BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It appears to be shaping up to be a good year for shops and restaurants in Charm City. Even as one business closes, another is ready to take its place.
George Solis shows us what’s behind the growth.
Business owners say it’s a mixture of leadership and serious investors that are helping generate a lot of buzz, which in turn is translating into big bucks.
Park Cafe and Coffee Bar was robbed five times earlier this year. But on Thursday, the popular spot in Bolton Hill closed its doors for good.
But the owner says that crime wasn’t the cause. Owner David Hart says it’s the opposite. He’s closing now while the shop is still on top.
“We did survive because of the community outreach and the community support, the days after each of those robberies we were busier almost by double than what we would have been,” he says.
Hart claims it’s that’s kind of outreach that’s sparked numerous offers to buy his cafe.
The news isn’t surprising to some city leaders, who say it shows that Charm City is more than just a nickname.
“There is no doubt in my mind we have challenges in Baltimore, but the way to overcome them is to come together and fight for each other.”
The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore tells WJZ, over the past year they’ve seen a number of new restaurants opening which is on pace with a growing population and record levels of development.
Businesses in Fells Point say they’re seeing it first hand.
“These are people who are in it for the long term and really putting a significant amount of money into what they’re building,” says owner of Su Casa in Fells Point, Nicholas Johnson.
Popular eatery Ekiben’s 26-year-old owner Steve Chu says it continues to be a worthwhile investment.
“This community has been great to us, the whole city has been great to us, we’re very bonded together,” says Chu.
It’s the kind of bond Hart believes whatever business takes over will soon know too.
“I am an optimist I’m always going to see the glass have full,” says Hart.
Hart says his staff has also felt the impact of that bond. Many of them have received job offers from other local businesses.
Businesses also crediting Baltimore-based Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank’s recent investments in the city as a factor for growth.