Little Italy soul food restaurant and lively sports bar RYMKS Bar & Grille will shutter its doors May 19, according to the eatery’s social media.

Known for its fried catfish, chicken and shrimp boxes, the popular spot has been a go-to for Baltimoreans looking for an open mic night, community talk or boozy brunch. The Black-owned business was opened about three years ago in May 2021 at 819 E. Pratt St.

“Today we’re sad to announce the closure of RYMKS Bar & Grill. It’s been a pleasure serving Baltimore over the past few years,” read the announcement posted Monday morning.

The restaurant promised to bring “international soul food” to their Charm City neighborhood, according to a 2021 Baltimore Business Journal report, with a menu inspired by the African diaspora. Co-owners Teaon Everage, Derek Smith and Trevor White took over the space during the pandemic that formerly housed Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar and Velleggia’s, hoping to gradually invite customers into an expanded dining area, with 240 seats and a 23-seat outdoor patio, the report said.

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The eatery previously made headlines in June 2022 when White, 40, was shot and killed outside his home in the Lakeside area of Ednor Gardens. He had spent the day in Druid Hill Park at the city’s AFRAM Festival celebrating Black culture — part of a lifelong passion for White, who aspired to open a Black Restaurant and Bar Association to support and advocate for other Black businesses, according to a Baltimore Sun article.

In the report, White, who is Black, said he saw community members act more comfortable when “the Black crowd or the Black community stays as a minority … when they are the majority, other races tend to be less and less comfortable.”

White’s first restaurant, Clutch Sports Lounge in Canton, opened in 2011 with support from a largely Black customer base. He believed the business did not receive the same support from its non-Black neighbors, leading to the restaurant’s closure in 2014, according to a Baltimore Banner report.

RYMKS’ current owners did not respond Monday morning to requests for comment.

The business will remain open for the next two weeks and is encouraging customers to “savor your favorite dishes.” The restaurant will host one of its final events, a Mother’s Day brunch, on May 12. The meal will include an option for wine pairings and a tasting menu by the chef.

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