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Fork & Wrench restaurant auction doesn't go through after would-be bidders fail to bring deposit

The auction of Fork & Wrench planned for Thursday morning was withdrawn when no prospective buyers brought the deposit required to purchase the Canton restaurant and bar.

Bidding would have started at $600,000 for the 6-year-old-restaurant, and would-be bidders were required to put down a $25,000 to participate in the auction. Although about seven potential buyers turned out, none of them came with the deposit, said Adam Shpritz, an auctioneer with Ashland Auction Group, which was overseeing the sale.

It’s unusual that an auction is withdrawn, Shpritz said. But he expects to discuss the sale with several of the prospective buyers who came to see the property at 2322 Boston St. Thursday morning. The auction has not been rescheduled.

“We’re going to regroup with the property owners,” Shpritz said. “I really wasn’t sure what to expect when we came here today.”

The sale would have included the three-story building, liquor license and equipment inside the space.

The restaurant will remain open as Fork & Wrench owners Andy Gruver and Jason Sanchez mull their options.

“The whole process has been bittersweet, but hey, it’s not over yet,” Gruver said.

Sanchez said he had “zero expectations” Thursday.

“I didn’t expect to have any clear answers coming out of today,” he said.

They said they have other projects in the works and were not selling the business because it was unsuccessful.

“It kind of got convoluted in the bigger story of Baltimore,” Gruver said, referencing the recent spate of restaurant closures in the area.

Sanchez agreed, and added they plan to continue to invest in Baltimore because they believe in the city.

“This city has got an unbelievable amount of potential,” he said. “It’s just getting there is another process I guess.”

If a sale goes through, Gruver said they plan to bring chefs who had previously worked at Fork & Wrench back to the kitchen and host each of them for a weekend to celebrate the restaurant’s six-year run.

“We’ve got a pretty loyal staff going back all the way to the beginning, and they live all over the country now and they’ve reached out and said, ‘I want to come back!’” Gruver said.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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