BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A landmark leaving. Harborplace, the center of Baltimore's biggest tourist attraction, is losing a major tenant. After three decades, Phillips Seafood is moving out.
Weijia Jiang has new developments on Phillips' possible future.
The news generated emotional reaction all day long, but in a late breaking development, it appears Phillips might not be that far away from here when it moves out.
For many--Marylanders or not--Phillips Seafood is a landmark as prominent as the Inner Harbor, where the restaurant has been a staple for 31 years.
But the pair is breaking up.
In a stunning announcement, the company says, "Phillips Harborplace has terminated their lease at the Inner Harbor effective Sept. 30, 2011. We are exploring other options in the Baltimore market."
"I don't know where we gonna come for our happy hour and fun," said Susan Wilkens, Phillips Harborplace customer.
"I think it's tragic," said George Thompson, Phillips Harborplace customer.
Phillips is the last of the original Harborplace tenants. Since opening in 1980, it's been the keystone of the Light Street Pavilion.
But Phillips is pulling all three locations there: the main restaurant, the buffet hall, and the to-go counter.
"Life evolves, things change, cities change and we're very confident something new could come in and be even better," Laurie Schwartz, Waterfront Partnership.
"I talked to General Growth," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "They already have an exciting tenant signed up. You know one door closes, another door opens. But it's certainly going to be sad."
Maybe not that sad after all.
Late Friday, WJZ's media partner the Baltimore Sun reported Phillips is close to signing a deal to stay near the Inner Harbor and move less than half a mile away to the site of the old ESPN Zone, which shut down last June.
"I'm feeling fine," said a Phillips employee. "They said just be patient."
No deal for the new location of Phillips has been confirmed.
Phillips has several other locations including Ocean City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
for more features.