The Bun Penny at Cross Keys, the gourmet wine and food shop where friends liked to gather to chat over a cup of coffee, closed Tuesday only two months after the Bun Penny at Harborplace shut down.
The closing is another chapter to a saga that began when Rhoda and J. Malcolm Snape, owners of the two Bun Pennys, abandoned their businesses last year and fled to Europe, leaving behind debts of more than $260,000.
The Bun Penny shops at Harborplace and the Cross Keys development on Falls Road are both owned by the Rouse Co. The Columbia-based development company was appointed manager of the operations after the stores were put in receivership and was running them until their subsequent closings.
Since taking over the management at Bun Penny at Cross Keys, Rouse had been trying to find a business to take over the Bun Penny or take its place, said Cross Keys advertising manager Victoria Posey.
She said that "we are negotiating with a new tenant" but that she could not give details on the arrangements.
The Bun Penny at Cross Keys had a Mediterranean flair with its food and decor that set it apart from the more traditional pub setting of the downtown location.
A Bun Penny operation in Columbia is separately owned and is not involved in the Cross Keys closing. A related Bun Penny deli and coffee shop, also in the Light Street pavilion, is also still operating, but the manager there said it, too, might close.
"For right now we're still open, but we are up for sale. It's up to Rouse," said manager Robert Fooks.