Main & Market, a cafe and catering business with almost 30 years of history in Annapolis, announced on social media Tuesday that new coronavirus restrictions have forced it to close until March.
Managing partner Thomas Hogan posted the news on Instagram, saying the recent decision by Anne Arundel County and Annapolis to limit restaurant seating to 25% to slow the spread of the virus prompted the decision. The business will close its doors Nov. 29. The new restriction on seating begins at 5 p.m. Friday.
“We are looking at this temporary closure as a ‘pause’ in business or hibernation for the winter while the community and world continue to deal with the virus,” he wrote.
The decision is the latest by area restaurants to shut down as colder temperatures make outdoor dining more difficult. Main & Market is not the first to say it will reopen but is among the few to set a firm date.
Other businesses to close recently include City Dock Coffee and Rodizio Grill. Last week, the Chick-fil-A on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie informed the state it was laying off 17 people.
Evie Loftus Turner, vice president of catering for the business, said Wednesday the company has been projecting revenue since reopening in spring after an initial coronavirus shutdown in Maryland. The company has been trying to balance keeping employees and customers safe while staying open.
With many holiday events canceled and dining room capacity dropping to 25% this week, the choice became clear.
“Take out has been great, but it hasn’t been enough,” she said.
Main & Market already has laid off catering office staff, and dining room and catering employees will now follow. It has halted accepting new catering orders for Thanksgiving because of high volume.
Turner said she continues to be busy booking events for catering in 2021 and 2022, giving her hope about the prospects of recovering after recently announced vaccines are distributed sometime next year.
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“There are a lot of events we want to be here for,” she said.
Although Gov. Larry Hogan tightened restrictions on restaurant hours statewide this week, those new rules don’t affect businesses in Anne Arundel. The county reopened more slowly than the state and pulled back sooner.
Under county rules, social gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Bars and restaurants will be scaled from 50% capacity back to 25% starting 5 p.m. Friday. Heated tents, while an option to expand seating, follow the same rules.
Annapolis is following rules set by the county health department.
Social gatherings include, but aren’t limited to, parties, cookouts, concerts or performances, parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and other gatherings that are not associated with operating or patronizing a business, according to county guidelines.
Main & Market opened in the early 1990s under the name “Main Ingredient” and moved to Bay Ridge Road to focus on catering events at nearby Quiet Waters Park. It changed its name in 2016 at the time of a major expansion and remodeling project.
Hogan is part of a business partnership and separately is a part-owner of Federal House Bar & Grille at City Dock and the Bayside Bull in Edgewater. Both of those businesses remain open.