Dear Friends

As our neighborhood struggled during the 1970s, 80s and 90s – finally reaching the point at which 70% of its structures were vacant a decade ago – retail and sit-down restaurants virtually vanished.

One of the important things EBDI is doing is bringing retail and restaurants back to our piece of East Baltimore – creating jobs, as well as serving neighborhood residents and the thousands of people who work for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

With more on the way, we’ve already welcomed a bank, a convenience store and the recently opened restaurant, Cuban Revolution – which is the focus of today’s video.

Cuban Revolution owner Mary Morabito had this to say about her decision to locate in East Baltimore:

"When we first came to Baltimore, we were greeted with more than open arms. Baltimore really rolled out the welcome matt in terms of helping us with employment."

"There are so many programs between the Mayors Office, EBDI, Humanim and the various culinary programs – programs that try to employ people that may have had a little bit of a rough go in their early life, and now they're getting a second start. That's what we're all about – giving people a second chance. The programs helped us to hire skilled workers who live nearby, making it easier to get to work."

EBDI helped our neighbors make their initial contact with the restaurant. Our business services representative Jimmy Smith helped Leslie Carter, a prep cook, find a job at Cuban Revolution after she completed a course with St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. Joseph Carter, a former McDonalds employee who now works at the restaurant, was connected through EBDI's workforce advocates.

And Micah Mitchell, another East Baltimore resident working at the restaurant, had this to say about what he's seeing in the neighborhood:

"This restaurant is giving opportunity to a neighborhood that is full of poverty. As the area expands and more opportunities come, you'll see a total transformation of this community. It's a great feeling for me to be a resident in the community and see all changes and progress happening."

We’ll keep you posted on further developments, as retail returns to our neighborhood. And we hope you’ll watch this week’s video – and join our friends at Cuban Revolution for a meal.

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