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Ground Up

The Daily Record's real estate blog

Lexington Market reopening Saturday after rat video spurs closing

Lexington Market plans to reopen Saturday after closing Friday morning following a video of a rat scampering through a case of baked goods being posted on social media.

The Baltimore City Health Department closed both the Buttercup Bakery and the Berger Bakery stalls at the market Thursday as the video was widely shared. Lexington Market Inc., which runs the historic market, announced Friday it was closing voluntarily.

“Lexington Market will open as usual on Saturday, July 14, at 6 a.m.,” according to a statement from the market’s management. “We are continuing to thoroughly treat every area of our premises; and the problem has been contained and resolved. We thank our merchants, staff, and contractors for working together as a team during the voluntary temporary closure today.

“We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers and look forward to continuing to serve as a resource for the community and for visitors to Baltimore. Thank you for your continued support.”

Lexington Market Inc. is considered a landmark in Baltimore. Public markets have operated in the area dating back to the 1780s. The facility is at the heart of downtown’s Westside, which was once the city’s retail center. After years of disinvestment, following white-flight to the suburbs after World War II, the city has tried to spark redevelopment in the struggling area.

Part of the city’s plans is a proposed $40 million overhaul of Lexington Market, which aimed to bring more fresh foods to the market and make stalls more accessible to customers. But financing the redevelopment has remained a challenge.

Other closures in Lexington Market since 2014, according to the Baltimore City Health Department’s online records include:

  • Berger’s Bakery, in 2016: Roach infestation
  • Konstant Food Stall, in 2016: Violating fire code
  • Angie’s Sould Food & BBQ, in 2015: Heavy mouse infestation, food out of temperature, general unsanitary conditions, no freezers, no hand washing, no soap, food on the floor
  • Cattleman’s Pride, in 2014: Cold and hot foods not held at proper temperature, live roaches, unsanitary conditions
  • John Faidley Seafood Inc., in 2014: Rodent infestation, malfunctioning refrigeration unit, cold foods not held at proper temperature, preparing steamed foods without proper license.
  • Park’s Fried Chicken, in 2014: Cold and hot foods not being held to the proper temperature, malfunctioning refrigerator and hot holding units, insect infestation, no soap and paper towels, general unsanitary conditions
  • Ronny Combo, in 2014: Malfunctioning refrigeration units, cold foods not held at proper temperature, mouse infestation, unsanitary conditions

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