Last month, Kurt Bragunier announced that his beloved Annabel Lee Tavern would close due to declining sales. After partnering with two silent investors, he will reopen Annabel Lee at 601 South Clinton Street within the next two to three weeks.
“The concept is staying the same,” Bragunier said. “We’re still going to be the Annabel Lee Tavern that everyone was used to.”
Word spread about the Annabel Lee closing like a wild fire on social media outlets. Fans were disappointed with the announcement, offering words of gratitude and sympathy. The restaurant had served the Canton community for 10 years, before its doors were shuttered.
Two local, whose names will remain anonymous, have agreed to invest an unspecified amount of money into the restaurant. The investment deal is still in the works, Bragunier said.
“They’re two guys who have been coming here with their wives for years and just love the place,” said Bragunier. “They want to help me keep it going.”
A $200,000 revenue loss from 2015 to 2016 was associated with increased competition in the area, Bragunier says.
Annabel Lee’s menu will mostly remain the same, but Bragunier will work to increase the restaurant’s exposure through various outlets, including Baltimore Restaurant Week, OrderUp and potentially Groupon.
“Both of these guys are a lot more savvy in promotion and stuff than I am,” he said. I’m going to be a lot more active in getting the name out there.”
After announcing the closure of Annabel Lee, patrons packed into the restaurant, which in turn encouraged Bragunier to give it a second chance.
“All of these people coming forward, it was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It was completely overwhelming,” Bragunier said. “I just hope people will receive us well when we reopen.”