Baltimore News

Decide opts to let Baltimore sit-down eating ban proceed


Thursday, January 14, 2021
Tyler Waldman, WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5

A Baltimore City judge on Thursday denied to block Baltimore’s sit-down dining ban but concludes it is appropriate for the city to weigh the economic impacts in issuing such orders.

“It’s simply not possible to quantify decision-making to that level of decision,” said Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill. “The mayor’s invested by statute with the authority to make these difficult decisions.”

#BREAKING: Baltimore City judge denies temporary restraining order restaurant group was seeking in lawsuit, but concludes that it is appropriate to consider economic impacts to restaurants and employees. @wbaltv11

— Tre Ward (@TreWardWBAL) January 14, 2021

The judge denied restaurateurs a temporary restraining order, though the lawsuit remains active.

“Not only are we disappointed in the judge’s ruling, but also in what appears to be an impossible standard to meet in order for restaurants to reopen in Baltimore City,” Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, said in a statement. “The models being used to make decisions are not based on actual events or data and are only mathematical exercises as to what might happen. In the meantime, people will continue to leave the city to dine in restaurants located in other counties and I suspect that many restaurant owners are now considering the same.”

Next week, Mayor Brandon Scott is due to reconsider the current ban, which has been in place for more than a month.

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