Marie Branch's home-cooked Southern-style breakfast place in Canton has been pulling in a solid late-night crowd since she opened about two years ago near O'Donnell Square. She counts Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones among her regulars.
But Branch is scaling back the hours at Simply Marie's after being shaken by a recent burglary attempt.
"Me and my family are scared," Branch said. "It's not worth being open all night and putting my life in jeopardy for some dollars and some biscuits."
Branch said the incident occurred on a recent Friday night. She said she walked to a back room and saw a man with a knife cutting a backdoor screen, and ran to the front yelling to her customers to get help. Two off-duty security guards tried to find the culprit but came up empty, she said.
Simply Marie's opened in early 2011 in the 3000 block of Elliott Street. She and her brother renovated the space themselves.
The hours at Simply Marie's were a bit unorthodox - open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, then re-opening from midnight to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays to bridge the bar crowds to the morning rush. The business was profiled by WJZ-TV last year as a growing "hot spot."
Branch said she hasn't had any other problems related to crime, but since the burglary attempt she switched up the weekend hours, instead opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 3 p.m.
"Now I don't want to be open at night," Branch said. "I don't anything to happen to my son down here. The end result is, I'm no longer open at midnight."
Jones called attention to the crime on his Twitter page Tuesday morning.
"Heard someone was trying to rob [Simply Marie's]. That's disrespectful. I'm still a supporter," he wrote. "Bomb food," he said, posting a picture of an omelette.