On Saturday, July 19th, 2014, I was walking down the “Avenue” taking a young friend from DC visiting Baltimore to take in the sights of “Free Spirited” Hampden. We went into Cafe Hon expecting for him to show our visitor the “Pepto” Pink walls and 8 foot “Hon” face graphics that Chef Ramsay and his “Kitchen Nightmares” team left behind. (Somehow though, the oversized Elvis statue survived the make-over – but with the addition of some oversized sunglasses)
Surprise! Surprise! Every trace of Ramsay’s changes were totally gone! The back wall had turned chartreuse with oversized chalk boards topped by black Baltimore-eseque black graphics.
The wall behind the booths – formally “Pepto” Pink and decorated with tea pots (I just never figured that one out to begin with!) was stripped down to the bare brick (though the original leopard skin upholstered booths that pre-dated Ramsay were still the same.
The only trace of the “Hon” shtick were a row of small 5×7″ framed pictures of “Hon” ladies along the big brick wall behind the booths.
On the far side of the counter, there used to be an extra dining room. The dining room is gone and looks like what remained of “Hon Town” from across the “Avenue” has been moved in here!
I talked to one of the waitresses and asked when this transformation had occurred – she said that it happened about a year ago. She reported that Ramsay’s decor – all so magically done and completed over-night had started to fall away from the walls. The decision to go back to the original brick wall was apparently a practical tactic because the plaster had started falling off the wall behind it!
My buddy Marty told me that he has gone down the “Avenue” on Sunday evening and most of the places that were open on were doing good business (Except for poor Cafe Hon which looked woefully empty)
FYI – Check out our earlier full review of Cafe Hon