Baltimore’s Grand Central nightclub to change hands
The New Year will bring new owners to Grand Central, Baltimore’s largest LGBTQ-friendly nightclub.
Current owner Don Davis said in a message on Facebook that he has a buyer for the 27-year-old business in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood and expects to complete the sale by the end of February.
In his message, Davis said he has hired a management team that now works for him and “will be working for the new owners come the 28th of February.” He did not name the buyers or state a price.
Davis has been in poor health and said he plans to move from Baltimore later this month and retire in Texas. Although he has talked before about selling his property, this is the first time he has spelled out a timetable for the transition.
“It was a really hard decision but it’s time to pass the torch so I can take care of my health,” he wrote.
Davis said in a separate email message that he could not disclose the names of the new owners until after settlement. When asked if Grand Central would continue to be a gay-friendly club, he said “it will remain the same for at least a year or more.”
Located at 1001-1003 North Charles Street, Grand Central is well known as a gathering spot for members of the LGBTQ community and others in central Maryland.
If the sale moves ahead, this would be the second time in three years that a gay-friendly nightclub in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon area has changed its operation.
The Hippo nightclub on West Eager Street closed in 2015 and was replaced by a branch of CVS. Its liquor license was transferred to the Baltimore Eagle, which closed in July following a dispute between the landlord and its management team.
Davis started Grand Central in 1991, when he opened the Central Station Pub at 1001 N. Charles Street. In 2003, he purchased the Stagecoach country and western bar at 1003 N. Charles, combined the two buildings and renamed them Grand Central.
Davis said in late 2016 that his asking price was $2.6 million. The price dropped to $1.85 million the following year, according to the Baltimore Sun. The property has almost 15,000 square feet of space, including multiple bars and a large dance floor, and was being marketed with all fixtures and furnishings included.
Davis’s Facebook message prompted a string of comments about the club and what it has meant to Baltimore’s LGBT community.
“Thank you for all of your support to the community for so many years,” one commenter wrote. “I have so many great memories at Grand Central.”
“Baltimore will not be the same without you,” another wrote to Davis. “Central was the first bar I went to when I came out. You gave so many people a place they could be themselves and feel accepted.”
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