Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen Closing on May 14th

| April 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

Riverside-staple Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen at 745 E. Fort Ave. will be closing on Sunday, May 14th after more than 14 years of being in business. Owner Farid Salloum posted the following on Facebook:

Hi Everyone-

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart I announce that Baba’s will be closing for good on Sunday, May 14. The business changes in a post-Covid world have given us little choice.

For Billy, Ryan and I, as well as the rest of my staff, it has been a pure joy providing to the Baltimore community. I love that so many have cared so much for our food and for Baba’s the past 14-1/2 years. That I have had a team so skilled and so passionate about what they have made for our patrons has been a life-changing bonus. You, and they, made me look forward to coming to work every day, and there are no words to express how appreciative I am for that. That said, I will miss having Baba’s food to eat. I love this food.

Chefs Ryan and Billy will be moving on to their next culinary chapters: Ryan at Cafe Campli @cafecampli www.cafecampli.com (by Paul & Sam) in Hamilton and Billy at EAT. eggrollsandtacos.com (Mike and Spike) in Locust Point. I’d appreciate your supporting these two places. They’re both locally owned and operated, startups, and delicious food venues!

My siblings will be in town on our last day on May 14 and for us it’s fitting that it will be Mother’s Day, as our mother was a huge inspiration and helped make Baba’s happen in so many ways.

I’ll soon be announcing any farewell plans for our final few weeks, including the availability of a Baba’s Cookbook 😊. To everyone that supported Baba’s Kitchen, those walking through our doors as well as those on staff: THANK YOU. It can never be overstated that I didn’t make Baba’s Kitchen happen… each of you did.

With heartfelt sincerity,

Farid

Chief Falafel Officer, Baba’s Kitchen

In the three years SouthBMore.com ran the SouthBMore’s Best online competition, Baba’s won Best BYOB  all three times and Best Carryout all three times.

Salloum told SouthBMore.com that his costs have risen 15 to 20 percent in the past year, there has been increased competition in the local market, and more people are seemingly cooking more at home than they used to.

“It’s a challenging period for restaurants,” he said.

Salloum said the Baba’s cookbook, which is being self-published on Amazon with the design help of Kin West, will be available in the next couple of weeks. It will have recipes from Salloum and Chefs Ryan Scalfari and Billy Bryan Jr., family stories, and pictures of patrons showing Baba’s businesses cards in different locations around the world.

“I don’t expect to make any money on the cookbook, but wanted a keepsake for the staff and patrons,” said Salloum.

Salloum, who’s now 62, said he’s not sure what’s next for him. He lives in Riverside and was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. His family comes from Palestine, which heavily influenced the menu at Baba’s.

Salloum is excited to see Chefs Scalfari and Bryan, who helped run Baba’s according to Salloum, expand and grow their skills at Café Campli and EAT, respectively.

In closing, Salloum wanted to reiterate his appreciation to the patrons and staff of Baba’s. “I love that we have been so embraced in this neighborhood,” he said.

Photos from Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, 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 Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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