BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A landmark leaving. Harborplace, the center of Baltimore’s biggest tourist attraction, is losing a major tenant. After three decades, Phillips Seafood is moving out.

Weijia Jiang has new developments on Phillips’ possible future.

The news generated emotional reaction all day long, but in a late breaking development, it appears Phillips might not be that far away from here when it moves out.

For many–Marylanders or not–Phillips Seafood is a landmark as prominent as the Inner Harbor, where the restaurant has been a staple for 31 years.

But the pair is breaking up.

In a stunning announcement, the company says, “Phillips Harborplace has terminated their lease at the Inner Harbor effective Sept. 30, 2011. We are exploring other options in the Baltimore market.”

“I don’t know where we gonna come for our happy hour and fun,” said Susan Wilkens, Phillips Harborplace customer.

“I think it’s tragic,” said George Thompson, Phillips Harborplace customer.

Phillips is the last of the original Harborplace tenants. Since opening in 1980, it’s been the keystone of the Light Street Pavilion.

But Phillips is pulling all three locations there: the main restaurant, the buffet hall, and the to-go counter.

“Life evolves, things change, cities change and we’re very confident something new could come in and be even better,” Laurie Schwartz, Waterfront Partnership.

“I talked to General Growth,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “They already have an exciting tenant signed up. You know one door closes, another door opens. But it’s certainly going to be sad.”

Maybe not that sad after all.

Late Friday, WJZ’s media partner the Baltimore Sun reported Phillips is close to signing a deal to stay near the Inner Harbor and move less than half a mile away to the site of the old ESPN Zone, which shut down last June.

“I’m feeling fine,” said a Phillips employee. “They said just be patient.”

No deal for the new location of Phillips has been confirmed.

Phillips has several other locations including Ocean City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Comments (42)
  1. M.A. says:

    The article won’t say the real reason Phillips is leaving after 30 years.C’mon, we all know it has to do with the not-so-desirable people that roam the pavilions and the waterfront. I haven’t gone to Harborplace in years because of the lack of safety. When asked by out of town colleagues and friends where to go downtown, I specifically tell them to stay away from Harborplace, that it is not safe, and make other recommendations. Phillips is leaving because they aren’t drawing the people who will spend $ in their establishments. Ms. Mayor, are you listening? Unless you want the waterfront area to become a commercial graveyard of empty space, you need to address the crime and the roaming clusters of loud and obnoxious kids/young adults who have no regard for the people around them.

    Sitting at an outside restaurant and listening to Tanisha and Donel shout back and forth to one another is not my idea of a relaxing dinner.

    1. RP says:

      I went to Hooters 2 days ago, and the entire time I was there about 5 homeless people walked directly thru, one even asked me for money WHILE I WAS EATING AT HOOTERS! Out of control

  2. bill says:

    Best crab cake besides my own “By The Docks”in Bowleys Quarteres MD no Gangs!

  3. Gordon Ramsey says:

    Go away you bunch of donkeys. It’s always raw. SHUT IT DOWN!

  4. Joy Anderson says:

    They should have left 10 years ago..FOOD SUCKS!

  5. B-Dog says:

    Good bye and Good riddance, Philips.

    Ye sold out 20 years ago. I don’t know anyone that goes to Philips anymore.

  6. B-Dog says:

    Good bye and Good riddance, Philips.

    You sold out 20 years ago. I don’t know anyone that goes to Philips anymore.

  7. Angel says:

    Very Sad to see Philips leaving, but it’s life and change is Good. I hope Baltimore stop slow boating around and clean up the Inner Harbor as well as Baltimore. Stephanie Rawlings talk a good game, but I think it’s time for her to show some real action. Put up or shut up and get out if No Change to help us living here in Maryland, MD Sucks!!!

  8. the truth says:

    They better have another name entity in that spot come Labor day race weekend or there will be a huge lost opportunity. Mayor Rawlings & Police commissioner Bealfeld, get the Black thug gangs out of that area as they intimidate the tourists & just regular people downton for an evening out. N.Y. city doesn’t tolerate that nonsense & that town is full of spoonies but they behave or their heads will get rearranged & they’ll spend some time in the slammer. The only good thing about B’more is the downtown so let’s have a strong police presence everywhere but have them trained & not all black. N.Y. has more white cops because they can read & they don’t speak ebonics.

  9. the truth says:

    Oh, I forgot to add in my last post, N.Y.C. Has a strong mayor whos is a liberal but a no nonsense guy in Mike Bloomberg. He is white, well educated & doesn’r speak ebonics. He doesn’t need the $$$ as he is of the Bloomberg family news but does it for the passion of making a contribution back to his native hometown. Be nice if we could find dedication of that kind in Baltimore instead of ineptness, corruptness & just laziness.

  10. anon says:

    i for one love phillips seafood, most of you havent been there for years, you cant comment

  11. Daisy says:

    It worries me to see that General Growth Properties in involved here. What ever happened with their bankruptcy? They have had a habit of forcing out tenants in their other malls because they already have other tenants lined up for that space. I was down town for a press conference last year and was shocked that Harborplace’s Light street pavilion is pretty much vacant already. Very disheartening since I remember the hey-day of the Inner Harbor. The Ghost of Dear departed Willie Don needs to come down and impart some wisdom to all these fools letting downtown crumble.

    1. the truth says:

      GGP, Emerged from bankruptcy last year yet you have reason for concern. Their track record is lousy though & they have several poorly managed properties in this area that they have done nothing to improve their bottom line. The Village of Cross Keys is a jewel in a wonderful planned part of Baltimore yet it is dying of neglect. Columbia, Towson, the Harbor mall all are run down with poor bottom lines.

  12. Primetime Editorials says:

    i love this place
    im going to visit the new location

  13. Doug says:

    A better meal can be had in the nearest McDonald’s dumpster.
    And no tip.

  14. CHUCK says:

    Your all right,PHILLIP’S has lost the good seafood crown of yester year’s.Parking suck’s.Crime is within eye sight,in any direction looked.I don’t go into the city anymore,and I don’t do work in the city anymore.Until the people of this state start paying attention to the other 42 state that allow you to protect yourself,”O” well BONA PETITE.(I was ROB’d there a few year’s ago)TRY SOUTHERN MD,you might be surprised what you’ll find.

  15. bRice Phillerups says:

    I’ll give you the inside scoop about why we’re leaving Harborplace. The price of Common Carp meat (what we use instead of crab for our crabcakes) has increased exponentially. We can no longer afford to buy such high quality meat to serve to our tens of remaining customers. Sure we’ve done our best to keep costs down, prices up, and our bottom line padded, but in these tough economic times, even using discarded meals from Mo’s Seafood couldn’t save our downtown location.
    So, I would personally like to thank everyone who came out in the past few years and spent at least $150 each time. You kept a Baltimore icon afloat, and helped pay off my wife’s new knockers.


  16. Mark Anthony says:

    I am an event planner and I am bringing a group of 30 to 40 people from New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC in two months for an All You Can Eat Seafood Feast at Philip Harbor Place on 301 Light Street. Does anybody have any suggestions for an All You Can Eat Seafood Feast near the harbor other than Philips? I read everyone’s comments and do not like what I hear. Desperate for restaurant suggestions.

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