The word “CANCELLED” was posted over a photo of the Bertha’s Mussels restaurant on the Alex Cooper Auctioneers website with 10 minutes left until the bidding deadline Thursday. Image from Alex Coopers Auctioneers website.

The much-anticipated auction of Bertha’s Mussels restaurant in Fells Point was cancelled today with 10 minutes left to go in the online sale and a top bid of $1.32 million.

The word “CANCELLED” was posted over a photo of the restaurant on the Alex Cooper Auctioneers website at 11:50 a.m. The auction, which started Nov. 12, was scheduled to end at noon today.

The auction of the landmark property at 730-734 South Broadway was a voluntary sale on behalf of the Norris family, which plans to retire after 50 years in business.

Bidding started at $750,000 and had been rising steadily in increments of $20,000 since 9 a.m. today, when the top offer was $820,000.

Jared Block, a representative for Alex Cooper, confirmed shortly after noon that the auction was called off with 10 minutes to go. He said the sale was cancelled because the sellers are in “private negotiations” with a prospective buyer. Block said he couldn’t provide any information about the buyer but is optimistic a sale agreement can be reached.

“We’re hopeful,” he said. “We just needed a little more time.”

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

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