Eden’s Lounge — a staple in the Baltimore nightlife scene for more than eight years — and E-Villa closed for good on Sunday, according to co-owner Harold Edwards.
On Tuesday afternoon, Edwards said via phone that it was time for him and his wife, co-owner Helen Metaferia, to take on a new challenge in a new area, namely Atlanta.
“It’s just time for us to go try our hand in another city,” Edwards said.
Eden’s Lounge opened in June 2005, while Edwards’ second lounge, E-Villa, opened in late 2011. Both primarily attracted fans of hip-hop and R&B. Edwards says he initially thought he’d be in Baltimore for five years, but he says Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities charmed him and his wife.
“We fell in love with the people of Baltimore,” he said. “Time flies when you’re having fun. Now we just realize if we don’t [leave] now, when?”
But Atlanta is more attractive for a lounge, Edwards says, because it’s more of a “magnet city” than Baltimore. (“They have more of a tourist market,” he said.) Another issue was the clientele Edwards mainly targeted (the “grown and sexy” crowd, he called it) frequently left Baltimore to party in other cities.
“What we consider our market in Baltimore, any given night of the week, half of that market goes to D.C. or New York. We lose half of our market every night in Baltimore,” he said.
Edwards says the decision to close the lounges had nothing to do with his relationship with the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Neighborhood Association.
"It was known that we weren't wanted there at first," he said.
But “With them getting to know us at the neighborhood association meetings, they really understood that we really cared and really loved Mount Vernon."
When asked what sticks out most about the Baltimore nightlife scene after nearly nine years in business, Edwards said he most enjoyed the “realness and how people have their own vibe here.”
“I think when we had Ne-Yo come a [few] years ago, one thing he tweeted when he left was Baltimore has a sexiness all its own,” Edwards said. “That one thing stuck with me the whole time.”
The blog BmoreFab first reported the closing.