BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two Baltimore City restaurants are temporarily closing while indoor dining is halted in Baltimore City.
Mt. Washington Tavern along Newbury Street announced in a Facebook post that they “simply cannot operate and sustain on carryout business alone.”
Shannon Maddox is the manager at Mount Washington Tavern. She said having to temporarily close the doors of the restaurant is something she never would have imagined.
“When this all started, I genuinely thought it was going to be two weeks, and here we are now almost a year later,” she said. “We came back strong, we were doing really great with carryout and delivery and then we had the second resurgence.”
They said they will close on Jan. 4 until dining restrictions are lifted in the city.
“As you know, like many small businesses, it’s been challenging as we’ve oscillated between being able to open for inside dining, outside at the Skybar, and then carryout only,” said the owners in a post. “We’ve done our best to pivot, offering special to-go drink kits, family meal packages, delivery, and outside dining along Newbury Street all while observing strict COVID-19 safety protocols and increased restrictions. We remained open so our incredible staff could work and our wonderful customers could eat!”
Instead, they will continue to offer carryout, delivery, and curbside through Sunday, Jan. 3 — including New Year’s specials.
Mama’s On The Half Shell in Canton made a similar decision and will be temporarily closing after New Year’s Eve.
“Until the restrictions have been lifted and we’re able to welcome you into our dining room again, we’re going to take a break,” they wrote in a Facebook post.
They asked that people continue to support their business by dining at Nacho Mama’s in Towson, which remains open because it’s in Baltimore County.
On Wednesday, after two days of court hearings on Anne Arundel County’s suspension of indoor dining, the lawsuit was dismissed and County Executive Steuart Pittman will allow 25% indoor dining capacity.
As soon as Pittman signed a new executive order Wednesday morning, the Titan Hospitality Group agreed to dismiss the case. Pittman’s previous order suspended indoor dining for four weeks.
Outdoor dining is also permitted so long as the tents provided have at least half of the sides up at all times.
Restaurants must collect contact tracing information from customers.
Similar litigation to keep restaurants open in Baltimore City and other Maryland counties has failed.
In Fells Point, Terri Chetelat, General Manager of The Point, said they’re just barely getting by with limited business hours to three days a week.
“Most of the restaurants on this strip aren’t even open during the week,” Chetelat said. “A lot of them haven’t been open since we have been shut down because it’s just not worth it for anybody.”
On Twitter Wednesday afternoon, the Restaurant Association of Maryland praised the decision.
We are pleased to see that Anne Arundel County has reopened indoor dining and we are calling on Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties to do the same. (1/2)
— Restaurant Association of MD (@RestaurantsinMD) December 30, 2020
“We are pleased to see that Anne Arundel County has reopened indoor dining and we are calling on Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties to do the same,” the group tweeted. “Restaurants across the state have been operating safely at 50% indoor capacity with no evidence that they are the cause of COVID spread. We must all continue to act responsibly to reduce the spread of COVID so that restaurants can get to full capacity again.”