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Longstanding Irish pub in Harbor East closes amid pandemic
Longstanding Irish pub in Harbor East closes amid pandemic

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - James Joyce Irish Pub in Harbor East is the latest casualty to the pandemic.

After 18 years of business, the pub announced it would be closing its doors permanently in Baltimore City.

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Financial Analyst Anirban Basu, who has been monitoring the impact of the pandemic on Baltimore told FOX45 he was surprised by this closure in particular due to its location.

“There are few areas in the city with brighter prospects than Harbor East/Harbor Point,” said Basu. “For that restaurant to throw in the towel because the pandemic has been that disruptive is very discouraging.”

But its not the only staple community seeing closures. Areas including the Inner Harbor and neighborhoods like Fells Point are also seeing closures.

And now some restaurants are choosing to go into "hibernation."

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“It’s not something we wanted to do but had to do,” said Nancy Hart Trice, who owns Gunther & Co. in Canton.

The restaurant said its ‘pressing pause’ and temporarily closing its indoor dining area, yet continuing with take-out orders.

The 25% capacity and 10 p.m. curfew in Baltimore City, mixed with the colder temperatures has proved too much.

The owner of the building releasing a statement to FOX45 confirming the closure.

“It really became hard to do business,” said Hart Trice.

The Owner said it was best to protect the business, as well as the health and safety of employees.

“There is a pandemic going on and do we want to be part of the solution – yes,” said Hart Trice.

As for the broader impact of business closures across the city, Basu points to more unemployment.

“We already have in Maryland a 7.8% unemployment rate,” said Basu. “Pretty high.”

As for what’s next for the building where James Joyce once operated, the owner told FOX45 there’s no immediate plan.

Harbor East Management Group released the following statement,

“We have learned that James Joyce has closed their doors in Harbor East after 18 years in our neighborhood. The spirited Irish pub and restaurant had a long and successful tenure and we will miss their hospitality. We are working with the operators on a smooth transition and will announce a new tenant for the space when the time is right. We look forward to revealing a new restaurant elsewhere in Harbor East in the coming days.”

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