The owners of The Dizz are staying put. Last September, Darlene and Thomas L. Basta Jr. listed the restaurant for sale and said they were ready to retire after 10 years of owning the Remington rowhouse bar and eatery.
“We are grateful to our wonderful clients, great employees and the Remington Community,” they said in a statement at the time. “It has been an honor and pleasure serving you and watching our Remington Community grow! We could not have done this without you.”
But now, after an outpouring of support from community members, the Bastas have decided to keep The Dizz.
“They’re just excited again about the business,” owner’s assistant Lynn Szybist said. “There’s a lot of fresh ideas floating around.”
That includes drawing up more daily specials on the menu.
“Each day we’re going to try to have something that appeals to people, especially in the discount department,” Szybist said.
Otherwise, little about the restaurant that bills itself as “Baltimore in a Bar” will change. The Baltimore ephemera and knick-knacks will remain on the wall, the well-prepared comfort food will still be reasonably priced and affable manager Elaine Stevens will still be on hand to run the place.
A listing for the building, business and seven-day beer, wine and liquor license hit the market last September with an asking price of $875,000. Szybist said the owners received some offers, including a couple for what they wanted, but decided to take a step back, and ultimately decided to retain ownership.
The corner house has a long history as a bar, well before it was known as The Dizz.
The first liquor license issued to 300 W. 30th Street was in December 1934 to a bar called Mitchell’s, according to a history on the restaurant’s website. They stayed open until 1972, when it was then renamed Stu’s Lounge.
It wasn’t until 1997 that it became Dizzy Issie’s, a popular corner bar.
A little over a decade later, Dizzy Issie’s went through a renovation and was rebranded as The Dizz.
After news got out that the business was for sale, there were constant phone calls with people who were upset they might lose one of their favorite spots, Szybist said.
“Phone calls and people crying. I’m not joking,” she said. “People were crying that they were gonna sell it.”
People shared stories about meeting their spouses at The Dizz, or hosting graduation parties there for the children. Ultimately, the personal connection is what made the difference.
“Your customers start becoming your family,” Szybist said. “And here, it’s really like that.”