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Mistrial in trial of Officer Porter prompts cancellations at Baltimore restaurants

Business dropped off at some downtown restaurants Wednesday night, in the wake of the declared mistrial in the trial of William G. Porter, one of six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

"We've had a bunch of people canceling, and we've had people cancel for tomorrow," said Sean Naughton, maitre d' at The Prime Rib in Mount Vernon. About 10 percent of the evening's reservations had been canceled, he said, even though things were quiet in the vicinity of the restaurant -- as they were in most of the city.

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"This is a continuation of the problem we had six months ago," Naughton added, referring to the drop-off in business in April, during protests and unrest that followed Gray's death. "It's really hurting us....It took us a while to get our business back, and now we're back in the same spot."

Ar Da Mimmo's in Little Italy, executive chef Masood Masoodi said three parties, including one of 14 people, had canceled their reservations in the wake of the mistrial.

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Normally this time of year, he said, there are plenty of people in Little Italy. But not this year.

"I don't see any foot traffic," he said. "It's not the scene that I'm used to seeing a week before Christmas."

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