Mission BBQ Closing Downtown Annapolis Location


Multiple reports said Mission BBQ is closing its downtown Annapolis location, pictured above, on Saturday. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Mission BBQ is closing its downtown Annapolis location this weekend.

Saturday is the restaurant's last day at 142 Dock Street, Mission BBQ Founder Bill Kraus told Patch. Kraus also said the closure was not a result of last week's flood.

“I can confirm that today is the last day that we have the privilege of operating our business in downtown Annapolis,” Kraus told Patch on Saturday.

The Mission BBQ in the nearby Annapolis Town Center will remain open.

Kraus hopes to transfer employees to other locations, rather than lay anybody off.

“We’re doing everything we can to find homes for our teammates,” Kraus said. “That was critically important to us.”

Naptown Scoop was the first to report the closure in its Thursday newsletter. Eye On Annapolis followed soon after, saying it also confirmed the closure.

Lisa Stumphauzer Birchfield, who works in Annapolis, will miss the downtown location.

"I used to take my son & his friends there when he was younger," she commented on the Eye On Annapolis Facebook post. "I am sure it will be missed by all the midshipmen as well. Truly sad."

Mission BBQ pays tribute to service members and first responders with flags and military decor. Workers and customers also pause at noon daily while the National Anthem plays.

Mission BBQ opened its first location on Sept. 11, 2011 in Glen Burnie, a press release said. The chain now has more than 100 restaurants across 19 states.

Mission BBQ plans to open 20 new restaurants this year. It will expand to two new states: Oklahoma and Arizona. None of this year’s openings will be in Maryland.

“We are continuing to expand the overall business,” Kraus said. “The upward trajectory of Mission BBQ continues.”

The downtown Annapolis location opened in June 2016, The Capital reported.

The building is home to the former Stevens Hardware, whose marquee sign still hangs above the storefront.

Eye On Annapolis said the building opened in 1870 as a general store, but it shifted to hardware sales by the 1920s. Stevens Hardware operated out of the location for 53 years, and The Capital reported that it closed at the end of 2012.

The building sat vacant for 3.5 years while Royal Farms unsuccessfully tried to open a deli there, The Capital said. That proposal fell through because of zoning regulations.

Work on Mission BBQ started in January 2016, The Capital said.

“It’s been such an honor for us to operate out of the Stevens building on Dock Street for many years,” Kraus said. “We’ll look back on it with fond memories.”

Annapolis resident Rebecca Brenia said it's "such a cool building." She wants it to return to its roots.

"[I]  would love to see a General Store in the space, with some hardware and other useful items for locals and Airbnb tourists," Brenia commented on the Eye On Annapolis Facebook post. "In order to be viable, it would need a couple 15 minute parking spaces in front, like at Mills, so people can run in and grab what they need. There aren’t enough homes within walking distance to support a shop like that, but there are plenty within a 10 minute drive."

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