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January 2, 2009

Looking back on 2008

I took a good, hard look back on Baltimore's bar scene in yesterday's year-end column. (Here's a link).

Now, I don't have any official numbers, but it felt like more bars opened last year than in the past couple years I've been covering nightlife here.

2008 wasn't a particularly good year for Baltimore clubs. But bars and arthouse/live music spaces did pretty well.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:05 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Parting gift from 2008...Wu-Tang Clan at Sonar, December 31, 2008:

NOTE: if you're at work, use headphones or keep the volume down...the language can be offensive to some.


I don't know about that article. More baltimore bars closed in the last 12 months than the preceeding 24 months combined.

Not to mention, Pur is not alive and kicking, as it had already been closed at the time of press when you wrote that article.

2008 was not a good year for Baltimore bars, I have never seen available inventory to abundant in Baltimore. Bars including Huckas, Copra, Admirals Cup, Pur, just to name a few.

There are an additional handful of spaces on the edge of closing as well scattered through Canton, Fells Point, Mt Vernon and Federal Hill.

The Maryland Restaurant Association shows overall fiscal producitivty in Baltimore between both bar/restaruant members in excess of 28% below revenue at the same point just 18 months prior.

2008, Not a good year to own a bar in Baltimore. 2009, probally a worse year.

You can add your always lovable
Crossroads Tavern, Brewers Hill Pub, The Royal (in FedHill? ), live music venue but the neighbors are fierce and will shut anything down if music is set above a 3 on the volume dial, the Irish Pub, Ncdevins was for sale, four bars in Mt. Vernon alone, Pur is alive and kicking like that squirrel my cat just caught, burritos fuego and the list goes on...

Does anyone know of a 7 bwl bar on the fell's point square that can also be a hookah bar?

Sorry, meant Charlottes = The Royal.

Talked to a friend who went to PUR a few weeks ago.. the cover is still in effect, and the drink prices are even worse.

PUR is closed.


Which bars in Mt Vernon are for sale? Here's the old list I was working from, please let me know if there are some additions...

* Copra
* Jay's on Read (doesn't really want to sell)
* Dionysus

What am I missing?

which bars in Mt. Vernon closed besides Liam's? Don't forget Lulu's in Fells as well as Hucka's and Kiss Cafe.

Mark Twain,

Give Sam your email address. I gave him mine. Sorry to make you a matchmaker sam ;)

Turner's, on Cross Street, just changed hands. Heard that Juniors might have just been sold and I believe that Fed Hill Lounge is done right now. Sky Lounge changed hands this past year. The nic asian spanish fusion restaurant on Fort Avenue closed as well. People will start feeling the true effects of the economy in 2009. On the positive side, there will be a lot more drink specials.

Hey Mark Twain,

You make some good points: "2008 was not a good year for Baltimore bars, I have never seen available inventory to abundant in Baltimore. Bars including Huckas, Copra, Admirals Cup, Pur, just to name a few."

But I think our gains (Windup Space, Hudson Street Stackhouse, Bad Decisions, Hamilton Tavern) outweighed our losses.

You're absolutely right about 2009 being worse. We're just now beginning to see the fallout from the economic meltdown. Could be a really rough year.

Pur didn't belong where it was. I live in Canton, and never went (I went to Good Love occasionally). I have no idea how Hukas lasted as long as it did.

I think the local watering hole is going to do just fine in 2009. The places going out of business were often never really in business, or were horribly run. The only one I can think of as a loss to the bargoing Baltimorian is the Admiral's Cup.

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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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