Faidley Seafood’s move from Lexington Market’s old east building, where it’s now the last vendor standing, to the newly constructed south building of the renovated market will take several months longer than expected.
The venerable seafood vendor, once scheduled to move into the newly finished downtown Baltimore market building by January, will delay its relocation until late spring, according to co-owner Damye Hahn and the market’s developer, Seawall.
Faidley’s is “a full-sized restaurant within the market, and it’s complicated,” said Jon Constable, director of development for Baltimore-based Seawall. “We wanted to make sure we’re measuring twice and cutting once.”
Constable said Seawall recently marked a “huge milestone” in Faidley’s relocation by submitting plans to Baltimore City to obtain a permit for the stall’s construction. In the new building, Faidley Seafood will be one of Lexington Market’s largest vendors, taking up the footprint of about five market stalls.
The seafood business will have a similar configuration as in the old market, with the same tall wooden tables — where customers eat lunch standing up — and many of the same signs, photographs, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia that are on display in the existing Faidley’s space. The items document Faidley’s 136 years of history, going back to its 1886 opening in the original Lexington Market Building, which burned down in 1949, displacing Faidley’s until the East Market building opened in 1952.
“I want to make sure that when people walk in, there’s something recognizable,” Hahn said.
There will be some new touches, too, including a patio for outdoor dining and a second-floor mezzanine perched above the seafood stall for storage.
The East Market’s other stalls closed Sept. 3 after a celebration honoring the building’s 70 years in operation. The new South Market building opened next door Oct. 24, capping a yearslong, $45 million revitalization project.
Hahn said Faidley’s will continue to serve its famous jumbo lump crab cakes, as well as fresh fish and shellfish, until the new space is ready. Right now, Hahn and her staff are working long hours to pack up an estimated 12,000 fresh crab cakes to ship around the country in time for the holidays.
“We’ll stay open here until the day we open next door,” she said.