It is official. Consumers in Baltimore appear to be tapped out.
The Central-Bank-free-money-anything-goes-induced restaurant bubble in the most dangerous city in America: Baltimore, has begun a violent period of deflation — on par with a possible collapse.
At least 24 restaurants have closed since the start of 2018, “including Federal Hill stalwart Regi’s American Bistro, Hampden’s popular Corner Restaurant and Charcuterie Bar and Canton’s Fork and Wrench,” said the Baltimore Sun.
Chris LeBarton, a market economist for CoStar Market Analytics, warned that increased vacancy rates for small commercial real estate spaces reflect the recent wave of closures.
“Vacancy rates for spaces up to 3,000 square feet – often home to independent restaurants – rose to 8.1 percent at the end of March, up from 6.8 percent at the end of September, when the city underwent a previous wave of closures. That rate is at its highest since 2010,” LeBarton added.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of Baltimore restaurants and bars declined 4.6 percent in 2013 and 2016 – from 1,613 to 1,539. This was not the case nationally, food and drinking establishments soared 5.7 percent, 8.9 million in 2013 to 9.4 million in 2016.
One consumer analyst told The Baltimore Sun that some factors behind the surge in restaurant closures include, “natural cycles of the industry, millennials’ preference for convenience and value and – more particular to this area – competition in the suburbs and high crime rates that ward off suburbanites.”