Eye on Annapolis

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Pugh’s ‘2 Chic Boutique’ left out of flurry of raids

The 2 Chic Boutique, owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh and City Comptroller Joan Pratt, which is now closed. (Bryan P. Sears)

The 2 Chic Boutique, owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh and City Comptroller Joan Pratt, which is now closed. (Bryan P. Sears)

With all the raids on addresses associated with Mayor Catherine Pugh, one Pigtown storefront was oddly forgotten.

2 Chic Boutique, which Pugh owns, along with Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt, sat closed. A security camera looked down on a storefront and door covered with brown paper shopping bags that may have once been intended for customers purchasing high-end secondhand clothing.

Marc Smith, co-owner of the Washington Boulevard building, was working on the outside of an adjoining property when reporters arrived. Smith said he hadn’t seen any signs of a police presence but noted he had a key “so they don’t have to break down my door.”

Smith said he didn’t have a code for the alarm inside 2 Chic Boutique but figured that would be something the FBI could handle, if they showed up.

The Bethesda resident and his wife bought a number of properties from the city during a push to revitalize the west Baltimore neighborhood. Smith, a Ravens fan, said he sank much of his retirement into the revitalized properties, some of which feature retail on the ground floor and apartments with granite counter tops on the second and third stories.

Pugh operated the shop in Pigtown for nearly eight years. Smith said the lease had long since expired but he allowed Pugh to continue to stay. The two occasionally talked — mostly by text — but not for a while, he said. The shop, which accepted customers by appointment only, was being operated by an associate, a woman whose name Smith didn’t immediately remember.

It was that associate who contacted Smith a couple of weeks ago to let him know 2 Chic Boutique was closing for good. Smith wondered aloud to a reporter about when someone would come and clean out the store. He said he had no idea how much was left behind.

“You can see some shoes through the window,” he said.

Other shop owners also said they had not seen Pugh recently or ever.

“Who is that?” joked the owner of a nearby shop who added he had only ever seen customers at the boutique “three or four times” a year.

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