Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Recently sold Hampden bar Dimitri's Tavern in negotiations to become Mexican restaurant

After Hampden dive bar Dimitri’s Tavern closed for good last weekend, its new owners say they are close to finalizing a lease with another party to remodel the space into a Mexican restaurant.

Steve Verstandig — owner and operator of CityWide Properties, who purchased the Falls Road property — said he hoped to complete the deal this weekend. He declined to give the name of the man in the negotiations, saying he’d prefer to wait until the contract was finalized.

“We thought there was a void in the area,” Verstandig said. He said Hampden has “a lot of trendy restaurants with American food,” but could use more Mexican restaurants serving authentic dishes made from scratch. (Nearby Hampden restaurants serving Mexican-inspired food include Golden West Cafe and the recently reopened Holy Frijoles.) The proposed restaurant would include a bar that serves happy hour specials, Verstandig said.

After nearly 45 years in business, Dimitri’s Tavern’s final night of operation was Jan. 12, said owner James Dimitri. After running the bar at 3820 Falls Road for four-plus decades and a barbershop for 11 years before that, the Towson resident said it’s now time to relax.

“I had enough,” said Dimitri, who turns 75 next month.

A dive bar that sold packaged goods, Dimitri’s Tavern was known for its affordable drink prices, weekend karaoke and for opening early in the morning each day. On Ravens game days, it was common to see pit beef sandwiches being made and sold out of the parking lot.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

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