The Civil restaurant posted a message on Facebook this month saying that it has ceased operation. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Baltimore’s Charles Street corridor has lost another restaurant.

The Civil, at 518 N. Charles St., posted a message on Facebook this month saying that it has ceased operation:

“WE ARE CLOSED,” the message begins.

“We would like to thank you for 5 years of patronage, 5 years of memories and 5 years of great vibes! With this being our first venture, we had no handbook, no set of rules or any directions to follow, so a lot of our processes were trial and error. At times our audiences were bigger than our vision. We appreciate every interaction and we thank everyone for taking the time to check us out.”

According to its website, The Civil offered “Southern-inflected American dishes & cocktails in a roomy space with regular events & DJs.” Its owners have a sister operation called EAT DRINK RELAX at 1001 Cathedral St., the former site of City Café.

In their message, they invited patrons to visit them there. They also indicated that they plan to start a new venture, benefitting from the lessons they learned at The Civil.

“It has always been our vision to provide great service and great experiences,” they said. “We apologize if we were ever unable to deliver a stellar experience. Each interaction has made us more knowledgeable and more prepared for future interactions. Please do not consider this a goodbye, just a temporary farewell. We hope to welcome our rebrand and relocation coming to you VERY soon!”

Many Baltimoreans remember 518 N. Charles St. as the home of Louie’s Bookstore Café from 1981 to 1998, a spot so popular it still has its own Facebook page. It was followed by IXIA and then G.A.Y. Lounge, a precursor of sorts to The Manor at 924 N. Charles St.

A sign in the window at 518 N. Charles St. says the space has 8,400 square feet on two levels plus a mezzanine, and a seating capacity of 250 people. The landlord can be reached at

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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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