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Fells Point business owners raise concerns over large crowds loitering and recent violence

Fells Point business owners have concerns over loitering large crowds
Fells Point business owners have concerns over loitering large crowds 03:34

BALTIMORE - The owner and head chef over a trio of restaurants in Fells Point announced a decision to temporarily close the establishments, citing public safety concerns.

Duck Duck Goose, Osteria Pirata and Anchor Bar, under the Alfred Restaurant Group umbrella, are among the restaurants and bars that will "press pause," according to Baltimore chef Ashish Alfred. 

"People not wanting to come to my restaurant, that's a new one to me," said Alfred. "I can't cook my way out of it, I can't manage my way out of it, I can't social media my way out of it. It's a problem I don't know how to fix."

Alfred said a final straw in an already ongoing decline in business was a shooting that left a 16-year-old girl injured on June 9, just a block away from his establishments. 

Coupled with large crowds loitering, open container violations and incidents of violence, some other business managers in the neighborhood report that turbulent weekends have posed problems for their bottom line.

"I'm now thinking how even I'm going to pay for my employees for last week, you know? It's hurting a lot. But whatever's not killing me will make me stronger," said pizza shop manager Kubat Abazvek. 

Others have a different perspective on the situation. 

Patrick Russell, the owner of Slainte and Kooper's Tavern, wrote in a social media post: "Crime is a problem but I watched law enforcement begin to make changes the last few weeks and it will continue to get better."

In a statement to WJZ about concerns over violence, the Baltimore Police Department wrote:

"The BPD consistently works with community members, business owners, elected officials and law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of all of our residents and visitors. We have additional personnel assigned to areas along our different entertainment districts. We continually review our plans, and adjust our crime and deployment strategies as needed to fully optimize our available resources."

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