Months after owners decide to keep restaurant, The Dizz is closing, up for sale

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Photo via LoopNet.

Diners were relieved in April to learn the owners of The Dizz, a beloved corner restaurant in Remington, had ditched plans to put the eatery and building on the market.

Now, the restaurant is shutting down. A post on The Dizz’s Facebook page signed by co-owner Thomas L. Basta Jr. said the business is closed as of today.

“[W]e would like to thank all our wonderfully [sic] customers for your support over the years and to all of our employees,” the post said.

Michael S. Levine, who previously served as the listing agent when The Dizz was put up for sale in 2018, said the building and business are once again on the market.

No one at The Dizz answered multiple phone calls from a reporter. A comment by the restaurant further down in today’s Facebook thread said the “business is closing because the numbers do not support keeping open any longer.”

Levine, of Douglas Realty LLC, said the building, liquor license and all other assets will be listed in the coming days for $550,000, a drop of more than $300,000 from the previous asking price. He said the Basta family is looking to sell as quickly as possible, which could in theory allow a new owner to run the business as-is.

“They might not even miss a heartbeat and service the community as The Dizz did over the many years they were in Remington,” he said.

The restaurant had to temporarily close for several days last month for an “emergency repair,” but it was up and running again on schedule.

In September 2018, the restaurant that bills itself as “Baltimore in a Bar” was listed for sale with an asking price of $875,000, which included a seven-day liquor license. Owners Darlene Basta and Thomas L. Basta Jr. said at the time they were retiring from the food business.

By last April, the Basta family had a change of heart and decided to keep The Dizz open after an outpouring of community support.

Lynn Szybist, an assistant to the owners, said phone calls started pouring in when The Dizz went up for sale, with some callers crying over the loss of their favorite hangout spot or sharing stories about meeting a significant other there.

“Your customers start becoming your family,” Szybist said. “And here, it’s really like that.”

That inspired the owners to keep going.

“They’re just excited again about the business,” Szybist said at the time. “There’s a lot of fresh ideas floating around.”

According to a history on the restaurant’s website, the corner house on W. 30th Street has a long history as a bar, well before it was known as The Dizz.

The first liquor license issued in December 1934 to a bar called Mitchell’s. That stayed open until 1972, when it was then renamed Stu’s Lounge.

It wasn’t until 1997 that it became Dizzy Issie’s, which The Sun called “a Baltimore corner-bar institution.”

A little over a decade later, Dizzy Issie’s went through a renovation and was rebranded as The Dizz, and it maintained its status as a classic corner bar.

This story has been updated.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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