BALTIMORE — Mark Tsakiris, the owner of The Boulevard Diner in Dundalk says after shelling out nearly 55K per week just to stay afloat, the least he can get for it is an explanation.
After struggling though a costly pandemic, Tsakiris was thrilled to celebrate 20 years since their grand opening unaware that nearly a month later, flood waters would be what really wiped their business out.
"This was kinda catastrophic because we lost a lot of our equipment," he shared.
The costly equipment damaged would only add to mounting expenses after he decided to keep his staff on board offering whatever hours he could which, alone, costs the diner roughly $25K weekly.
He says after the flood from a water main break near Merritt Boulevard and Holabird Avenue they pumped nearly 20,000 gallons of water from the basement.
Now, the place is all dried up much like communication with Baltimore City's Department of Public Works.
"I call the city. They send me to all of these different departments just trying to figure out how we can prevent this from happening in our building," said Tsakiris.
Which for him, its adds insult to injury.
"I know things are going to happen outside out of our control as far as water main breaks. We can't control that and I'm not going to tell the city how to do their job but I would love for somebody to communicate with me on how we can prevent water from coming into our building and I just wasn't able to get any answers on that, no apologies no 'hey we're working on this problem," he said.
But the phones don't stop ringing. Customers still come to the front door expecting to get in which for Tsakiris is bittersweet.
While he's glad customers want to support the diner, he says it's frustrating turning so many people away.
He's hoping to get some insight from DPW; but, in the meantime, reopening the diner won't be an easy task.
"Its like opening a restaurant from scratch, computer systems, credit card systems, prep work. Its going to be some work," shared Tsakiris.
His goal is to open Friday ahead of Father's day. If not, he aiming for the following Monday at the latest.