Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pomo Grille Closed

Saturday was the final day in business for Bowie's Pomo Grille restaurant. The wait staff first heard the news two weeks ago.

The Monte Restaurant Development Group, the owner of the Pomo Grille, has decided to convert the location into a Squisito Pizza & Pasta restaurant. Renovations are expected to take just one week, and the new restaurant will open on Monday, January 18th.

Monte Restaurant Development Group owns and runs several restaurants in the area, including eight Squisito locations (predominantly in Anne Arundel County), the Four Seasons Grille in Waugh Chapel, Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen & Wine Bar in Annapolis and Sazzio in Hanover and White Marsh.

Squisito offers a more casual dining format than the Pomo Grille. Customers place orders at a counter before sitting down. I'm not sure if the staff delivers food to customers or if customers pick up the food at the counter. Click here to see the menus at other Squisito restaurants, and click here to see a picture gallery of Squisito restaurants and menu items.

My wife and I ate at the Pomo Grille a handful of times since it opened in 2007. The food was always great, and there always seemed to be plenty of customers. Obviously the owner believes that a Squisito will be more profitable in this location, but I'm interested in hearing more details.

I'm also looking forward to trying out the new Squisito. The reviews I found on the Web suggest that people visit Squisito for the pizza. This will be the first pizza joint to return to Free State Mall since the closing of the Happy Italian Delight.

UPDATE: It seems that I received some bad information about Squisito opening on January 18th. Please see this new post with more details.


  1. I ate at a Squisito in Annapolis over Christmas. They give you a number and bring the food to your table. The pizza was fine for this kind of restaurant, I suppose. I thought it was a lot like the Italian Market on Rte 3 in Gambrils.

  2. Abbot, I've been to the Italian Market once or twice, but I don't recall much about the food.

    I may be more inclined to visit Squisito over PomoGrille because I perceive that style of restaurant to be more kid friendly - even though I really liked the food at PomoGrille. Trips to the PomoGrille were usually reserved for date night. If our household is representative of restaurant goers in Bowie, converting to a Squisito may be a smart move.

  3. Darn! We were actually thinking about PomoGrille as a place to meet some friends for dinner out that way this coming Sunday. Can you recommend another good restaurant (four couples, no kids, not too expensive but not a sports bar)in or near Bowie? Thanks!

  4. Cyndy,

    I don't have a very discriminating palate (I'll eat anything), so I solicited input from my wife. Here are some ideas. I included links where I could.

    Grace's Fortune: Very good Chinese food. May be more on the pricey side than you want. Their on-line dinner menu includes prices, so you can judge for yourself. They're located very close to Pomo Grille. You may want to make reservations.

    East Moon Asian Bistro: Asian Fusion food. They don't have their own web site, so here is a link to a review site. I don't agree with a lot of the comments on the review site. I think East Moon has great food, and it is more afforadable than Grace's Fortune. Here is a link to a review from a fellow Bowie blogger.

    LemonGrass: Thai food in Crofton. Here is a link to some reviews and the address. I have never been here, but my wife likes it, and she said that it's not too expensive.

    Big Fish Grill: In Crofton. This isn't just seafood. Click here for the menu and prices.

    Old Bowie Town Grille: Geez. I tried to visit their web site, but I received a warning that the site might contain malware. This is a family owned restaurant at 8604 Chestnut Avenue in a historical section of town called Old Bowie. They have live music Sunday night starting at 8:30. Here is a link to their event page. The music is upstairs, so you can still have dinner downstairs if you're not into the music. Here is how they describe their menu:

    The Old Bowie Town Grille menu features an extensive collection of moderately priced appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, steaks, fresh seafood, desserts, non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine, and liquor. The menu will feature the steak and fresh seafood entrees and delicious specials will be offered on a regular rotating basis. Vegetarian and “healthy” entrees will also be offered. The Old Bowie Town Grille menu has something for everyone and will satisfy the most discriminating of tastes. All food and beverage items will be served under a common theme – Old Town flavor, great new taste!

  5. Thanks a lot Mike, I'll check these out!

  6. Why do away with a good thing??? Pomogrille was a favorite spot for me after work..and the manager didnt even tell me it was closing....if anyone knows the lovely woman who tended the bar and waited orders at the neighboring booths, I believe her name was Stephanie..please tell her that I was trying to contact her..she reach me a 301-336-5421....

  7. It is a shame that Pomo Grill has closed. It provided dependably good Italian food and pleasant service in an attractive setting. Yet another pizza joint? Absolutely unneeded. Fortunately, a few miles north in Laurel, Pasta Plus is still with us, offering consistently excellent Italian cuisine that is amongst the best in the DC/Baltimore area.

  8. I recently moved to Annapolis, but frequent Bowie on a regular basis, and was sad to have it confirmed that Pomo Grille is, indeed, closed. I would love to see it re-appear somewhere else in Bowie. Does anyone have a name/address/email of a management-level person that would like to hear my comment? Thanks much.

  9. Anonymous, you can find contact information in the comments of the following post: click here.

    I should have written another post summarizing the whole story. The people at Monte Restaurant Development Group were vague, but they blamed the closing on the landlord. I have never seen a landlord kick out a paying tenant in favor of a vacant property. As a result, my speculation (emphasis on "my") is that Pomo Grille failed in that location, and the Monte Restaurant Development Group wanted to convert the location into a Squisitos. Perhaps they were behind on their rent - perhaps not. For whatever reason, the landlord said, "no." If that is what truly happened, then sending support e-mail to Monte Restaurant Development Group will not help unless the failure was based on that specific location. I sent them multiple e-mails, and I received the same form letter that Bill (see comments on other post) received. Well, that's my speculation, but would love to see someone from the Monte Group reply and correct me with the real details.