BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City restaurants are under pressure as dozens have shut their doors in recent months, but the city insists the food scene downtown is growing.
In Hampden, several restaurant have closed in just the last few months, still the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is pushing back against the idea of a shrinking restaurant scene.
Bistro RX, Ryan’s Daughter, 8 Ball, Aggio and Canners Rows — more than two dozen restaurants in Baltimore have served their last meal.
“Oh, right now I heard it’s about five restaurants, four already out of business,” said Tom Chungsakoon, of Thai Yum.
The challenge to get diners in the door is closing the restaurants down for good. Few restaurants are immune to the struggle, even Regis in Federal Hill — a neighborhood staple for 40 years — is up for sale.
“It would be nice to have some parking more available and more police around,” said Chungsakoon. “That would help business.”
While some restaurants are fighting factors out of their control, La Cuchara in Meadow Mill keeps tables fulls thanks in part to plentiful parking and a quiet location.
“Business has been down a little bit, but we focus on creating great service, a great quality product, and consistent product for our guests,” Ben Lefendelf, chef and owner of La Cuchara said.
The owners recently opened a second restaurant — one of 40 new spots that have sprouted up in the last year — and the Downtown Partnerships said the city’s food scene is growing.
“When you think of where restaurants are, they’re mostly in a downtown area. And we see far more openings than closings,” Kirby Fowler, of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, said.
The Downtown Partnership says nationally, 70 percent of all restaurants close within one year of opening, and Baltimore is reflecting those national trends.
Some of the restaurants that have recently closed are planning to move or reopen under new names.