BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Beth Hawks has opened her Zelda Zen boutique in Fells Point in defiance of Baltimore City regulations.

As the city enters stage one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery plan, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has mandated in-store retail stay closed despite every neighboring county allowing stores to reopen. Curbside retail is allowed.

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“On Friday when the announcement came and he didn’t release retail, there was a collective scream throughout the city of all the retailers and then crying,” Hawks said. “And that shouldn’t be how we have to live. Three months we’ve been out of business—not three weeks. We need to pay our bills.”

Hawks posted a photo of the crowd that gathered in Fells Point to party over the weekend, even as the stay at home order was still in effect and questioned why retailers can’t open again when the city is allowing these large gatherings. “It’s a joke,” she said.

Beth Hawks posted this photo of a crowd gathered in Fells Point over the weekend

Patrick Russell, the owner of Kooper’s Tavern and other businesses, said he needs more space for outdoor dining.

“Allow business owners who have done everything they’re supposed to do to open their businesses outside on the streets,” Russell said. “I don’t understand why small businesses—restaurants and retail shops—we’re the last ones on the totem pole right now. We’re getting crushed.”

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He’s also upset at the blind eye being turned to the partying crowds.


“Stop allowing people to bring their beer and wine down and pop a hatchback or trunk and sell it. That’s ludicrous to me,” he said. “I’ve got to pay for my permits. I’ve got to abide by the laws the liquor board puts forth. Yet somebody else can come down here and pop their hatch and sell liquor to anybody they want. It makes zero sense to me.”

Barbershops and hair salons can now open under phase one in the city by appointment only. Summer camps and child care centers can open with a maximum of 10 people.

The health commissioner explained Friday why Baltimore is not moving to the next stage yet.

“We’d like to be able to review the data as we open things up and understand if we’re going to see trends. It’s also possible we could see spikes with the protests,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said. “So we want to be able to monitor the data closely, safely into phase one before we consider moving on to phase two.”

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