« Monday morning roll call | Main | Mike McFadden video »

May 19, 2008

More Palma details

The owners of Palma, the new high-end club replacing Stadio at Calvert and Redwood streets, posted some details on Palma's site.

They pushed back the opening to next month and plan to keep the club open until 4 a.m.

Also looks like they're investing a boatload of money into Palma's audio/visual setup. 

Good luck, guys.

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:28 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Sam you're right, there is some big DC money bags behind this operation. I hate to say it, but I don't see how they aren't going to lose their shirt on this project.

The club itself is in a terrible location for a mega club. You need parking to sustain a venue this size, and that's not a Baltimore thing, it's an everywhere thing. I am very interested to see how they remedy this potential pitfall.

Moreover, summer is perhaps the worst time to open a large venue, especially in Baltimore. I think they would do better if they shot for fall and heavily marketing their nights towards the college crowd. Also, the "resident" djs they have lined up, already cater, fairly exclusively, to the college crowd, why not use pre-existing connection to generate business.

Nonetheless, I don't see city folk heading from Canton, Federal Hill, Mt Vernon and the other "bar dominated" neighborhoods flocking to Palma on a regular basis.

In my humble opinion, there will be some initial interest in this venue, but that interest will subside in time. If they allow their planned, lax door policy on Sunday to carry over to Thu, Fri, Sat than this venue may fall off even before public opinion does, which in part led to the downfall of Club One. Palma is already planning for a more lax Sunday, as Club One currently has.

What I find to be absolutely astonishing is that the backers have little to no experience ever running a successful venue/party in this city. Baltimore is a vastly different market than DC. I think it would have been a lot wiser if they started smaller in Baltimore, and made their smaller project a success. Then, if potential could be mapped and planned based on previous successes, expand into a much larger venue.

In my experience, gung ho operators who dump a lot of money without a lot of research and planning usually don't fare too well in the end.

DC doesn't work in Baltimore, period. Annapolis sometimes (barely) works in Baltimore. I worked at Cafe Asia (Red Coral), which is now the Blue Sea Grill? in the Power Plant back in the day and they had deep pockets (same owner as Nation, Modern, Club Five, Mie N Yu). Business started off great, then management decided to do $5 cover charge and the up it to $10 two weeks later. The line to the bar disappeared and never reappeared soon after. They then sunk $17k into a PR and marketting company and hired a new GM (from DC), and they closed their doors within a year. You get one chance to make it and hopefully they do it right.

Not worth the $20

Went there this past Sat night. We arrived around 10 pm . There was no one in line - but when we got there they made us wait fro 15~20 mins. I guess to put on the look from the outside that it was busy. when we got in the place was dead, they played some decent music - but did not spin any true "Club Dance". I'd only go back if its free - 0r maybe for $10 and if they had some decent DJs. The funny part the DJ s pretended to spin - but they were just playing tracks off a laptop. its a poser place.

Dham, Mie N Yu made this year's 100 best bar list. I ran into the owners in Vegas at the awards banquet.

Dham, Mie N Yu made this year's 100 best bar list. I ran into the owners in Vegas at the awards banquet. I think Amy helped put them on that list, she's good people.

dham, mie, n yu?

Mie N Yu is a bar in Georgetown on M Street off of Wisconsin Avenue. It used to be called Georgetowne Station back in the day. Great place to work when it was Georgetowne Station. The owners of Mie N Yu are also great people, they own Modern, Five, and Nation. They tried there hands in Baltimore and Annapolis, but they didn't do to well.

For anyone who doesnt know,Palma resides in what used to be the Redwood Trust club.A beautifully designed club back when it first opened,it put not only every club in baltimore, but every well designed restaraunt, lounge, etc. in baltimore to shame.I remember when it opened it was billed as "The club that was going to save the baltimore nightlife".However,because it never tried to divert from its "place to be seen" image,and never brought in any DJ's other than the same old baltimore dj's,Redwood quickly wound up as just another failed baltimore club attempt.

Now having said that,Palma looks like it might be heading in a different direction,except when you go to the website the you see this desription:

"Palma will be a CELEBRITY DRIVEN / ULTRA VIP MEGACLUB. The highly anticipated nightclub will feature a lavishly beautiful setting, with the most premium sound and light systems designed specifically for PALMA.

Martin Audio 80,000 watt sound system imported from England (the sound will literally thump your heart!)

A $600,000 light show will BLOW AWAY any club in the U.S. including Las Vegas.

The club is being designed and operated by JON HAN - the same founder and part owner of IBIZA (The hottest world renowned club in DC).

Palma will also be the first club to open doors at 8PM!

If you ever wanted to experience the feel of a DC/NYC style club, then Palma is your ultimate party destination!! "

Im going to break down some description thats written down here with whats right and whats wrong,and im curious to see if any baltimore ta's here (or anybody for that matter but the baltimore ta's have that first hand b-more club expeirience)agree or disagree:


WRONG: Where to begin here.Firstly,it should be a "MUSICALLY" driven club.This is a MUST if this club is to survive.Period.Being the hottest spot and "the place to be" only lasts for so long at any club,and in baltimore you can measure it by nanoseconds.So eventually you will need to secure DJ's that people want to come and see every week.just like Ibiza has done by securing Glows services.

Secondly,theres not a lot of celebrities in baltimore to begin with,so having celebrities from time to time is fun sure,but eventually this type of gimmick dries up and then your stuck looking for another gimmick.

Also,im not sure what your trying to accomplish by making a club celebrity driven but also getting in DJ's like Christopher Lawrence.People who come to see DJ's like Lawrence do not come out for a celebrity expierience,they come to dance.And if you are going to secure high quality DJ talent(which is a must),your going to have to bend your "STRICTLY ENFORCED DRESS CODE".T-shirts and jeans will have to slide,even Ibiza has loosened thier dress code.

2.Now for the second part of this line: "ULTRA VIP MEGACLUB"
Wow. this is almost every buzzword you could say about a nightclub,other than you left out "lounge" that ones being thrown around a lot nowadays.Most clubgoers see through these kind of buzzwords nowadays when it comes to clubs.

3."The club is being designed and operated by JON HAN - the same founder and part owner of IBIZA (The hottest world renowned club in DC). "

GOOD(and maybe bad): Overall its good to promote this.most partygoers in the surrounding MD,DC,VA,PA,NY know Ibiza from going to Glow parties,so they know theres a good chance they might be getting a DC style party in Baltimore.It could be bad on one hand from people who have had a bad expierience of going to Glow and associate that with Ibiza since thats where Glows held.

4." Palma will also be the first club to open doors at 8PM!"

Well thats because baltimore clubs close at about 1:50am.

It may sound like im bashing here,but actually im really looking forward to see what this club is going to do,particularly music wise.Christopher Lawrence is a huge step in the right direction, hes a very good DJ live,and getting in more high profile DJ's like him will really make an impact here in baltimore and give the club staying power ALL baltimore clubs have been lacking.

Music Is whats lacking in baltimore,as promoters have gotten into the "lounge" gimmick and "beautiful people,place to be scene" environment.They also hire the same boring baltimore dj's that have been closing down clubs here for years.

This is not some made up statistic.Club X Ultra Lounge was another "club" that thought it could make it here by only catering to the rich and "beautiful".They were turning people away at the door they didnt like even while the place was hemoraging money.They never even tried to get any dj's in other than the people they knew(which is fine for weekday events,but you need better dj's then the ones they brought).

Not to mention the owners had no idea what they were doing because they werent business men,they were just "some guys with money" who wanted to own a club.I predicted to a promoter after my dj expeirience there they would close in a year.I was wrong.They closed in 8 months.

I recently had an encounter with someone who was supposedly "running Palma club" who tried to explain what the club was going to be like,but unfortunately they just dropped a lot of famous names who "they were friends with" and used alot of buzzwords.When i went to point out some things that were contridicting by this person they became angry and insulting and explained that they knew what they were talking about because they "had a lot of degrees".

I do wish this club luck.I really want to see a club like this succeed in baltimore,because everyone else has failed.It sounds like theres a lot of things your going to do right,the main one is securing high quality dj talent on saturdays.If you keep the "celebrity night" and the "DJ nights" apart i think this clubs going to rock.I look forward to attending!But i know if i see the same old baltimore djs 6 months down the road my partying will stay a D.C exclusive.

Good luck! see you at Palma!

What energy at 4am. Bet I know what you were doing.


"I recently had an encounter with someone who was supposedly "running Palma club" who tried to explain what the club was going to be like,but unfortunately they just dropped a lot of famous names who "they were friends with" and used alot of buzzwords.When i went to point out some things that were contridicting by this person they became angry and insulting and explained that they knew what they were talking about because they "had a lot of degrees"."

If this the person running club, may be the person to run the club into ground.

If they haven't properly identified their audience correctly and how to reach and serve it, it may not survive the learning experience.

You seemed to be trying to put a smile on what may be another broken dream in the making.

Well, the contractors will have gotten to make some money, anyway

your right i am trying to put a smile on it because i really do want it to far all the reviews im reading about the place arent helping lol.theres still a chance theyll turn it it looks like they are getting in big name djs so thats going to help right off the bat.well see......

Well put Big Jim. If anyone watches TV there is a group of guys from DC called Boogie Bots who just may win America's Best Dance Crew. Them boys can dance! I have seen them out and about at several spots in DC and even at Sky Lounge when they used to have the Sunday evening B-boy convention and in Fells Point at one of the holes that just happens to have a bangin DJ who caters to people that can actually dance.

However, I can assure you that they did not polish up thier skills at Ibiza and I doubt that they, or other club kids like them, who are the real market of people that go dancing 3 to 5 times a week are looking for an exclusive experience as much as a friendly one with someone on the wheels who can actually spin.

Once a club tries to be cool or hot or oh so very exclusive it no longer appeals to anyone but the old men looking for young girls, the meet-heads and the two dolla hoochie mommas. Those people have no loyalty to a spot anyway and are always hopping from one place to the next just to pay a high cover coverage and get overcharged for a watered down drink or crappy bottle ...

It doesn't take a marketing genius to figure that out, especially in a town like Smalltimore (which I do truly love, but for its people and its authentic locales not the clubs where 90% of the patrons are gelled up Gotti brother wannabees from NJ ...) So again I say, well put Big Jim :-)

Thanks total! Whelp,its official im supposed to be DJ'ing there next week so ill personally update this thread with my review and thoughts.I dont hold back comments so i will be honest. Believe it.Now,i dj'ed Palmas sister club directly across the street a couple of years ago back when it was "Club X Ultra Lounge"(i dont know what its called now).and i didnt hold back comments about my experience then either.feel free to read about those experiences here:
and here:

the second ones a little more brutal.:)

this should be interesting since one of the people who "runs the place" (yeah im sure ,rolls eyes) doesnt like me all to much lol.I hope they ARE there ill be sure to wave hi to em with a big smile on my face!stay tuned......

well hers the review of my night there if anyones interested

@Big Jim

Sounds like a fun night, but it also sounds like I woudln't like Djing there myself.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "r" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected