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Grand Central bar announces closure amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 11:06 PM, Sep 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 09:53:40-04

BALTIMORE — A well-known bar and nightclub in Baltimore announced to the LGBTQ+ community that it is closing its doors.

Grand Central announced on its Facebook page Thursday that after 30 years of service the nightclub was shutting down due to "challenges created by the pandemic and our beverage-only driven business."

Here's the message management posted:

Dear loyal patrons and community,

After over 30 years of serving the community, Grand Central sadly has shut its doors. Given the overwhelming challenges created by the pandemic and our beverage-only driven business, the operations were not sustainable as we prepare for the next chapter. We appreciate all of our customers and supporters and thank them for their long-time loyalty; we look forward to celebrating the institution’s legacy in the future development. We strongly believe in the Mt. Vernon community and will always drive to be stewards of quality, growth and retention to ensure the neighborhood’s character stays true to form.

Sincerely,The Management Team

A dive into public records shows the bar's liquor license was under scrutiny for COVID-19 safety violations.

According to public documents from Baltimore City's Board of Liquor License Commissioners, on July 30th at 10:50 p.m. investigators "observed approximately 30 patrons at the outdoors table service area, some of which were observed consuming alcoholic beverages while standing on the streets."

Investigators than went inside and reportedly found approximately 15 patrons. Some were also observed to be drinking and not following social distancing rules.

Investigators found the bar to be in violation of rules set forth by Baltimore City. At the time of the investigation bars and restaurants were prohibited from having patrons inside.

Documents allege patrons at the bar on July 30th were there to, "see a show."

Grand Central did have a hearing on September 3rd to discuss the violations and fines with the city's Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

While Grand Central's North Charles Street location remains closed, it's unclear if management plans to open in another location.