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Cockeysville Painting Company Helps Cafe Hon Makeover

CertaPro Painters was contacted by a producer from the Fox television show 'Kitchen Nightmares' to paint Baltimore restaurant Cafe Hon.

Cockeysville Painting Company Helps Cafe Hon Makeover

CertaPro Painters was contacted by a producer from the Fox television show 'Kitchen Nightmares' to paint Baltimore restaurant Cafe Hon.


Nayana Davis

Lorena Streb wasn't at all fazed when a producer from the Fox television show Kitchen Nightmares contacted her company, CertaPro Painters in Cockeysville, for a job.

In fact, the business owner was thrilled to learn that the show, which focuses on revamping struggling restaurants, wanted her crewmembers to paint Cafe Hon, a well known Baltimore restaurant.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for us," Lorena Streb said. "I was very happy."

North Baltimore Patch previously reported that Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting said the restaurant has nearly gone out of business since the controversy erupted over the last year when she trademarked the Baltimore colloquialism "Hon."

Employees at CertaPro, at 215 Old Padonia Rd., were asked to be on set from 10 p.m., Sunday to 6 a.m., the next day. The paint job was done before breakfast service began on Monday.

"We're used to meeting all sorts of deadlines," Lorena Streb said. "I knew we had the manpower and could make it."

She said it was her husband and business partner Dave Streb, who took the phone call from Kitchen Nightmares.

"The production manager said we were recommended by a friend of a friend," Lorena Streb said. "We're not exactly sure who they spoke to but about 60 percent of our business comes from referrals."

She added that prior to starting business at CertaPro in 2007, she and her husband had worked in media production for corporate clients and speculated that this may have been a factor in the company's selection.

Lorena Streb said she greatly admires Whiting and is a big fan of her restaurant.

"Denise and I run in the same circles," she said. "I've run into her over and over again through different womens' organizations and chamber of commerce events. She is a spunky, determined woman."

Still, Lorena Streb thinks Whiting made the right decision in giving up the trademark on Monday. 

"I think it's a good thing that [Whiting] rescinded the term," Streb said. "I think her actions were misrepresented to the community. She was trying to make a smart business move."

Because the painters worked overnight, Lorena Streb was unable to meet Kitchen Nightmares host and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.

"He had a long day awaiting him," she laughed. "I'm sure Chef Ramsey was sleeping."

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