The Atlas Restaurant Group announced Monday its plans to take over the former Bar Vasquez space and relocate its offices from Harbor East to the same historic building nearby at Aliceanna and South Caroline streets.

The big new headquarters come as Atlas prepares to open The Ruxton steakhouse and Order of the Ace cocktail bar inside the Harbor East Marriott this December as well as a Loch Bar in Philadelphia, which launches this month.

In a statement, founder Alex Smith called the move “a testament to our enduring commitment to Baltimore” and said that it had been a “lifelong” goal to have his company’s headquarters attached to a restaurant concept. Both are set to open late next year.

The location is the historic E.J. Codd Company building, which dates back to the 1850s and was formerly an industrial machine shop and steel factory. Atlas plans to use 6,000 square feet of the building for the yet-to-be-named restaurant space and an additional 15,000 square feet as office space.

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Atlas is leasing the space from H&S Properties. That company was founded by Smith’s grandfather, the late John Paterakis Sr., who redeveloped Harbor East from an industrial wasteland. A spokesman for Atlas called its future office building “the gateway” between Harbor East and Fells Point, two of the neighborhoods where the company operates restaurants in the city.

Bar Vasquez, owned by Foreman Wolf, shut down in 2021 as the restaurant group reorganized its operations and launched the Milton Inn in Baltimore County. The Argentine steakhouse was itself a rebrand of tapas-oriented Pazo, also owned by Foreman Wolf. Mario Cano Catalán, who was head chef at Bar Vasquez, now works at Atlas-owned Ouzo Bay in Harbor East.

Atlas already owns around a dozen other eateries just in the vicinity, including Tagliata and Loch Bar. The company is now the 12th largest restaurant group in the country, according to a release.

Christina Tkacik is the food reporter for The Baltimore Banner.

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