HAVRE DE GRACE, MD — After about two years in business, River City Public House has closed. The owner said the business model was trending toward private events post-pandemic.
River City Public House was the only business in Harford County that alerted the liquor board it planned to close rather than filing for a renewal of its liquor license this spring, Harford County Liquor Control Board Special Projects Coordinator Judith Powell said at Wednesday’s liquor board meeting.
The announcement at the liquor board meeting in Bel Air came the day after River City Public House shared the news on its Facebook page.
“We have some good news and some sad news,” River City Public House posted Tuesday. “First, the sad news, River City Public House has decided to close. The world of food/beverage/events has changed just as our world has changed, post pandemic. Therefore, we must change with the times, and follow this new pattern/direction in order to fully service our industry demands and needs.”
The restaurant opened on North Washington Street in February 2020.
“Now for the good news! We will be open for small-scale private events as Laurrapin Caters continues to substantially grow,” River City Public House said in a statement. “We are happy to provide a space for charity fundraising events as well as to celebrate special milestone events, such as baby showers, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, birthday parties, and even micro-weddings!”
The shift comes as people change their behaviors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said, stating: “We are so excited to offer this new service, as we are seeing a lot more demand for smaller gatherings in private spaces that are closed to the public in an effort for those attending to feel more comfortable in regards to their health and safety.”