Economy, Kimco Caused Charcoal Grill Closure, Owner Says
The take-out restaurant, formerly at Perry Hall Square Shopping Center, closed on Aug. 27.
Famous for its smokey pit beef sandwiches, Charcoal Grill's Perry Hall location shuttered its doors last week. The owner, who still runs a location in Parkville, said the economy and Perry Hall Square Shopping Center's management company are to blame for the closure.
Business had dropped at the take-out restaurant, opened in 2004, according to owner Michael McFadden. "For the most part, it's just the economic times," he said.
But McFadden also expressed disappointment with the center's management company, Kimco Realty, and the condition and maintenance of the center, which was built in 1964.
McFadden believed his rent was reasonable for the market, but said several other tenants were being overcharged.
"The rent was fair for me, but I negotiated the deal eight years ago," he said. "I was disappointed in how sparse they allowed the shopping center to become, and not giving us more of a discount for the vacancies."
Patch has reached out repeatedly to Kimco, but representatives were not available to comment on McFadden's claims.
Shear Genius salon, an 11-year tenant, left the center in July 2011 because Kimco had raised the rent during the height of vacancies, said manager Kathy Lesko. The salon reopened at the newly-built Honeygo Crossing shopping center, near the corner of Belair Road and Honeygo Boulevard.
Over the past year, however, the center has gained new tenants.
Managers and owners at existing businesses, including Ace Hardware and Italian Sensation, said they hoped the new grocery store represented a turning point in more activity and foot traffic at the center.
County Councilman David Marks created a county-sponsored commercial revitalization district over the area in May 2011, that allows businesses to qualify for interest-free loans, architectural and design assistance and other county benefits. Marks has also included the center is several "Downtown" Perry Hall initiatives.
Marks, during the Giant grand opening last month, praised Kimco for their efforts toward bringing in new tenants.
But McFadden said Kimco didn't do enough to improve the area or make use of county benefits.
"It was a day late and a dollar short," he said. "When you're a billion-dollar company like Kimco, you just don't care."