VSOP- Very Special Older Properties

VSOP- Very Special Older Properties Very Special Older Properties, LLC. (VSOP) is a Baltimore-based property renewal company. VSOP focuses on leveraging creative energy and craftsmanship to transform forgotten spaces with ‘good bones’ in to entities that pay homage to history while incorporating 21st century amenities.
(4)

08/18/2019

Reading about the opening of new libraries around the world ... ones that are transforming the role, function and look of this vital community institution (New York Times, Check This Out, by Alyson Krueger, Sunday - August 18, 2019).

I am looking forward to seeing what the new Pratt Library in Baltimore will offer our city and its citizens.

- Helsinki Library = $98 million euros with only 1/3 allocated to books
- Dublin Library = radio station broadcasting 24/7
- Ottawa = $192 million with a 320 seat theater
- Qatar Library = labs for writing music, broadcast rooms with green screens. Play spaces for kids
- Tianjin Library (China) = 10,000 visitors per day
- Austin Library = a seed library, solar energy, 373,000 gallon rainwater cistern, a technology petting zoo

05/01/2019

THE ELEPHANT REMAINS OPEN

We are beyond delighted to announce: The Elephant will remain open ... and will continue to serve its globally-inspired cuisine in its grand Charles Street townhome.

"They tried to bury us. They didn't realize we were seeds." – Mexican Proverb

Five years ago, we embarked on a journey to save one of Baltimore’s iconic buildings which is adorned with historic architectural elements by Tiffany, Lockwood, Mercer, and Rinehart – at 924 N Charles Street.

Three years ago, we opened a fine dining restaurant in this 1850’s mid-town mansion – The Elephant.

Last month, the Charles Street property faced a threat which would have forced the sale of the building and the closure of The Elephant.

But thanks to an outpouring of support from our guests, fans and community … coupled with strong and strategic legal representation … we fought back to save the building and save The Elephant.

As a result: this threat has been averted … The Elephant will remain open!

We are so excited that we will continue to serve our award-winning world cuisine and handcrafted cocktails in this magnificent building … by a team of deeply committed hospitality professionals … to the most wonderful and supportive guests anyone could ever dream for!

The Elephant will be open Tuesdays – Saturdays, with first seating at 5:00 pm and last seating at 10:00 pm. The Upstairs lounge, bar and billiard room will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 pm with last pour at midnight. In the Living Room, we will be serving up Jazz on Thursday nights, Magic on Friday nights, and DJ’s spinning cool vibes on Saturday nights, all with no cover.

Voted Maryland’s Favorite New Restaurant, The Elephant is located at 924 N Charles Street in Baltimore’s historic Mt Vernon neighborhood, two blocks north of the original Washington Monument. For reservations call or click: 443.447.7878 or [email protected]

Please help us Save the Elephant ... your contribution will help us stop a hostile takeover of our historic building and...
03/26/2019
Click here to support Save The Elephant organized by The Elephant

Please help us Save the Elephant ... your contribution will help us stop a hostile takeover of our historic building and keep The Elephant restaurant open

https://www.facebook.com/706058387/posts/10156145600928388/

SAVE THE ELEPHANT Four years ago, we embarked on a journey to save one of Baltimore’s iconic buildings – 924 N Charles Street -- and in it open a globally inspired fine dining restaurant – The Elephant. Today, The Elephant is in jeopardy of closing … and the historic architectural elements o...

03/22/2019

Dear Friends, Family & Fans of The Elephant –

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we write to you today … but we wanted you to learn of this as soon as possible directly from us.

The Elephant’s last night being open to the public will be Saturday, March 23.

The other shoe dropped!

As you may well be aware [background info below], VSOP has run out of time to secure a traditional bank loan to pay back the family and friends who fronted the “gap” funds needed to get to opening. And now, one of those individuals has “called his note” and is taking legal action to literally take the property from us.

Our hearts are broken!

In response, we have to leverage all of our available resources to defend ourselves from this hostile takeover of our treasured property.

Thus, it is with great regret and broken hearts that we have made this decision to close The Elephant to the general public as we gather ourselves to deal with this situation.

We will however continue to serve!

The Elephant will continue to be open as a venue for private events … and we will continue to operate Sascha’s, our boutique catering company, as well as Sascha’s & The Elephant, the café at Center Stage. So please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you with any of your culinary and entertainment needs.

We are so blessed!

While these developments and actions are extremely painful, we feel so very blessed to have had this dream opportunity to open and operate The Elephant for the past almost three years in this iconic grand home in Baltimore’s historic Mt Vernon neighborhood.

 We remain deeply thankful for our talented and committed culinary and service team for helping to make The Elephant one of the Baltimore’s Best Restaurants [as listed by The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine] and Maryland’s Favorite New Restaurant [as recognized by the Restaurant Association of Maryland].

 We remain thankful for all of the farmers, purveyors, brewers, growers, and other vendors who have supplied us with exceptional produce and products.

 We remain thankful for all of the dedicated and skilled local artisans and craftsman who helped us return this 1850’s mid-town mansion back to its rightful grandeur, and

 We remain profoundly thankful to you and all of our guests for your ongoing support and contribution to this amazing journey.

Together, you and all of The Elephant’s friends, family and fans have touched our lives in so many meaningful, beautiful and powerful ways. It has been our honor and delight to host all of you at The Elephant.

With an abundance of appreciation and gratitude, we look forward to seeing you on or before Saturday, March 23 … and/or when and where our paths next cross!

 Mallory Staley, Co-Owner
 Linda Brown Rivelis, Co-Owner
 Steven Rivelis, Co-Owner

BACKGROUND – HOW WE GOT HERE

Four years ago, we embarked on a journey to save one of Baltimore’s iconic buildings – 924 N Charles Street -- and in it open a globally inspired fine dining restaurant – The Elephant.

To do so, we leverage all of our personal resources as the building was in such disrepair that no bank would give us a mortgage. When the project required more work than had been anticipated, as often happens with a project of this size in a historic structure, we borrowed “gap” funds from friends and family. These loans were done with the understanding and expectation that once the building was fully renovated and the restaurant was in full operation, we would obtain a traditional bank loan to pay them back.

Then almost three years ago, after a 22 month total renovation, we opened The Elephant in July 2016. Since then we have been trying to secure a traditional bank loan to make repayment as promised to our friends and family. We approached a number of lending institutions, both small and large, with nine of them rejecting our inquiries without even considering our financials. They either didn’t want to support a restaurant or didn’t want to support a project in Baltimore. As one bank official told us: there is after all the Baltimore problem.

Dan Rodricks, of The Baltimore Sun, drew attention in “A taste of what could make the city great” to the difficulty we have been experiencing in trying to secure a traditional bank loan for The Elephant’s building. Lorraine Mirabella, in The Sunday Sun, soon after echoed this in “Small business lending dips.” Both articles highlight the significant issues that are hindering the sustainability of small business, the attraction of new businesses as well as the overall economic growth and prosperity in Baltimore City … along with a call to action to remedy this serious problem. In response, Baltimore City Council even held hearing on this matter requesting that we provide testimony about this matter.

Unfortunately, we have run out of time.

One of the individuals who loaned us the needed gap money has “called” his note just before the one bank that was willing to work with us was able to get us to closing with an SBA loan. He took legal action against us in Federal Court. This individual’s legal action against us disqualified us from being eligible for a loan from the SBA.

As we were now unable to secure a traditional mortgage loan, we made the difficult decision to sell this magnificent building in order to honor our promise to pay back those who fronted us the critical funds to complete the renovation and launch the opening of The Elephant.

And then the other shoe dropped!

The individual who “called his note" has now taken additional legal action against us in a move to take the property from us.

In response, we have made the painful decision to close The Elephant to the public … in order to leverage all of our available resources to defend ourselves from this hostile takeover of our treasured property and beloved restaurant.

We will keep The Elephant open as a venue for special private gatherings … and will continue to operate Sascha’s – our boutique catering firm – as well as Sascha’s & The Elephant – the café at Center Stage.

Thank you!

- Mallory, Linda & Steven

Wonderful article showcasing the Painted Ladies - a community building initiative launched by Linda Brown Rivelis and St...
11/18/2018
Neighborhood Spotlight: Abell - the "Painted Lady" Neighborhood of Charm City

Wonderful article showcasing the Painted Ladies - a community building initiative launched by Linda Brown Rivelis and Steven Rivelis of VSOP along with Dawna Cobb and Lisa Simeone - in Baltimore's historic Charles Village neighborhood

https://baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/neighborhood-spotlight-abell-the-painted-lady-neighborhood-of-charm-city/?utm_source=Master+List&utm_campaign=9c08848c4e-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7cb3e287c2-9c08848c4e-30984017

Read more about the Baltimore neighborhood of Abell in our Neighborhood Spotlight series presented by Live Baltimore.

11/11/2018

To all those who have served and serve ... thank you! Freedom is not free.

Baltimore's Pendry Hotel voted #1 Come visit. Stay at the Pendry - in Baltimore's historic Fells Point neighborhood. And...
10/14/2018
Sagamore Pendry Baltimore wins over Condé Nast Traveler readers - Baltimore Business Journal

Baltimore's Pendry Hotel voted #1

Come visit. Stay at the Pendry - in Baltimore's historic Fells Point neighborhood. And dine at The Elephant - Baltimore's historic Mt Vernon neighborhood.

https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2018/10/09/sagamore-pendry-baltimore-wins-over-cond-nast.html

Condé Nast Traveler said it received a record-breaking number of responses from nearly a half a million readers.

Baltimore (once again) makes the must see list of places to visit ... and when you do, please come see us at The Elephan...
07/12/2018
Place 19 of 52: A Celebration of African-American Culture in Baltimore

Baltimore (once again) makes the must see list of places to visit ... and when you do, please come see us at The Elephant for our globally inspired cuisine and handcrafted cocktails served in an 1850's iconic midtown mansion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/travel/baltimore-african-american-culture-history.html?nytmobile=0

This is a place where it feels like Black History Month every day, and I can’t wait to come back.

06/04/2018

Charles Village Victorian Brownstone

Live in a radically designed and fully renovated flat that fills one full floor [1,000 sf] of this historic Charles Village Victorian Brownstone on Saint Paul Street.

This grand one bedroom 2nd floor flat retains many of its original 1897 architectural features while incorporating innovative and stunning 21st century amenities, including:

• Gourmet gas stove/convection oven
• Stainless steel dishwasher
• Granite slab kitchen countertops
• Marble bathroom with double sink and separate water closet
• Frameless glass shower with double showerheads
• Hardwood original floors
• 12-15 ft. ceilings
• Central air/heat systems, individually controlled
• In-unit washer/dryer
• Security system with video door monitor
• One-key access to building, flat and courtyard
• Private deck
• Walled courtyard
• On-site fitness -- treadmill and universal gym
• Bike rack
• Individual secured storage
• Smoke free and pet free
• Walking distance to Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Museum of Art, restaurants – including Parts & Labor and R-House, Waverly Farmers Market, Eddies Market, and more
• 1 block from the Johns Hopkins shuttle and the Purple Circulator line

Rent: $1,600/mo [not including gas/electric]

Contact: [email protected]

06/02/2018

Baltimore is rated one of the top 3 cities in the US for software engineers, based on a just released study.

05/28/2018

We pause to give thanks to all who served and serve ... especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice ... freedom is not free

05/13/2018

To all the moms and to all who mother (regardless of DNA) ... those who love us unconditionally; guide and teach us; hug and comfort us; read to us as kids and wait up for us later in life; protect us and encourage us to be independent: believe in us and cheer for us; push us to be more than we thought we could be; dust us off when we fall and send us back into the world stronger and more self reliant ... THANK YOU!

Address

924 N Charles Street
Baltimore, MD
21201

Telephone

(443) 253-5444

Website

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when VSOP- Very Special Older Properties posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to VSOP- Very Special Older Properties:

Nearby museums