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Fire Destroys Mt. Washington Tavern & Threatens Stability Of Nearby Businesses

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—One day after flames tore through a popular Baltimore restaurant, concerns mount for the entire neighborhood. Other businesses near the Mt. Washington Tavern are wondering how they’ll make it without their landmark attraction.

Adam May has more on the area’s future.

The tavern is a responsible for a lot of the foot traffic in Mt. Washington Village. One day after the fire, we already noticed without it, customers in the area were sparse.

Over the years, thousands of people have dined in the restaurant now in ruins.

The Mt. Washington Tavern went up in flames early Monday morning. Now construction crews board up what’s left of this Baltimore landmark.

There’s a “big hole in the neighborhood,” said Koula Savvakis, Mt. Washington Merchants Association.

The neighborhood merchants association is very concerned about how more than a dozen other restaurants and retail shops will survive without the area’s biggest draw.

“We send each other clients,” Savvakis said. “People come to village, go to Crepe De Jour for dinner, then go the tavern, have a late night drink, see friends, or visa versa. It’s hard because foot traffic for people on either side is gonna be cut off.”

On top of that, 70 people lost jobs at the tavern, and employees at other businesses, like a nearby salon, are concerned.

“It was a good place to get a drink, meet clients and hand out cards, so I’m worried we might not get as many new clients,” said Erin Leader, hair stylist.

Despite the tragedy, there is optimism. 

The owners of the tavern plan to rebuild, telling WJZ to expect a new and improved tavern with the same local feel.

“Bigger better tavern, means a lot more people, activity and business for the whole village,” Savvakis said.

Rebuilding could take a least a year. Other merchants are meeting next week to put together a marketing plan.

Damage to the Mt. Washington Tavern is around $2.5 million.  A cause has not been determined.

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