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Roy’s Restaurant in Harbor East closes permanently

Roy's Restaurant pictured in 2011.
Roy's Restaurant pictured in 2011. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun photo)

Roy’s in Baltimore has closed permanently, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The news was reported earlier by The Baltimore Business Journal.

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The restaurant chain was founded by Roy Yamaguchi, a James Beard Award winner and self-described inventor of Hawaiian fusion cuisine. He opened the first Roy’s in Honolulu in 1988.

When the 200-seat location opened in Harbor East in 2001, The Batimore Sun’s food critic Elizabeth Large wrote, “For a restaurant whose founder is a celebrity TV chef and cookbook author, Roy’s arrival on the Baltimore dining scene in late August was remarkably quiet.”

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Its departure was similarly low-keyed. The Harbor East branch was removed from the corporate website and its Facebook page deleted, but no announcement was made on the company website.

At one point the chain had 25 locations; today, the company lists just 10 on its website. This year, another location in West Plano, Texas, shuttered after nearly 20 years in operation.

A spokesman did not answer questions about whether it was related to the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the hospitality industry in the US and elsewhere. Up to half of restaurants are expected to close permanently in the wake of COVID-19.

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