Pumpkin Market closes

Pumpkin Market and its street "parklet" in 2012.

Facing what they call a 65-percent rent increase, Hillary Bor and Ian Moroney pulled the plug on Pumpkin Market at 1610 South St. after five years.

The couple's BYOB, Pumpkin, at 1713 South St., is not affected by the shutdown. In fact, Bor told me, they just signed a renewal that will extend the nine-year-old restaurant's lease by five more years.

Bor and Moroney faced an ironic situation that can befals other entrepreneurs in "emerging" neighborhoods such as South Street West (or Graduate Hospital or whatever you call it): They pay an attractive rent at the outset, endure only modest increases during the lease, and get socked with a big increase when the lease comes up for renewal. Meanwhile, it is they who have helped improve the neighborhood to enable landlords to justify higher rent.

Bor said that even though they had some time left on the market's lease, they decided to pull the plug after business Tuesday.