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January 8, 2009

Sometimes you can't go home

the knotty pine innGot this email from Midnight Sun reader Patrick:


Reading your article (in today's paper) about the Knotty Pine Inn (pictured) brought back memories of what happened to the Emerald Tavern on Harford Road in Parkville.

The Emerald was a neighborhood establishment for decades along that corridor. The bar was relatively dark, had a long, oval bar in the middle of the room, a low ceiling and the restroom was always filthy. But I loved the place. I'll always remember that I was there one evening when I saw the Orioles pull off a triple play on the television. (Things like that somehow stick in the crevices of one's mind).

About eight years ago a new owner purchased it, and it closed for what was probably a year (I happened to go in there by coincidence the last night it was under the old ownership) ... 

the old knotty pine innI would occasionally call and ask when the place was going to reopen. Obviously, I eagerly anticipated the reopening of the place.

The truth is, some eight or nine years later, I'm still getting used to the "new" Emerald. Too many mirrors, too much light wood, and a bar tucked along the far wall as you enter. The old charm was gone, as if sucked away by a vacuum.

The music on Saturday nights is usually quite good, and there is seldom a cover charge, but every time I set foot in there, I still "pine" for the old Emerald.

Sometimes, you simply can't go home …

(Photo of the new Knotty Pine Inn, top, by Algerina Perna/Sun photographer. Photo of the old Knotty Pine Inn, bottom, by Kenneth K. Lam/Sun photographer)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:44 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I feel the same way about Nacho Mama's since they renovated the interior. I really hate the Elvis portrait area in the back with the almost lounge-y goth feel, and the "NATIONAL BOH" or whatever it says behind the bar in big, silver, straight-from-Pottery Barn letters. The way they have rearranged things on the wall is Bennigan's-esque. Despite all that, I still lurve NM's, but I really preferred it the old way.

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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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