Towson's Carribbean-themed restaurant, Bahama Breeze, is taking a permanent vacation. Located in Towson Circle, the restaurant unexpectedly closed today leaving many regular customers to mourn the loss on Twitter.
In an email, communications manager Hunter Robinson described the closing as a difficult business decision, although he did not specify the reason.
"It's one we made very carefully and thoughtfully, particularly because it impacts our employees and our guests," Robinson wrote.
Katie Pinheiro, executive director of the Greater Towson Committee, said the closing is tied to the Towson Circle redevelopment project slated to begin in 2017. Already Pier One has closed, and Trader Joe's will be relocated to The Shops of Kenilworth in Towson. Pinheiro said the redevelopment will create new retail space, apartments and improve the appearance of the area.
"It looks like the development will do wonders to revitalize that area of Towson," Pinheiro said.
Opened in 2003, Bahama Breeze was known for its variety of seafood and low-priced drinks. The Bahama Breeze in Towson was the only Maryland location of the chain owned by Darden restaurants. Twitter users shared their concerns about the closing today, with some describing broken hearts and many crying emojis. Other users expressed their concerns about the employees, which Robinson assured the company is taking care of.
"We're offering everyone on the Towson team the opportunity to join other Darden restaurants in the area," Robinson wrote.
Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, said she was sad to see the restaurant go.
"They've been a part of the community for a long time," Hafford said.
Councilman David Marks, who previously presented a bill to help the redevelopers said he had visited the restaurant in the past.
"Bahama Breeze was an excellent restaurant," Marks said.
Even though the revitalized Towson Circle will include retail space, Robinson said in a follow-up email the restaurant is not planning to return.
"We are always looking for new locations for Bahama Breeze, but at this time, there are no current plans for a relocation," Robinson wrote.
Bahama Breeze locations in other states such as Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania are expected to stay open.