Lost City Diner: A cliffhanger in Charles North

January 26, 2012|By Richard Gorelick | The Baltimore Sun

Lost City Diner materialized in Charles North last August. Now, the fountain shop and late-night stop is shutting down. Don't worry, though, its owner, Joy Martin, says, it's only for an intermission.

Martin, who also own the Club Charles, gave no firm date for the re-opening of Lost City Diner.  In an emailed message said she's "just closing to do some renovations to the kitchen and try to get my sign up."   

When Lost City Diner opened suddenly last summer, it seemed to be the final chapter a long-running serial that played out for years on the corner of Charles and Lanvale, a half block up from the Club Charles

Lost City Diner, when it revealed itself, was beautiful, with antique fixtures and fanciful retro-industrial elements gorgeously evoking the giddy atmosphere of a Buck Rogers serial from the 1930s. A devotee of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, Martin admitted that the diner's long gestation was a result of her meticulous nature  — “We researched things down to the last detail,” Martin said. 

The big hit early on at the Lost City Diner were hand-made fountain treats — specialty sundaes, milkshakes and malteds, classics like the Knickerbocker and the Tin Roof, and new-fangled creations like the Utopia and the Vector, made with soy ice cream.  In the opening days at Lost City, fountain sales were even outpacing beer sales at the Club Charles. “Who would have thought ice cream would outsell beer?” Martin said.

In the months following its opening, however, the restaurant seemed to frustrate diners (or potential diners) with an inconsistent operating schedule.

When will Lost City Diner return? Stay tuned.

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