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April 24, 2008

Broadening my horizons

Earlier today, MS reader j posted this comment under the Don't Know Tavern entry:

Heavy sigh. Get out of your comfort Zone and find a new place to review. And I want pictures! No more Mosaic. No more I don't know tavern. Broaden your horizon's Mr. Sessa!

J, did you read today's nightlife column?

It's on Schaefer's, an under-the-radar corner bar in South Baltimore.

I'd say I get out to a new bar once every week or so. And MS covers a pretty wide range of Baltimore bars.

Like everybody else, there are some bars I like I go to more than others.

With my job, the line between blogging and my personal life is really blurry.

If I go out just for fun and spot something interesting, I'm probably going to blog about it.

So that's why you see a fair number of random blogs about Federal Hill bars -- that's where I live and where I go out the most.

But when it comes to reviewing bars for The Sun or MS, I'm pretty good at broadening my horizons.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:25 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs



Any place you think that has been over looked that is deserving of being at the top of Sessa's dance card?

Complaints with no suggestions isn't exactly helpful in broaden Sam's horizons or column improving

I'd say review my favorite neighborhood joint,Henningers in Fells,but i don't want a bunch of strangers in my clubhouse :)...what a catch-22,i want the owner to do well but the local clientele is the reason i go.

Well put, GDA.

I'd throw in some suggestions myself, but I don't want my regular haunts to be over-run with rowdy crowds. I've had to drop too many old stand-bys over the years already, no need to encourage the stampedes!

BTW Sam, I liked the observation of the metal bar trough at Shaefers! Many old Baltimore bars had these, but I don't notice them as often anymore. A few years back in my I used to consider putting one to good use on my most drunken nights, but I'm not that adventurous and didn't feel like getting the boot. Wonder if anyone has given it a go in recent years.

“metal bar trough”

Are talking about a legendary antique or archaic convenience that once compensated for inability to make it to nearest men’s room, that’s assuming there was a men’s room on the premises?

Geez do you really think 1000 people will be flooding into your favorite bar just because sam went there?

It's like any other place, you gotta have a rotation. A contingency plan, err or something.

No, I don't think 1000 people will flood in because Sam went and reports on it, but word of mouth spreading over time...

I have about 5 regular bars in rotation depending on my mood or whatever. But on a Friday or Saturday night in Baltimore even these "unpopular" bars sometimes get packed, I don't want to encourage it.

Okay, I'll name Friends because it is NO "secret", everyone has been there at some point, people just don't go in droves and I like that.


People have a tendency not to like change. The prospect of having the negatives of greater popularity* causes some people to remain mum on sharing except with a select few.

Nobody really likes to go with their second choice (or Plan B) when their expectations are already primed for their first choice.

* like the mass arrival of the dreaded Federal Hill Meatheads &/or Frat-tastic crowd.

yeah I agree with most things being said here. fortunately CD, Bmore is replete with the kind of bars you're describing. It sucks having to drop them when they get uh, successful, but whaddayagunnado

My favorite super 'secret' bar remains confidential however ;)

(hint: it has to do with a clock)

Ha! "has to do with a clock", I'll have to mull that one over. I won't report it if I figure it out, just buy you a beer when I see you there (which will never happen as we are basically anon here).

I agree though, what are you going to do about it... move on to a new spot of course! But it gets tiresome after 10 odd years of doing this. But, if I can do my part not to let TOO many folks in on my "hidden treasures", I do so. The Waterfront and Little Havana used to be two of my favorite spots, but in the past couple years have gotten so packed with young rowdy folks on weekends, I don't even bother. Great that people are enjoying those places and the businesses are thriving, but part of me wishes they'd just stick to power plant, green turtle, cladaugh, magerks, mothers, etc.

One of my recent ones in the past year or so was Lulu's, but that closed. I did just rediscover after many years, an old gem in Fells though to replace it, down the way on Fleet!

No sense of adventure?

Enforced change either in attitude or acceptance that everthing changes and make adjustments or the periodic search to discover more agreeable or novel locale conitinues.
That tends to happen to old loves.

...and the clock keeps ticking.

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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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