Retail, Restaurant and Development Updates

| April 16, 2012 | 8 Comments

Regi’s Closes Temporarily  

Regi’s Bistro on Light St. has certainly been that attraction of bad luck over the years.  Several years ago their popular outdoor patio was hit by a car –  miraculously there were no serious injuries.  Just last week Regi’s suffered an electrical fire and will be closed as they repair the bistro.  The sign on the door projects that they should reopen in four to six weeks.  A devastating loss for a restaurant with one of the most popular outdoor patios around during this beautiful spring.

Republic Noodle Closes to Pursue Liquor License  

Republic Noodle has a sign on the front of their restaurant that says they will close until approximately April 23rd as they make renovations to their restaurant.  They are pursuing a liquor license which will eliminate the BYOB aspect of their restaurant… which is a always a favorite of patrons not owners!   We will see if they are applying for a restaurant license or are hoping to transfer an existing liquor license to their location.

A Seven Year Renovation

Many things have changed dramatically in South Baltimore in the last seven years, but 1446 South Charles Street has not been one of them.  This house has been undergoing a rehab for all seven years, but really hasn’t been touched in the last six years.  Typically a vacant home like this falls into foreclosure or is sold, but this one just sits there.  Just last week I saw some people paining the door, the first action I’ve seen in years.  If they finish this home they can advertise it as a seven year renovation – too bad six and half years were for stalling.

Westport Waterfront Raising Money?

Not sure there has been a bigger tease in South Baltimore than the yet-to-start Westport Waterfront Development.  This is a development that would immediately make the Middle Branch a huge asset to the city.  Work was supposed to begin last summer, but nothing has happened since a tent was built for Cirqu du Soleil last spring.  Westport continually comes up in conversation as a landing spot for the DC United as that project is currently being studied by the state of Maryland.

The Financial partner for Westport is The Carlyle Group, which is a private equity firm worth more than $7 billion.  The Carlyle Group is looking to raise $760 million as they make 30.5 million shares available in its initial public offering according to the Washington Post. It is reported that the money will be used for a variety of purposes including debt pay-down and investment in new products.

Carlyle has $147 billion in assets under management so I’m not sure how much attention a project like Westport would get, but it is a good sign that they are raising money and paying down debts.  Just recently the Green Bay Packers offered public stocks to fund Lambeau Field renovations.

We are currently writing a much bigger piece about the projects so keep an eye out for that.

Work Stops at Light St. and Fort Ave.  

It’s not uncommon for developments to stop and start for various reasons, but when a property is a blight to the community while under construction it is much more noticeable.  The properties on the southwest corner of Light and Fort are undergoing a massive renovation and unfortunately the outside is covered in plywood that has been graffiitied and then painted over. It currently looks like a bad attempt at desert camouflage!  There has not been any work on the properties in several weeks.  Hopefully it starts back up soon because it is a painful sight on a highly-visible corner.

Best Buy Closes Its Downtown Location 

Best Buy will be closing the doors to its downtown location at Lockwood Place as part of problems with the company as a whole.  Those problems are likely cheaper prices available on as Best Buy closes 50 stores throughout the country including the Hunt Valley location.  In most online discussion I’ve seen the sentiment has been that Best Buy was a bad fit for their downtown location.  How is anyone going to haul a large TV or a refrigerator out of that location… not easy!

Downtown Partnership told the Baltimore Sun that there is a strong interest in the space previously occupied by Filene’s Basement in Lockwood Place.  In conversations with Downtown Partnership, I know Bed Bath & Beyond has often been a topic of discussion, so we’ll see if they are the store that is in negotiations.

So what would you like to see fill the Best Buy space?  It’s not often that a retail space the size of Best Buy is available in Downtown Baltimore.  I would love to see a place like Kohl’s, a great department store with really affordable prices. What are your thoughts?

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Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.