Business owners are mixed over the Baltimore Grand Prix

On Labor Day, workers tore down the safety walls for the second year of the Baltimore Grand Prix.  The construction doesn't make as much noise as the race cars that turned downtown Baltimore into a track with cars going at speeds of 180 mph.

Pratt St. was shut down through the weekend, putting business owners on edge.

"I think this year the media was with us, told people to come downtown.  The race was over at 6 o'clock so everybody came out and they came out to the restaurant," said Nino Germano, owner, La Scala. 

In Little Italy, Germano says this year was more successful than the first Grand Prix.  A special menu, Bocci ball inside, and a cool wine cellar brought people in.

PHOTOS | Check out these photos of the Grand Prix festivities

But to the south in Federal Hill, many restaurant owners on Light Street hope a red light goes up for next year.

"I probably lost about 50 percent that weekend," said Tom Chungsakoon, owner, Thai Yum.  "Regular customers don't want to come in because they have a hard time come to here because they're blocked." 

Chungsakoon says his business will do better this weekend when the Yankees are in town and the Ravens start their regular season at home Monday night.

So while the Redmans from Las Vegas praise the city.

"We'll be back," they said on Monday.    

Some business owners hope the streets reopen for good, the barriers never come back and the curtain is closed on the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

"We hope.  We hope not happen again next year," said Chungsakoon.    

There are plans to race in 2013.  A spokesperson for Andretti Sports Marketing says they don't plan to release the crowd numbers, but they are happy with the turnout considering they had about 90 days to plan.

If your commute takes you through the city, the Department of Transportation says all roads that were shut down for the race will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Print this article Back to Top