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Miguel's closes in Locust Point

Miguel's closes in Locust Point
Michael Marx, in a 2010 photo taken at Miguel's Cocina y Cantina Restaurant, which closed its doors at Silo Point on June 1, 2015. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Miguel's Cocina y Cantina has closed in Locust Point. The restaurant's last night of operation was Sunday, according to owner Michael Marx.

Miguel's, which opened in 2010, was Marx's second restaurant presenting and celebrating authentic regional cuisines of Mexico. The first was Federal Hill's Blue Agave, which Marx sold in 2005. In between, Marx operated Rub, a barbecue restaurant in Riverside.

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Marx, who lives in Pennsylvania with his family, said he has no plans to open a fourth restaurant.

"I'm saying goodbye," said Marx, who said part of the reason for closing Miguel's was lease-related. "But the bigger part of it is Baltimore."

"Baltimore is not a welcoming city for small businesses," Marx said. "I've had three restaurants in 15 years -- dealing with rude, mean and ignorant people that really don't care. I'm done with it. I'll do catering, and I won't look back."

Marx said that the city's bureaucratic infrastructure has been a source of frustration for him since 1999, when he opened Blue Agave, his authentic Mexican restaurant in Federal Hill.

"I was one of the [city's] biggest cheerleaders," he said. "I came [to Baltimore] from Philadelphia. I chose Baltimore back in 1999. 'There's great opportunity here,' I thought."

He said the hardest part of dealing with the city was the lack of communication among the different agencies.  "It's never easier. It never got any easier," Marx said. "Sixteen years of doing it, and it's the same ineffective system."

A representative of the mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marx was at Miguel's on Monday, liquidating some of the restaurant's furniture and equipment. He said he arranged meetings for his former staff with potential new employers.

"That's my biggest goal right now," he said, "to find a place for some of these employees who have been very loyal to me."

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