The Oakland Mills community has rallied behind Second Chance Saloon, which the owners say is in danger of closing at the Oakland Mills Village Center.
The bar’s co-owner Wendy Binder told the Howard County Times that they’re trying to get a new lease with Cedar Realty Trust, but were recently denied.
The village center leasing agent for Cedar Realty Trust was not immediately available on Friday to discuss the situation.
In a note to the community, Oakland Mills Village board chair Bill Gray wrote that Second Chance hasn’t been able to pay their entire rent at the property, which is $7,5000. Instead, according to Gray, the bar reached an agreement to pay about $3,500 per month to pay common area maintenance fees and real estate taxes “over the last few years.”
In addition, wrote Gray, the owners of Second Chance made renovations and are now in better financial position to negotiate a new lease.
Community members worried about losing a local business started a Change.org petition to encourage the property owners to renew the bar's lease and local political figures wrote their support for Second Chance.
Over 300 people have signed the petition, which states the bar is “a vital part of the community”.
County Executive Ken Ulman and County Council Chair Calvin Ball also threw in their support for the local bar. Ulman asked that Cedar “give every consideration” to keeping Second Chance open, while Ball called the bar “the Cheers of Columbia” where “You’re always greeted with a warm and welcome smile…”, according to the Howard County Times report.
On the bar’s Facebook page, Second Chance wrote “We have been proud to be a part of Oakland Mills Village Center for the last 5 years and hope that we can come together to continue to be a part of this community.”
The owners wrote they’d have to close by February 2014 if a new agreement is not reached.
The bar opened in 2008 at the former location of Last Chance Saloon, which closed in 2004. Recently it was recognized by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, which nominated it for best bar in 2013. It was chosen by Columbia Patch readers as the best local bar in 2012.
The bar is located at 5888 Rober Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center.