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February 18, 2008

Money money money money

Over the weekend, there has been a pretty interesting discussion going on under a previous post.

Jason Zink, a co-owner of the No Idea/Don't Know empire, has been talking money with Anon.

As a writer, I can't add.

Even simple math eludes me. 

But it's wild to think that some bars have to make $15,000 a month just to stay afloat.

That's a lot of $4 Miller Lites..

Anon, you seem to know a lot about what's going on around South Baltimore, business-wise.

Do you feel comfortable identifying yourself?

(AP Photo) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:54 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


It goes without saying that In a city with virtually no tax base, bars are an easy target for an inept city council. Hell, my mother used to have a rowhouse on 41st St. up until the 90s when she sold, when the taxes on her house were more than the mortgage on her house in the county. And that was in Hampden, when Hampden was still Hampden.

The tragic part is that even with all of the grande plans the city has (had for decades) with selling every square inch of waterfront property to outside developers so everyone can have those totally sweet luxury condos in an effort to regenerate some revenue, and even if in a dream world the city's budget miraculously fixes itself, crime goes away, the schools star-wipe into genius factories, those property taxes in South Baltimore will never, ever come down. $4 Millers are (t)here to stay. Working class SoBo, not so much. least there's always happy hour.

My full name is Anonymous

That's a negative red leader. My identity is insegrevious to the topic. I'm just investigating around B-more and couldn't believe my eyes (ears) when I was told how much rent, mortgage is for what you get in the city. There isn't enough time in the day, or space to serve, enough $1 beers to make a profit, if people in charm city keep thinking they are in LA or NY. Sidebar - insegrevious is a word my mother made up. Use it in a sentence or ask someone in a bar if it is a word and watch them explode trying to figure it out. BTW - I know of two more bars for sale and if I had the amount of money they're asking, I'd start my own.

Anon, fair enough. Thanks for giving us some insight, though.

Hey Anon,
Every bar is for sale, I am sure that for the right price you could buy Mothers. The bar/ restaurant business is tough and when somebody wants to buy one and he/ she has the right amount of money because they just want to own a bar then they will have one. I know of two places myself with cheap rent that are for sale, if the price is right. Good luck with your venture!

Sam, i like this gig you got.

J - Not just every bar is for sale, EVERYTHING is for sale - but, just to reiterate, If your asking 1 mil for a bar and RE. When I know it's worth 450 or 500 (ie - from comps, tax records, previous sales), but offer you 600 650 and you walk away [peeved] because I 'low balled' you? The owner usually comes back with, "But the property appraised back in 2006..." There's the rub. This isn't 2006, This isn't last year. This is 2008 and property prices will decline further in 09. Don't get me wrong, I would want top dollar for whatever I'm selling but please come to the table with a number within reason. Now I sound like a [whiner] ... [Darn] you Sessa, it must be all your fault. Peace.


Just give it some time, they will eventually sell, and if not keep on looking. Things happen for a reason and something better will come along. Even Fort Charles sold, I know they were asking a million but who knows what they got. It's a tough market and I wouldn't pay top dollar for a business, especially for a failing business. Plus is real estate, the most important factor for you, or would you be happy with leasing a business with option to buy the building? Once again, good luck. PS if your rent is $5500, you better look at wanting to do about $50,000 a month. That's a lot of Miller Lites!!!

Hey Anon,

I believe the Island Inn on Fleet and Washington is for sale for a decent price, 115k for business with $1400 a month lease for 9 months or buy the whole thing for 450k. Check out under baltimore for business for sale. I checked out the place a long time ago when it was 600k. Definitely worth the money for somebody. If I had the money, I would do it myself. Good luck

Many Thanks j,

I haven't been snooping around in a while. I noticed that islands ad awhile back as well. That area looked a little depressed IMHO. Am I wrong? It seems to be caught in no man's land. Say, I've been looking into Patterson Park/Butcher's Hill area. Is that area THAT BAD? I walked around there morning noon and night and I didn't feel threatened, and I'm not that big of a guy. I always hear "stay away from the park at night." Just as creepily as "Stay off the moors." Two questions What's the movie from that quote and Does anyone know of a bar that jumped started it's neighborhood?

American Werewolf in London, 1981. God Bless Google? A bar can definitely jump start a neighborhood and that is why Pigtown has not jumped yet. People bitch about living next to a bar but that is why there house is worth what it is. I have a friend who owns Growlers, great bar, in Patterson Park. That bar increases the value of nearby houses. Good Luck, please let me know if you need anything, Anon.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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