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Mala chicken, a spicy entree with red chilis, Shaoxing rice wine and Sichuan peppercorns, was served at the Hot Dry, which closed after about two months.
Mala chicken, a spicy entree with red chilis, Shaoxing rice wine and Sichuan peppercorns, was served at the Hot Dry, which closed after about two months. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

The Hot Dry, a Chinese-inspired concept that replaced South Baltimore’s Minnow, has closed after around two months in operation, according to an Instagram post.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce The Hot Dry has closed. We have been proud to be part of the South Baltimore community and would like to thank all those that supported us," the post said. No reason was given for the closure.

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Executive chef and co-owner Ben Lefenfeld could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. Lefenfeld, along with his brother, Jake, and wife, Amy, are also behind La Cuchara, a well-regarded Basque-inspired restaurant and bar in Meadow Mill.

The team’s recent efforts in South Baltimore never quite lived up to the promise of the sister restaurant in Woodberry.

Minnow closed in late August and owners announced that the Hot Dry would replace it in a week. The new concept, named for the signature street noodle of Wuhan, China, drew tepid praise and two out of five stars in a recent Baltimore Sun review. In an interview, Lefenfeld told The Sun that an upcoming menu change was in the works.

Earlier, Lefenfeld preempted possible charges of cultural appropriation with a Baltimore Sun letter to the editor: “I love the challenge of sharing this cuisine with people here in my city. A city that I love.”

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