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Baltimore businesses announce closures while others strive to survive

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 23, 2020

BALTIMORE — Roughly a dozen or so restaurants and bars throughout the city have said they're closed or planning to close by the end of the month. The latest restaurant to announce its closure was Chez Hugo.

On social media, the restaurant said it was closing due to the pandemic.

"We are all aware of the current situation caused by COVID-19, which has led to restricted capacity for restaurants, and an understandable reluctance on the part of diners to visit indoor restaurants. There is also enormous uncertainty around when these conditions might change. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to close Chez Hugo. We do not anticipate the restaurant reopening again in its current form"

Earlier this month Cafe Latte Da announced plans to close. The cafe said:

"I would like to thank everyone for the support for the past 8 years. Unfortunately, I have decided to close the doors on July 31st. I have been blessed to meet some amazing humans and amazing DOGS! I hope we have made your day a little better for stopping in. Thank you to my staff for making being a boss so easy. Thank you for being the best customers a girl could ask for. Do good and be good! I will truly miss everyone,” the post read on Instagram stories.

Cafe Latte Da continues to encourage patrons to come out and support the business. It is also asking featured artists to come and pick up their work by Friday.

While some businesses say they have no choice but to close, others are striving to survive.

More parklets are being built in Fells Point and surrounding neighborhoods in an effort to provide outdoor dining.

"There’s these little parklets popping up all over and I think people just feel more comfortable being outside right now," said Lauri Dixon.

Dixon has become familiar with many of the restaurant parklets and owners. She has crafted a relationship with more than a dozen of them through her Glen Burnie based business Party Plus Tents + Events.

"We are reaching out And we are posting on social media. We’re just trying to get the word out there that were here, we have inventory to help and we’re doing everything at a pretty significant discount so people can just welcome people in, keep the doors open, pay their employees and in return they can feed their families," said Dixon.

Dixon says her business too has had to pivot. In the past she would do more weddings and catered affairs that required large party tents. Now she is focuses on parklets and COVID-19 testing sites.

"This pandemic has forced a lot of business to get creative," she said. "It's not easy but we're all having to change how we approach the 'new normal.'"