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40 Under 40 2019: Eric Smith, Atlas Restaurant Group

If you’re looking for Eric Smith, check one of his restaurants.

Smith, the co-owner of Baltimore’s Atlas Restaurant Group, tries to make it to each of his properties twice a night, six nights a week. It’s part of a structured, workaholic routine that has helped him grow the restaurant group he runs with brother Alex Smith to nine Baltimore properties — including Ouzo Bay, Tagliata and The Bygone — and three more in Florida and Texas over the course of just a few years. The latest, Fells Point seafood house The Choptank, opened in September.

“I’m a pretty repetitive person,” Smith says, when asked what drives his success. “I try to do the same thing every day, and just get better at it.”

While Alex manages the financial side of the business, Eric handles Atlas’ beverage program, project management and much of the company’s hiring.

But “there’s a zillion things that both of us do,” he said. “We’re running around all the time.”

Soon there will be even more to do: Atlas has at least two more local projects on the way. Latin-inspired Harbor East eatery Maximón is slated to open in the coming weeks, while a crab house inside the renovated Cross Street Market in Federal Hill is in the works for next year.

By Amanda Yeager