The Della Rose's Tavern at Canton Crossing has closed. Its last night was last Friday. The closing announcement was made on the tavern's Facebook page.
Written by Tony DellaRose, it's one of the best closing notices I've seen, absent of self-pity, just honest. And funny. DellaRose told me that he wrote the notice the same night he broke the news to his staff. "It was from the heart," he said.
The Della Rose's on The Avenue in White Marsh remains open. "I'm looking at things from this day forward, DellaRose said.
DellaRose gave me permission to repost the message here. I've left it intact, because it really does read like DellaRose just kind of let it all pour forth:
It is with great sadness in my heart that I have to announce this... But after a long, hard fight we will be closing the doors of our Canton location. This does not mean we did not answer the final bell. It just means that in the end, the judges didn't vote in our favor. One month short of 5 years ago, we opened DellaRose's Canton tavern. We leased a space in the center piece of a mixed use, water front project called Canton Crossing. This project was going to contain 2 National Chain hotels, 3 Residential Condos, office space to hold 10,000 workers, a marina, an amphitheater, and two large outdoor strip shopping center buildings that would house high end retail shops and other bars & restaurants. It was going to be beautiful. ( I know, I still have the brochure) The only problem was, within days of our grand opening, the entire economy tanked. The entire project was frozen, then later bagged and sold. We got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was the perfect storm. Even though the writing was on the wall within the first few months, we decided we would play the cards we were dealt, and make the best of it. You can blame that on our hearts, not on our brains. We tried everything! We had the basics, like poker & trivia night, to the more exotics... Roller Derby Night & Midget Wrestling. We even tried Tacomania, shake weights and Rick Astley night. I always thought we could overcome all of our obstacles, but we were fighting a fight with both hands tied behind our back. We had too many things stacked against us. Not just the obvious, but we had freakish bad luck things happen to us as well. Whether it was someone throwing a football and knocking out our satellites during a critical Ravens game, or a full blown riot that started over a fart, which ended in people getting tazed. Every time we would get on a roll, something would swipe one of our legs out. There were plenty of times, that we showed flashes of what we wanted to be, but it was just never consistent. Finally, I see that God has other plans for us. The good news is... We did good things while we were there. We helped many people through fundraising and we catered many special events. We employed many good people for long periods of time. We laughed until we were keeled over some nights. Unfortunately, we got no money out of it, in fact we owe, (ALOT) but the most important things in life have nothing to do with money. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and great friends that you can't put a pricetag on. I thank all the employees that went into battle with us everyday. You will ALWAYS be a part of Della Rose's family. I love you all!!! To put this in football terms it goes like this... You never want to drop back and punt, but sometimes it's the best thing to do. So now we can walk out of the building with our chins up, because we know we left everything on the field. We walk out of that building with a lot more knowledge that what we started with, but best of all we walk out with a whole new group of friends!!! Just remember...You are never too far ahead, you are never too far behind, and the most important play is the next one! The only play for us right now is to go and make DellaRose's Avenue Tavern the best it can be. We will be pouring every resource and every ounce of energy we have back in to The Avenue Tavern. It's time to get back to the basics! We are COMING HOME!!!