For years, customers found their way into the Natty Boh Gear shop in Fells Point — families heading to Orioles or Ravens games, tourists enjoying a day in the city, convention-goers who’d stop in for an “Utz Girl” or “Mr. Boh” T-shirt or glass.
“The city was just popping; it was the place to be,” said store owner Todd Unger.
But in 2015, the year of Baltimore’s riots, the store’s sales plummeted 75 percent and never recovered. On New Year’s Eve, after a dozen years, Unger closed his doors for good. “We just dried up and no one wanted to come downtown, and it just was deemed unsafe,” Unger said.
The shuttering of Unger’s tiny, three-employee shop on Thames Street may seem...