“at the Cafe Hon”
Opened by Denise Whiting in 1992, Cafe Hon takes its name from a common term of endearment ("hon" - an abbreviated version of the word "honey") used by Baltimore residents for years. In 2010, Whiting announced the opening of HONtown, a gift shop across the street from the restaurant. In 2002, the distinct flamingo sculpture was introduced above the restaurant. The original flamingo was made of wire and cloth. In October 2009, the city of Baltimore announced the Cafe Hon had to either get a permit for the flamingo at a cost of $1300 for the first year and $800 each year thereafter or to take it down. The issue was that the flamingo protruded into the public right-of-way.The bird was temporarily removed while this case was being disputed. Whiting stated that the flamingo was "hibernating" during its time of absence, and was determined to fight the city. Whiting and the city finally reached an agreement, in which the permit fee would be at least $400 a year, and the flamingo returned. The new flamingo that was introduced is made of fiberglass. Then-Mayor Sheila Dixon was present at the unveiling of the new flamingo. Following Dixon's trial on corruption charges, Elaine Pollack, known as "Juror no. 11" during the trial, came under fire as it was later learned that she was present during the unveiling of the flamingo along with Dixon. This was one of Dixon's last public appearances before her resignation.
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