Keiller Kyle spent his Monday evening moving machinery and packing up what’s left of his Ovenbird bakery stall in downtown’s Lexington Market.

The venue that once appeared to be a promising means of bolstering business is now no longer worth the investment for the bakery, said Kyle, who announced the closure Monday afternoon.

Data collected by the bakery over the last year showed the stall received a fraction of the customers known to patronize the eatery’s locations in Highlandtown and Little Italy.

“It was a matter of where can we best put our limited resources,” he said. “We also just might not be a fit for where the market is maturation-wise as a whole.”

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Ovenbird’s Lexington Market stall operated under the same menu as their other two locations, selling flavored coffees, teas and lunch sandwiches on artisanal breads. Still, the stall struggled to drive foot traffic, which, Kyle said, stemmed from its spot next to the construction site for Faidley’s Seafood stall.

The Baltimore-famous seafood business aimed to be an anchor tenant for Lexington Market. But lengthy lease negotiations delayed the second-floor stall’s arrival, leading to frustrations among other vendors expecting to set up shop in an already bustling marketplace, The Banner reported in October. Faidley’s stall has yet to open.

“It’s a lot [to handle] to build a brand while they’re jackhammering next door,” Kyle said.

The sausage and egg sandwich at Ovenbird Bakery’s stall at Lexington Market. (Christina Tkacik)

He called the noise “highly disruptive” to business and part of a larger pattern of growing pains within the market.

Baltimore Public Markets CEO Paul Ruppert told The Banner he was disappointed to see the bakery leave. He acknowledged the market’s growing pains and said it’s not right for every business.

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Ruppert said he’s noticed that Lexington Market’s successful vendors tend to be very good at selling one product at an affordable price. Charro Negro Mexican Bite, a new vendor at the market, is a prime example, he said. The stall offers two tacos with sides for less than $5.

Sandwiches at Ovenbird range from $9 for a grilled cheese to $14 for its Italian cold cut, according to the bakery’s website.

Ruppert told The Banner in October that certain vendors were receiving rent accommodations to help with the transition as they built a customer base in the market. He declined to comment on whether that continues to be the case.

In October, some vendors commended management for addressing security issues and being responsive toward stall owners’ concerns over high utility costs on top of the rising costs for food and labor.

Ruppert aims to bring in a grocery stall by the end of the summer and to open Faidley’s Seafood by the end of the month.

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“It’s not a full market without Faidley’s,” he said.

Despite vacating the market, Kyle said he thinks there is still hope for Lexington Market.

And Ruppert said he is on the hunt for another bakery or sandwich shop to fill the void, but he thinks the market will have no trouble finding vendors.

“I have no concerns about the future of Lexington Market,” he said.

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