Sam’s Canterbury Cafe, which opened in 2017 as a neighborhood eatery where people with autism could find work, closed its doors Sunday.
“With mixed emotions and heavy hearts, we have made the difficult decision to close the café,” read a post placed on the eatery’s Facebook page Sunday. The post announced that it would close for good that same day, Nov. 3.
“Neither Jennifer nor I are restaurant people but we wanted to give this a try,” Michael Myers, who owned the cafe with his wife, Jennifer, said in an emailed statement Monday night. Noting that he works full-time managing a family investment office and his wife is a Montessori preschool teacher, Michael Myers said running the cafe as well "was not sustainable.” That was true, he said, despite hiring additional staff, singling out Lisa Auld, who has managed the cafe for the past year.
The cafe, at 3811 Canterbury Road in the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood, opened in February 2017. At the time, Michael and Jennifer Myers told The Sun that one of their goals was to create a workplace where people on the autism spectrum, like their then-24-year-old son, Sam, could find work.
“First and foremost, Sam is fine,” Michael Myers wrote in his statement. “He was a little sad about the café closing and will miss the staff and the guests. He has learned a great deal in his three years at the café and has gained valuable work experience. That was our goal for Sam and other adults on the spectrum who worked with us. Over the years we were able to employ six individuals with autism for various time periods.”
The cafe gained a steady following over its two-plus-year run. In November 2018, it was listed among the Top 50 places to eat in Baltimore, as chosen by Yelp, placing 32nd.