Atwater’s is closing its Boston Street branch later this month after more than a decade in business there, founder Ned Atwater confirmed Monday.

The fast-casual restaurant known for its soups, salads and sandwiches made from locally sourced ingredients was one of the early tenants at the Shops at Canton Crossing, which opened in 2013. “We’ve been there since almost the beginning,” Atwater said.

After the restaurant’s 10-year lease was up, Atwater said he tried to negotiate a three-year extension with landlord 28 Walker Development, but the developer declined to accept those terms.

Mark Sapperstein, CEO of 28 Walker Development, said that after months of negotiations, “we just couldn’t come to an agreement,” adding, “it wasn’t just one thing.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The closure will leave just three remaining Atwater’s branches in Catonsville, Kenilworth and Belvedere Square. Previous locations in Bare Hills on Falls Road and near Johns Hopkins Medicine have also closed in the past few years.

Despite the business’ popularity and loyal fan base, they’ve been losing money since the pandemic hit in 2020, Atwater said, though “we’re getting closer to break-even.” He was reluctant to sign on for another five years in the current economic climate, when the effects of the pandemic, including pressure from high inflation, are “far from over.”

“The restaurant business … it’s never been an easy business,” he said.

Atwater has also been a vocal advocate for more sustainable working conditions for restaurant industry employees, lobbying in Annapolis in favor of the $15 minimum wage. He supports current efforts to increase the starting wage for tipped employees, which he said is the only way restaurants are going to survive. If workers continue to exit the field, “the industry’s going to suffer in the long run.”

Atwater said he would potentially keep the Canton location open if 28 Walker had a change of heart. But Sapperstein said the ball was in Atwater’s court. “I understand people aren’t happy … sometimes that’s just what happens,” the developer said.

But Sapperstein said the news was sad for him, too. “I love the joint.”