Significant Changes in Baltimore Over The Years

The city of Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland, which in turn making it as one of the most populous cities in the state. Being a center of trade and commerce, it is not surprising that the people living in the city comes from different areas of the country. While it may look good at a first glance, at first it posed a serious problem to Baltimore as far as peace and order are concerned.

It was one of the darkest moments in Baltimore’s history, and The Economist will take us back to that time through their article describing how chaotic that time was.

Crime and Despair in Baltimore

Image Courtesy of The Economist

BACK in the 1980s and early 1990s, when Dante Barksdale was playing the game in Baltimore—dealing drugs, toting guns, making some money—there was a process to killing people. “You couldn’t shoot someone without asking permission from a certain somebody,” muses the former gangster, on a tour of the abandoned row-houses and broken roads of West Baltimore, the most dangerous streets in America. “It’s become like, “I’m going to kill whoever’s got a fucking problem with it.”

Mr Barksdale, who spent almost a decade in prison for selling drugs, speaks with authority. His uncle, Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale, was a big shot in the more hierarchical Baltimore gangland he recalls. Avon Barksdale, a fictional villain in “The Wire”, a TV crime drama set in Baltimore, was partly inspired by him. The younger Mr Barksdale was himself fleetingly portrayed in it. (“‘The Wire’ was a bunch of bullshit,” he sniffs. “I got shot in the fourth episode and I didn’t get paid.”) Now employed by the Baltimore health department, in a team of gangsters-turned-social workers known as Safe Streets, he uses his street smarts to try to pre-empt murders by mediating among the local hoodlums. This also gives him a rare vantage onto the city’s latest upwelling of violence, which is concentrated in poor, overwhelmingly black West Baltimore—and is horrific. See full post here…

As mentioned, the peace and order of Baltimore were among the worst especially during the 1980s to 1990s. This was actually happening in the city despite the entire country was becoming safe. Drugs, loose firearms, murders among others were the most common problems in the city during that time. Good thing though that these were things from the past as Baltimore today is among the safest cities in Maryland. It is also lively enough for it to be dubbed as the Charm City.

In terms of employment and job opportunities, Baltimore had made a huge leap in making the lives of its workforce convenient. Aside from opening more work opportunities, the city also pushed for a much higher minimum wage. Holden Wilen wrote an article in the Baltimore Business Journal about the bill increasing Maryland’s minimum wage and the major changes it has undergone.

Maryland Minimum Wage Bill Moves Forward with Major Changes

Image Credits: Baltimore Business Journal

The House Economic Matters Committee advanced a bill that would raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15, while extending the amount of time it will take for the wage to ramp up and ensuring it will not be tied to inflation in the future.

In a 17-7 vote Monday evening to give the bill a favorable report with amendments. Under the amended bill, the minimum wage would not increase to $15 until January, 1, 2025. Provisions increasing the wage for tipped workers would also be removed so servers can keep their “tip credit.” Another amendment allows businesses to pay workers younger than 18 years old 85 percent of the minimum wage.

The original bill pushed by Democrats proposed increasing the statewide minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15 per hour in 2023. Thereafter, the minimum wage would have been tied to the Consumer Price Index to account for inflation. Business owners, industry groups and chambers of commerce from the across the state opposed the bill, saying it would make the cost of running a business too high.

Del. Diana Fennell of Prince George’s County is the primary sponsor of the legislation. Sen. Cory McCray is the sponsor in the Senate. Supporters for increasing the minimum wage argued the bill bring people out of poverty and allow people to raise families without having to work multiple jobs. Some business owners who support the effort say it will improve worker retention and put more money in the pockets of consumers. Click here to read the rest of this post…

It has been so many years since the minimum wage of the entire state of Maryland was increased. This change will benefit millions of employees in Maryland, increasing their take-home pay for their families. A major change indeed.

In terms of business, Baltimore had also undergone major changes since last year, and Kevin Lynch had the recap of all federal hill business changes from last year. Check them out below.

A Recap of All the Federal Hill Business Changes From the Last Year

It’s been a busy past year for Federal Hill business news. Below is a recap of every change that has happened since the beginning of 2017.

Closed and Replaced

Mark Cottman Gallery: Mark Cottman closed his art gallery at 1014 S. Charles St. in June 2017 after seven years. Cottman told WJZ that he will produce art at his home and continue to participate in art shows, and that he is looking to get into standup comedy. The 1,040 sq. ft. space is now the home of CJKollective.

Otto Turkish Cuisine: Otto opened in Spring 2017 1043 S. Charles St. and closed in Fall 2017. Otto took over for Grano Pasta Bar, which closed in January 2017 and still has a location in Hampden. The space is now the home of Ruben’s.

Felici Cafe: Felici Cafe closed in October 2017 at 1035 Light St. but still runs a catering business. Felici’s former space will become the new home of Diablo Doughnuts, which will relocate from a shared space in Fells Point.

Closed and Currently Vacant

The Bridal Suite: The Bridal Suite has closed its boutique at 1126 S. Charles St., however it still offers bridal services and its Farrah Covington Bridal line, according to its website. Its former retail space and building is currently for sale.

Fat Larry’s: Fat Larry’s closed in October 2017 at 1026 S. Charles St. due to personal health issues for owner Larry Davidov, who also noted that business never came back to its previous levels after the Baltimore unrest in 2015. Fat Larry’s was able to sell its equipment and its six-day tavern liquor license is in the process of being transferred to the new location of Shoyou Sushi. Fat Larry’s former space is currently for lease. The landlord informed that they were in negotiations with a couple different restaurant concepts for the space that did not move forward.

Closed – Cross Street Market

Image Source: SouthBMore

Mondawmin Chicken: Mondawmin Chicken closed its stall in June 2017 after 23 years at Cross Street Market. CVP told the closure was related to personal health issues with the owner. The stall is now the temporary home of Prescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls, which will eventually have a permanent stall at the market.

Tian’s Teriyaki: Tian’s Teriyaki closed its stall at Cross Street Market last year. The space is now the temporary home of Smoke, which will eventually have a permanent stall at the market.

Browse the whole lists here…

The reality is that some businesses come and go in the city. Though we were sad to see these businesses bid farewell, we look forward to new business ventures in Baltimore – and there are a lot of them on a yearly basis.

So there you have it, major changes in Baltimore that are notable and are worth mentioning. These changes also helped a lot in the city’s transformation to what it is now. To stay updated about the major Baltimore changes, visit Dependable Homebuyers at

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