ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — It's been chaotic in Ellicott City this week. Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and his show '24 Hours to Hell and Back' set up shop in one of the parking lots, drawing lots of crowds and questions.
"It's like an ongoing surprise," said Park Ridge Trading Co. owner Julia Sanger.
The show's goal is to help struggling restaurants but they kept their work hush hush, at some points, taking away phones and making business owners sign non-disclosure agreements, as they focused their efforts on three establishments: Little Market Cafe, Jaxon Edwin and Ellicott Mills Brewing Company (which just merged with the Phoenix Emporium).
After nearly a week in town, he started revealing his work to the owners. Ramsay meeting Phoenix Emporium/EC Brewing Co. owner Mark Hemmis outside to reveal the new name and logo of the joined business: Phoenix Brewing Company. The Phoenix Emporium at the bottom of Main St. was closed all week during the other building's renovations.
The big reveal of the new Phoenix Brewing Company logo on Main St. Owner Mark Hemmis looks shocked. The two businesses merged at the beginning of the year @24HoursFOX @WMAR2News pic.twitter.com/Jhm3v41tEV— Abby Isaacs WMAR (@AbbyIsaacsNews) February 27, 2020
Business owners said the buzz the visit has created has been great for the town.
"We're really really happy to have some positivity in town and to have this kind of excitement and attention that doesn't have anything to do with a natural disaster. It's been a lot of fun," said Sanger.
Fun in the midst of ongoing flood mitigation efforts after two devastating floods in two years. While three businesses got the renovations, Sanger said everyone is benefiting.
"The other day they had a huge volunteer effort to do some clean up and some flower planting and all of that around the street and it's really been a concerted effort to make the street reinvigorated," said Sanger.
Jaxon Edwin will be open to the public Friday to reveal the renovations. Crew members told WMAR-2 News they leave Friday morning.
Business owners say @24HoursFOX has been here since Monday and they have been focusing on 3 businesses: @jaxonedwin, Little Market Cafe and the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, which merged with Phoenix Emporium. Word on the street is a big announcement is coming soon @WMAR2News pic.twitter.com/g2NIcmwwLd
— Abby Isaacs WMAR (@AbbyIsaacsNews) February 27, 2020