The Guide House Grill stays afloat, despite being in tri-state gridlock


"It's weird, the surrounding states reopening faster has actually been a bigger problem than the pandemic itself."

KNOXVILLE, Md. (WDVM)– Make a right off of U.S. 340 and you run smack dab into the Guide House Grill, a popular pub that’s caught in a law-abiding triangle.

“We love our location but right now it’s really kind of fighting against us,” said Owner & Mixologist Sarah Murphy. “People don’t even realize where they are, they think they’re in West Virginia when they’re here because we’re right next to Harpers Ferry so we kind of have to educate people this is Maryland. Even within that, this is Washington County not Frederick County.”

Sitting in the nook of Maryland, the Guide House also serves West Virginia and Virginia travelers and with each state reopening quite differently, they say customers are having a difficult time anticipating what to expect.

“People expect that they should be able to come in and sit down and eat because in West Virginia I can do that, why can’t I do it here?” said Murphy.

“It’s gotten trickier honestly as things opened up than it was while things were closed which is kind of strange.” said Owner & Chef Darin Kordyak.

Since the start of the pandemic, initially they lost 60-percent of their business but now with other states reopening faster, they have lost nearly 80-percent of it’s normal business. 

“I can confidently say that we have lost more business to the neighboring states opening up than to the covid shutdown initially,” said Kordyak. “It’s not in-danger territory yet but it’s definitely gasping for air a bit and hoping for the best.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that indoor dining can finally re-open this Friday at 5 p.m., which staff members say they’re more than ready to get back to normal.

“These people are our regulars, they’re family to us now,” said Murphy. “We know them, we love them and they mean everything to us.”

The Guide House Grill will be celebrating their 4th birthday at the end of June, and they are still planning on celebrating in some form of fashion to honor their loyal customers.

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