Howard County Times
Howard County

Burglary hits Phoenix Emporium weeks before reopening in Ellicott City

Phoenix Emporium owner Mark Hemmis said the Ellicott City bar's reopening has been pushed back a couple weeks after an overnight burglary Tuesday.

Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said the bar was broken into through the side door and computers and checks were taken from the office, along with several carpentry tools.


Less than half a mile away on Court Avenue, Llewellyn said a vacant house was also broken into overnight Dec. 13 to 14 through a basement door. Tools were placed into bags, she said, but the bags were left inside the home. Officers are working to determine if the two burglaries are related.

Phoenix owner Hemmis said he was left "flabbergasted" when he arrived to work around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday and found many things missing, including his laptop and its charger, televisions and other equipment. Employees and construction crews have worked tirelessly to rebuild the popular Main Street destination after heavy floodwaters gutted the building during the Main Street flood on July 30.


"Somebody came between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and cleaned us out," Hemmis said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. "I actually watched [the side door] get locked around 10 o'clock the night before. After four and a half months of working seven days a week, it's frustrating to take a big step backward."

Hemmis set up a GoFundMe page after the flood so he could continue to pay his employees, raising and distributing more than $30,000. An additional $2,000 was raised in the last 24 hours, he said, and tools have been donated to replace what was stolen.

"People have been offering tools and some help and labor, which will come in handy," Hemmis said. "A lot of the tools were pretty specialized carpentry tools. We are still making progress."

Llewellyn said the police investigation is underway. To contribute to the Phoenix Emporium GoFundMe page, go to