Bruce Lee Wings and Baltimore’s Best BBQ Leaving Cross Street Market

| March 12, 2018 | 3 Comments

Caves Valley Partners (CVP) is redeveloping the Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. Along with its leasing team at Cana Development, CVP has been negotiating with existing and new tenants to fill spaces in the renovated market.

Two longtime tenants, Bruce Lee Wings and Baltimore’s Best BBQ, will not be given an opportunity to continue at Cross Street Market with their current concepts. Arsh Mirmiran of CVP released the following statement in an email.

“I can confirm that we were not able to reach agreement with Bruce Lee Wings or Baltimore’s Best BBQ on concepts that would be viable in, and compatible with, the concept for the revitalized market. Bruce Lee Wings had announced earlier this year that they intended to move out of the market, but we continued discussions until recently. Baltimore’s Best BBQ chose not to attempt to modify their concept, which simply wouldn’t fit in a market focused on fresh and interesting food offerings. We are working with both tenants with the assistance of the Markets Corp. to find them alternative locations and both have indicated they are interested.”

Both tenants, which are still currently open, will need to leave the market at the end of the month.

Bruce Lee Wings, owned by Bruce Lee, has sold its signature sweet and spicy wings and wing party trays, along with breakfast sandwiches and burgers, at the Cross Street Market for the last 27 years. Lee was asked by CVP to narrow his concept to wings and chicken dishes and to do away with burgers and breakfast sandwiches. Lee told SouthBMore.com that each item is a third of his business and that he can’t manage to trim his menu and pay a new higher rent.

“I’m desperate and distraught. They gave me a month to get out,” said Lee. “I’m asking a favor to stay a couple more months because this stuff is not easy to move.” Bruce Lee Wings has a hood system, grills, and a fryer.

Lee noted that he does not run the Bruce Lee Wings Facebook page that announced earlier this year that he had already decided to move.

Lee is hoping to find a new location in Federal Hill or Pigtown, but said he does not have a lot of money saved up for a move. He noted how slow the market has been during lunchtime hours, and said the uncertainly around the market has “bled us to death.”

A GoFundMe has been setup to help Lee with moving expenses. Lee told SouthBMore.com he was close to finalizing a deal on a retail space in Pigtown, but it didn’t materialize.

“I want to sell my Bruce Lee wings one way or another, especially around here,” said Lee, who resides in Pigtown. “South Baltimore people made me who I am now.” He also noted that he loves interacting with customers.

Baltimore’s Best BBQ serves hot-and-ready Chinese food. “They kicked me out, they don’t need Chinese food. What can I do?” said Baltimore’s Best BBQ co-owner Siyang Chen, who has owned the business with his wife Sandy for the last 20 years. He said this is the type of food he knows how to make.

“I’m here, I have a lot of customers. There’s nothing wrong with it,” said Chen. “I want to stay, I like it here.”

Chen said “I don’t know yet,” when asked if there would be a new location.

Cross 10 Grocery was also not offered a space at the new Cross Street Market and recently opened a new store at 1039 S. Charles St. In the past year, Big Jim’s closed after mutually agreeing to part ways with CVP, The Flower Shop relocated to Carroll-Camden/Pigtown, and Mondawmin Chicken and Tian’s Teriyaki closed.

All other longstanding tenants at Cross Street Market remain open.

Sundays, Smoke, Cookie Dough & Co., and Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls opened new stalls at Cross Street Market last year.

Construction, which will be completed in two phases, starts this week on the redevelopment of 31,800 sq. ft. Cross Street Market. The approximately $7.3-million project is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2019.

New tenants coming to Cross Street Market in the future include Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters; DC-based Cucina Al Volo, which will sell pastas with locally-sourced ingredients; and Sarah Simington, owner of Federal Hill’s Blue Moon Too, who will open a stall selling quirky home goods.

Read SouthBMore.com’s articles detailing the different aspects of the Cross Street Market redevelopment here.

Bruce Lee Wings

Current exterior design of Cross Street Market

New renderings courtesy of CVP and Brown Craig Turner 

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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  • Bryan

    So when Arch said he was going to “work” with the current tennents what he meant to say was “dictate” to tennents what type of business they should be. Looks like another developer promising one thing and delivering another. Sounds about right for Baltimore.

  • Karibear

    I’m so sorry that he is being pushed out like that. Just an FYI, there is a stall or two open in Hollins Market.

    • Kevin Lynch

      Bruce is not interested in Hollins Market because it will also be redeveloped.