Baltimore nightlife seems to be in a constant state of change. The loss of The Hippo recently was a hit to the nightlife community of Baltimore, leaving only Leon’s and the Drinkery in Mount Vernon and the Gallery in Station North.Baltimore and Grand Central as places for the LGBT community to all home. It now looks like they have lost one more now; Grand Central is closing it's doors for good.
New owners will start converting Grand Central at 1001-1003 N. Charles Street to an office building with retail space at street level shortly, as the almost 15,000 square foot space officially was passed over on February 28th, with owner Don Davis deciding to leave Baltimore. Management wise, Marc Hayes, has been serving as the club’s general manager while the property was under contract, and has continued to manage the club for the new owners.
First a bit of history; Grand Central dates all the way back to September 12th, 1991,when owner Don Davis purchased a historic Baltimore townhouse, turning it into Central Station Pub. The former Stagecoach was next door, and early in 2003 that was purchased as well, which added a large duel bar and dance floor, state of the art sound and lighting systems, and another lounge upstairs. Re-christening the bar "Grand Central" completed the transition and breathed new life into the establishment, making it a destination for the LGBT community of Baltimore.
While details are sparse on the next incarnation of Grand Central, Landmark Partners released a statement that stated in part:
“Landmark Partners has assumed ownership of Grand Central at 1001-1003 N. Charles Street as of February 28, 2019 and will continue to operate the business with improvements through our new management team until the full development is set to commence".
“We recognize and appreciate the importance Grand Central has played in shaping the neighborhood and the community and intend to celebrate it through our planned project,” the developers continued. “We have been and will continue to work closely with the community to engage them in the process. We believe thoughtful investment into Baltimore’s historic neighborhoods in alignment with their communities is the key to continued growth for the city.”
They went on to state “Both retail concepts are intended to be authentic Baltimore food and beverage establishments that are open to all,” the owners said. “Our intent is to activate and energize the corner for the community to enjoy, with the goal of enhancing walkability and vibrancy within the neighborhood and to increase safety. The retail concept that will occupy the current Grand Central Pub side on the corner of Charles and Eager will be a full service lunch/dinner/bar concept open later hours to maintain the liveliness of the corner.”
Both Leon’s and the Drinkeryin Mount Vernon and the Gallery in Station North remain currently open at press time.