Baltimore food truck restrictions to be argued in court Tuesday

City attorneys will be arguing Tuesday that a judge’s order against a limited ban on food trucks operating within 300 feet of restaurants should be lifted, while attorneys for the other side will be arguing the order should go even further. In the December 2017 order, Circuit Court Judge Karen C. Friedman ruled that a city ordinance forbidding food trucks, in certain instances, from operating within 300 feet of a business was unconstitutionally vague. Specifically, she ruled against language prohibiting a “vendor truck” from parking within 300 feet of a retail business “primarily engaged in selling the same type of food product...as that offered by the mobile vendor.” (Balt. Sun)

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Next on tap: More than a dozen Maryland breweries plan to open this year

Beer drinkers in Maryland have plenty to look forward to this year. More than a dozen breweries are in the works throughout the state, according to a list maintained by the Brewers Association of Maryland. They'll join the approximately 100 breweries already open and operating. That's good news for consumers, who will likely see higher-quality options as the $638 million craft brewing industry matures, said Jim Bauckman, a spokesman for the brewers association. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Baltimore-area food truck named one of 26 best in the U.S. by Food Network

A Maryland food truck was named one of the 26 best in the country by the Food Network. Naturally, its specialty is crab cakes. Flash Crabcake Company was honored by Food Network as part of a “road trip of America’s best on-the-go eats.” The food truck, owned by the Gordon family, can be found serving up its delicacies like crab cakes (duh) and cream of crab soup throughout the Baltimore area. “If you're going to partake of the native crustacean, it's best to have your cakes made by a bunch of lifelong locals like the folks at Flash,” the Food Network article says. (Balt. Sun)

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Small Baltimore retailers stay open despite hurdles

As Ian and Brian Goldstein started considering opening Brothers Music in the Charles North neighborhood roughly four years ago, the plan seemed risky to some people. The idea for their business formed not long before Baltimore erupted into riots in the spring of 2015. When Ian Goldstein told his friend Jimmy MacMillan, co-founder of music label Friends Records, about their idea, his reaction wasn’t encouraging, Goldstein said. Running an independent retail store has always been challenging. Increasing competition from national chains and the rise of online shopping continue ratcheting up the difficulty level. In Baltimore, crime, and the associated negative perceptions scaring off customers, provide additional hurdles. (Daily Record)

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Corporate tax cut, tax hike get mixed reviews in Senate committee

Vision Technologies is just the kind of company Maryland economic development folks would want to celebrate. The IT integrator started in a room above the CEO’s garage in 2000 and ended that first year with a revenue of $800,000 and 10 employees, according to Vision’s website. Fast forward and the company has grown 33% in the last 3 years. They’re projecting $130 million in revenue for 2019 and have a workforce of 500 employees. Now they’re looking to move out of their headquarters in Glen Burnie. Will they stay in Maryland? The answer may depend on what happens in Annapolis. (Md. Reporter)

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Vegan chocolate maker Charm School Chocolate opens in Hunt Valley

A new chocolate factory and tasting room has opened in Hunt Valley — just in time for your Valentine’s Day candy haul. Charm School Chocolate, which specializes in vegan and non-dairy treats, opened its new facility over the Feb. 1-3 weekend, owner Joshua Rosen said. He founded the company in 2012, and while the products have been on the shelves for years, the Hunt Valley facility’s opening marks an exciting new leap for him. “This is about giving a full experience,” Rosen, 36, of Hampden, said. “It’s a dream come true.” (Balt. Sun)

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Boston Properties sells Rockville office building to Rubenstein

Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners LP has acquired 2600 Tower Oaks Blvd. in Rockville for about $22.7 million from Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP). The eight-story, 179,421 square-foot Class-A office building expands Rubenstein's Rockville footprint, complementing its $38 million acquisition of the 227,000 square-foot Research Plaza office complex in August. The building, constructed in 2001, is currently 48 percent leased. The sale closed Jan. 24. While Rubenstein considers the building to be a well-located asset along the Interstate 270 corridor, the company does plan to update its amenities, with the addition of a tenant lounge, café and fitness facility and upgrades of common areas. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Legg Mason reports big loss for third quarter driven by write-down of assets

Legg Mason Inc., the Baltimore-based money management firm, reported Monday that it lost $217 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31 as it wrote down some assets amid the broader market downturn. The company took a $365 million “impairment charge” that it said was related to “commingled fund management contracts” at its affiliates EnTrustPermal and RARE Infrastructure. Legg Mason serves as a holding company for nine investment affiliates that focus on particular investment strategies. EnTrust Permal is a hedge fund investor focused on alternative assets, while RARE focuses on infrastructure investments. (Balt. Sun)

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