold the restaurant to an employee, and stayed there as management. He left after a while, I assume it was retirement time, and that was when the place fell apart. I remember being served food that was cold in the middle, because it was frozen and heated. George wouldn’t have done that. It is no surprise the place closed, with all the chain restaurants moving into the area.

    I live in Pennsylvania now, and occasionally visit the Bel Air area. I don’t like what it has become, but MaGerk’s has been a curiosity. I used to know a wealthy family in Harford county by that same name, and wonder if they have ties to the place.


    • Hey, thanks for your reply. A restaurant like Uncle George’s is hard to find these days; which is tragic. Bel Air is mostly chain restaurants now. However, there are some local places on Main Street that have their own flavor (The Tower which used to be called The Red Fox, and Sean Bolans which used to be called Georgetown North). I also don’t like what Bel Air has become. When I lived there, it was woods everywhere; and no chain restaurants or retailers. As far as MaGerk’s, there are several of them (a local chain). I don’t know if they are related to the Harford County family. I also no longer live in Bel Air. Have spent most of my adult life in Seattle, but now live in Pennsylvania too. Cheers!


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