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Houlihan’s restaurant permanently closes Elkridge location due to coronavirus pandemic

Houlihan’s, a restaurant and bar chain with about 40 locations across the country, permanently closed its location in Elkridge this week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The restaurant’s Facebook page announced the closure of the location at 8240 Gateway Overlook Drive on Monday.

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“Thank you to all our guests who have supported us over the last 13(-plus) years,” the social media post reads. “... Sadly, we must announce the permanent closure of Houlihan’s Columbia.”

Dan Stevens, one of the restaurant’s partners, said Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic was the main reason for permanently shuttering the location Sunday.

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“Between the safety concerns and the restrictions, we never were able to operate at 50% of normal business, even after indoor dining was allowed,” Stevens wrote in an email. “Prior to indoor dining coming back, the revenue numbers were off even more. Restaurants can’t operate long term at that level of revenue deficits.”

Stevens is also a partner at the Houlihan’s location at the Waugh Chapel Towne Centre in Anne Arundel County. That location is still open despite similar challenges.

“That location, like everyone in casual dining, has been dealing with a very tough year,” Stevens wrote. “Revenue there has been a little better compared to normal levels but still significantly down.”

Houlihan’s isn’t alone among restaurants to permanently close their doors amid the pandemic. In September, the Ruby Tuesday location on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia abruptly closed.

Local restaurants like Second Chance Saloon in the Oakland Mills Village Center and Rams Head Tavern in Savage Mill have also closed in the past eight months.

Stevens believes Houlihan’s won’t be the last restaurant in Howard County to close before the pandemic ends.

“I believe almost every county will see additional closures before this is over as we are heading into what could be the worst few months for restaurants with the rise in COVID[-19] cases and the winter season,” he wrote.

“Depending on what the future government assistance looks like, it could reduce the losses. It just depends on what the programs are and when they are enacted. Large corporations with access to public money will most likely be able to ride it out, but smaller franchisees or independent restaurant owners face the biggest challenge.”

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