Baltimore City business owners wary of indoor dining

Posted at 10:14 PM, Aug 07, 2020

BALTIMORE — For a few weeks the coronavirus numbers trended downward enough to prompt Baltimore City to allow indoor dining at 50 percent capacity.

When the numbers started to rise again, the rules shifted back to outside only.

On Friday, Mayor Jack Young reopened inside dining at 25 percent capacity.

RELATED: Young eases indoor dining restrictions at Baltimore City restaurants

“His order also limits gatherings to no more than 25 people. I do hope that the additional restrictions serve as a reminder that now is not the time to let your guard down,” stated Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

The owner of the Admiral’s Cup in Fells Point and Bookmakers in Federal Hill says he and over 15 business owners decided not to open inside dining at 25 percent.

“I really have a lot of respect for my fellow business owners for making this decision. It hasn’t been easy from a financial standpoint, but it’s been extremely easy from a community standpoint.”

Darren Mislan says they are basing their decision on data that they’ve seen.

“When we were able to reopen inside I had a meeting with my staff. At the time that we were allowed to open at 50 percent there was a bunch of outbreaks in restaurant staffs in the Canton area," he said. "My staff was concerned so we had a meeting and decided that right now it’s safest for the staff community guests to not do it.”

The toughest part about only having outside options is the dependency on the weather.

“Now it’s like a storm is coming, we’re closed. I think it’s a small price to pay for public safety.”

City Councilman Zeke Cohen who represents the zip code hardest hit by the pandemic says the important indicators are trending in the wrong direction.

“The top two lines on that chart are new cases and deaths," Cohen said. "In both categories Baltimore is heading in the wrong direction and both categories are coded red which means we should be going back to a previous phase not moving toward further reopening.”

At this time, the following businesses in Fells Point will voluntarily be refraining from opening their indoor dining rooms:

  • The Admirals Cup (as well as their sister property, Bookmakers Cocktail Club in Federal Hill)
  • Max’s Taphouse
  • Kooper’s Tavern
  • Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant
  • Woody’s Cantina
  • Thames Street Oyster House
  • DogWatch Tavern
  • Wharf Rat
  • The Point
  • Bertha’s
  • Duck Duck Goose
  • Pie in the Sky
  • The Abbey Burger Bistro
  • The Waterfront Hotel
  • Pierpoint Restaurant
  • Cat’s Eye Pub
  • Joe Benny’s
  • Lobo