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Riptide by the Bay in Fells Point does not sell at auction

Adam Shpritz, center, conducts an auction of Riptide by the Bay Dec. 14. The Fells Point bar and restaurant did not sell.
Adam Shpritz, center, conducts an auction of Riptide by the Bay Dec. 14. The Fells Point bar and restaurant did not sell. (Sarah Meehan)

Riptide by the Bay in Fells Point did not sell at auction Thursday morning after bidders failed to reach a price the owners would accept.

More than 30 people — a mix of friends, employees, local business owners and prospective buyers — turned out Thursday morning for the auction held at the restaurant at 1718 Thames St.

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Adam Shpritz of Ashland Auction Group oversaw the auction. Bidding started at $750,000 and went back and forth between three bidders before topping out at $1.05 million. Shpritz paused the auction to discuss the high bid with sellers Meredith and Roger Rippel, the husband and wife duo that has owned Riptide for nearly 10 years.

After about 15 minutes of deliberations, they resumed the auction, but the high bid remained at $1.05 million — lower than the auction’s reserve price, or the minimum a seller will accept. It’s unclear what the Rippels would have accepted.

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Shpritz called off the sale, and said Riptide by the Bay could be auctioned again at a later date or sold privately.

Meredith Rippel said Ashland Auction Group is circling back with each of the bidders in an attempt to strike a deal.

“I think over the next couple of days we’ll see who steps up,” she said.

The sale of Riptide by the Bay would include its three-story building, equipment within the restaurant and its seven-day liquor license.

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The bar and restaurant remains open.

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