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February 24, 2009

The Red House Tavern needs your help

redhouse tavern baltimoreGot this email this morning. It's a call to action for local musicians and local music lovers. Read it, and if you want to help, email me at sam.sessa@baltsun.com

Here's the email:

Hello,

My name is Dana Foster and I am writing to you on behalf of my father, John Harris.  John has been the owner of The Red House Tavern (2239 Essex St., 410-522-3220) for the last four years.

As a small business owner and music lover he has done his best to provide quality entertainment to Baltimore at no charge while keeping his drink prices reasonable. 

Over the last year business has been getting progressively worse and none of our attempts to boost business have been working.  It seems now that The Red House may have to close its doors very soon.

I am writing to you looking for help ... 

I was hoping that you would have some connections on the local music scene and would maybe be interested in helping me set up a charity show to raise money to keep The Red House open. 

I understand that you are very busy and I would be more than willing to work out all of the details and set up the show.  Any help you could lend would be greatly appreciated.

The Red House is a small, family run operation, dedicated to being a Baltimore club for Baltimore people who love music.  Please help us keep it open.

Thank you for your time,
Dana Foster


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:12 PM | | Comments (40)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music
        

Comments

Soliciting funds? Good luck during the state of this economy.

As a long-time patron and frequent visitor of the Red House Tavern, this is very sad news. I can’t tell you how many wonderful local acts I’ve seen there, great times I’ve had and how friendly the whole staff, including and especially John Harris, have always been to me. They know me on a first-name basis and I’ve always been greeted with a smile and a hearty hello. I have never, ever felt out of place, uncomfortable or unwelcome throughout the years. To be really cliché about it, it’s like Cheers; very cheesy, but very true. I would hate to see a bar with such a great heart fall to the wayside. Over the years, I have witnessed firsthand how they have served as great proponents and supporters of local music, booking small, unknown acts and allowing them to get their start and dip their proverbial toes into the fledging Baltimore music scene. Also, as Dana pointed out, I am happy to agree with her that there has never been a cover to see any of the music and the drink prices are certainly reasonable. As a lover of the scene and a supporter of the family that they have built, I would hate to see them go under. I will definitely be throwing my support behind John Harris and the rest of the staff at the Red House Tavern and agree that it would be wonderful if other patrons would do the same.

Fools & horses were doing an acoustic set there on Mon nights. Is that still happening. Remember when the place was Cardwell's....you out there Cardwell??

And yet other readies to close its doors for good…

The Red House Tavern has been for sale for more than a year now. I haven’t followed the listing, but last year their asking price was well over market value.

It is a shame that the city is losing businesses such as Red House. I would hate to see this venue replaced with another Tsunami, Dubai, Pur, or some other half-baked local attempt at recreating another market’s concept, rather than reinventing those concepts to work in this market.

Red House, however, has only itself to blame for its woes. I was last there about 7 months ago to see a friend’s band; it will probably be the last time I go back. The staff was horrible. The bartender was very slow and easily overwhelmed. For the 2 ½ or so hours I was there, I was able to order and drink only 2 beers, and 1 shot. The place is in complete disarray. I love a hole-in-the-wall, but at least try and keep the place up a bit. The staff steals, I watched them. Part of the reason we were only able to order a few drinks during our stay, was due to the bartender retiring to one side of the bar the pouring free drinks out for her small group of friends; no money changed hands.

Red House’s biggest detriment is its lack of parking. For Red House to make it, they are going to have to reinvent themselves a bit. Clean the place up, partake in some simple cosmetic renovations of the interior, than tweak their concept so they can draw more residents from the immediate vicinity. It took us over a half hour to find parking during our last visit. If they can’t attract enough residents who reside in walking distance, then I don’t see success in their future.

If they are really looking to save the place, and not sell, perhaps they should start talking to their neighbors. Hosting a few “neighbor” nights is a great way to feel out the residents, find out what their interests and habits are, and then maybe reformat the music and offerings to attract this clientele on a more consistent basis.

That would be my advice. It will go a lot further than a charity drive, minus the charity. Raising money now, without a clear plan on how they are going to move forward, will only prolong the suffering and delay their closing. Red House needs to change the fundamentals that are causing the suffering.

Would be a shame to see this bar close its doors. John's a great guy and supported a lot of local musicians by giving them a stage to play on. Really hope things work out.

wet t-shirt night. that is all.

As one of the local music acts that plays there, I can vouch for the sincerity of John and the staff. They mean well and Twain has hit on things that not only The Red House can do, but most bars or music/bar establishments need to do to remain or become successful. Without naming names, we have played in tons of venues around the region and most don't have business plans that create a sustainable competitive edge.

Our band does very well at Red House because we are older than the average group and play for several hours thereby attracting a music-savvy crowd that actually buys more than $2 beers. The format most venues use these days, however, is to grab young acts eager to show their wares and play for nothing while they pump their fans to pay for tickets only to see them play for 30 or 40 minutes. It works at some clubs but not all. I played in clubs back in the late 70's through '85 and we saw the same problems then too. It takes a lot of effort to make things click in the "music" business and even more so in these economic times, but hopefully people see the value in supporting local entertainment. If your entertainment budget is more limited now and you're going out to drink anyway, why not get decent entertainment for FREE. Parking isn't easy, but it's not easy around other city entertainment areas either. Come on out this Saturday and see how much fun this place can be as we play some killer Blues 7-11 (sorry for the shamelss self promotion). John, we're always there to help you you guys out.

Personally I think these "charity" events for private businesses are a load of crap. I have hung out at red house and with John on several occasions and I have nothing but great things to say about both John and his bar, but the bottom line is if the business is failing organizing an event to help them raise money and slapping the title "charity" on the front of itis not the answer.

I own a private business that has gone through several months of hard times but I would never consider throwing a "charity event" to support my for-profit business.

Seriously, if you want to save the place start putting together regular events there to help them increase their income on a consistent basis, but don't hide behind the label of a "charity event" in order to temporarily put off the inevitable failure of that business. There are plenty of real charities that are more in need than red house.

I feel for John and Red House but seriously people....

I know some folks who play at the Red House pretty frequently, and I am on a first name basis with John.

John is a hell of a guy, and I certainly appreciate the efforts to support and promote local music. He's been nothing but nice to me and supportive of the folks I know in bands.

There are a couple of issues the Red House just has to face.

1) Size: It's a pretty small bar for live music
2) Sound: The sound in the place is pretty awful.
3) Service: I agree with an earlier poster... I KNOW the bartenders, and the last time I was in, I couldn't get a beer.

The solution? I don't know. There's a reason I don't own a bar.

I don't think parking is the issue, the place is right around the corner from the Gin Mill, somehow they seem to do OK. I think location is some of it, as it's not right on Boston Street, so there aren't may people driving by or walking past.

Maybe there's a way to become more of a place for locals?

I know for a while he was trying Jazz, maybe there's a niche there?

One thing I do know. Instead of working on getting people to show up for a benefit, work on getting them to show up at the bar.

Talk about providence, I was just over there a few weekends ago on a Saturday and it was utterly empty - I couldn't help but wonder if maybe their business was suffering some.

I agree with the sentiment that the place just needs some minor aesthetic work - it's a bit dingy and at times reminded me of Funk's Democratic (well probably not nearly that dingy but still).

As usual Twain hits the nail on the head - but in an effort to offer up some new advice I would say for the love of God, the internet is your friend. Word of Mouth is alive and well; I see there are tons of bands on Facebook advertising the fact that they're playing at Red House, but Red House doesn't have a page of its own. Hell, I know at least 20 people that frequent Bad Decisions regularly now just because the guy Twitters all the time. POUND SOME GROUND!

Whatever management decides to change though, definitely, definitely keep the $4 Jameson please!

Personally I think it is sad for a bar owner who has been trying for over a year to sell the place to try to have a "charity event". I was part of Cardwells and though it was a sad day when we locked the doors, it was time to move on, That place was a hole when Cardwell bought it and he worked hard to give the place class, John did very little when he took the place over though battleship gray was a great color choice. I have to say the three times I was there were not enjoyable. The staff is horrible, the music way to loud, and the place has reverted back to being a hole. Take the loss and sell it to someone that will turn it back into the pub it was meant to be.

I cry a little inside whenever I ride by and see what the blood sweat and tears I put into that building has become.

In the immortal words of the infamous Dave Cardwell ...
"This place sucks I'm going to Cardwells"

The owner should call Obama and get some of that bailout money for another undeserving person. Bad business owners dont fail and this place was failing long before the economy went bad

yer right Paul! Damn OBAMA! Feel better now? Got that off your chest? Next time don't drink so much or what ever it was that got you thrown out.
Again, the Sun's TalKKK forums are always open. See ya there I'm sure!

I will start my post by stating that my post/review is somewhat biased as I was heavily involved in the Red House Tavern's predecessor, Cardwell's Tavern. My father owned the place and I was there at least 2-3 times a week.

When John bought the place he made a few changes that I think weren't necessarily ideal. He closed off the open rafters in the ceiling which makes the place seem much smaller. I'm sure it doesn't help with acoustics either. I was in there a few weeks ago for a Friday happy hour and the band was way too loud. I love a good rock n' roll show but I was literally yelling at the person right next to me to communicate. Turn it down a bit so people can talk a bit if they want.

Service at the bar was pretty slow. The band definitely drew a good crowd and they only had 1 bartender. Cardwell's always had 2 bartenders working behind the bar and sometimes had another person working the floor if it was super crowded. I'm not sure why they got rid of the touch screen registers but the antiquated ones they have in there now can't make it easy to calculate a tab or help with inventory.

The food at Cardwell's Tavern was something which we took alot of pride. The food at Red House seems to be very basic and consists of fries, chicken fingers, etc. in a plstic basket. The kitchen has to be a large part of the draw. The kitchen is very small but I know that with the right talent you can crank out decent meals. As for the posters claiming that parking is an issue, I don't really buy into that. Parking is an issue everywhere in the city. People that drive to the area know that coming there. Give the people a reason to make the trip worth while. And for the love of God, get rid of the VFW tables and chairs!!

To conclude, I will say this, John has always been a gracious host whenever he sees me there. I hope this post helps him and his management gather ideas of what people think would help make the place more successful.

Hello, I am a drummer that is very much a part of the music scene here and have been working is Bars most of my life.

I was a part owner of the old Cardwells, and I am sure that we could pull up any Bar or Restaurant in Baltimore and talk about what we think they should be doing or not doing. When I was in the business, people used to tell me all day that I should do this and that, somtimes we tried the suggestions but mostly not. I think the bigger picture here is that support for local music is waning. When I was growing up you could see a local band play almost anywhere. I worked at Max's on Broadway when it was in its Hay Day of Live Music. We had some of the most amazing National & Local bands. Many of you might remember some of the shows. Back then places like the Marble Bar, The Rev, Chambers, & 8X10 were the norm. People came out to see bands and they didnt even know who they were. They supported the local scene. There was enough support to go around then. So what is the problem now? I have seen the options for a band to play shrink in the past 5 years. Whether the band is original or playing "covers" does not matter. There's not much out there. DJ's have taken over where Live Bands used to play, Times are Changing. Peoples tastes are changing! Most live music venues are pretty dumpy to begin with, there's a reason for that! I worked at Max's for 14 years, & for at least 3/4 of those years we didnt make money. There's a reason Max's changed it's format, and it was a smart change too. I know Ron Furman pretty well and believe me his heart was all about live music, he lived and breathed it and still does, but you have to make a living!

In closing, i ask you to take a look at the bigger picture. Again we can talk all day about things that need to be changed at Red House, or any other Bar in Baltimore, but that does not change the trend! Local bands & Live music as well as the Arts, need your support period! We are all struggling in these economic times and it is a shame we have lost many institutions already like The Baltimore Opera Company. Music & Arts needs your support now more than ever!

Thank you!

C Nacho

I totally agree about the card tables and folding chairs, Cardwell. Whatever atmosphere there might be is completely destroyed by the fact that the furniture belongs in a church basement. Who wants to sit on a folding chair for two hours and watch a show?! I live in the neighborhood and I went to Red House once two years ago and never returned.

I was so startled to read this blog posting. A friend alerted me because they know I live in the neighborhood where the bar is located and that there is constantly negative discussion of the place among neighbors. While I hate to see anyone fail, and can appreciate the fact that a business closing its' doors is a loss in any situation--not in this case.

The Red House possible closing is brought on by a complete lack of understanding of what it takes to be successful. They tried to put a "full music venue" into a residential neighborhood with zero outreach to the community; zero understanding of what is "acceptable" noise-wise and crowd wise; and zero attempt at listening to the needs of the area and adapting.

The bar does not "police" it's patrons and when there are actually people visiting, they congregate loudly outside, to smoke, to yell at one another, to generally recoup their hearing I'm guessing.

You can't move into what essentially will always be a "neighborhood" place off the beaten path and completely disregard the needs or interests of your neighbors. You can't ignore the the fact that neighbors have invested considerable sums into improving the community and expect that overflowing Home Depot Buckets that say "Butts" in sloppy marker are going to make you popular.

You can't expect that the neighbors coming home from the brokerage or law firm or doctors office etc...is going to want to navigate their way through the "kids" arriving on skateboards to the bar and congregating on the streets surrounding the property. Those same "kids" nurse the $3.00 beer half the night while waiting for the buddies band to pop on, and then skate away. You wonder why you have trouble?

You can't ignore that the neighborhood is largely residential and have music loud enough that where I am 2 blocks away you can sing along with the words. That doesn't encourage me to join in.

You can't have bands that start up at 11pm when the rest of the neighborhood is trying to consider getting up to go to work at 5 or 6 am...it's a demonstration of the lack of respect for the community needs. They just don't care.

The atmosphere inside the bar isn't one that encourages you to come back and share with friends. Anytime I've been there, I've left with ringing ears and a complete annoyance that even in slow times I can't get a drink. I don't want to go out to a place where the music is so loud that I can't speak to my spouse or friends. Or where I feel like I can't relax.

The bar owner may be a "supporter" of the music scene, but he's doing it in the wrong location. The building is just not suited for this. Aesthetically, it's greatly lacking. The acoustics are completely wrong. Part of this, I'm sure, is lack of soundproofing and appropriate wall materials to absorb/reflect back sounds. With too much noise in too small a place and leaks all over, with only tin foil insulation in the front windows (which DOES NOT welcome anyone since it looks like a construction site), no one is encouraged to really consider this a place to enjoy live music. You might as well JOIN the band.

This bar is not one I've set foot in for many months. I won't go back and support a place that doesn't adapt. Someone mentioned how the Gin Mill thrives. They did so by adapting to the upscale needs of the changing neighborhood. The 700K townhouses came in and brought people who want to enjoy wine or drinks in a tasteful establishment with attractive accoutrement. They did this surprisingly, and have adapted. They also never tried to wedge a square peg into a round hole.

I wish the owner John the best, but his vision does not work in this location. Why prop up something that the market doesn't support?

The bands can't be too good if the card tables and folding chairs get in way of enjoying them.

I was so startled to read this blog posting. A friend alerted me because they know I live in the neighborhood where the bar is located and that there is constantly negative discussion of the place among neighbors. While I hate to see anyone fail, and can appreciate the fact that a business closing its' doors is a loss in any situation--not in this case.

The Red House possible closing is brought on by a complete lack of understanding of what it takes to be successful. They tried to put a "full music venue" into a residential neighborhood with zero outreach to the community; zero understanding of what is "acceptable" noise-wise and crowd wise; and zero attempt at listening to the needs of the area and adapting.

The bar does not "police" it's patrons and when there are actually people visiting, they congregate loudly outside, to smoke, to yell at one another, to generally recoup their hearing I'm guessing.

You can't move into what essentially will always be a "neighborhood" place off the beaten path and completely disregard the needs or interests of your neighbors. You can't ignore the the fact that neighbors have invested considerable sums into improving the community and expect that overflowing Home Depot Buckets that say "Butts" in sloppy marker are going to make you popular.

You can't expect that the neighbors coming home from the brokerage or law firm or doctors office etc...is going to want to navigate their way through the "kids" arriving on skateboards to the bar and congregating on the streets surrounding the property. Those same "kids" nurse the $3.00 beer half the night while waiting for the buddies band to pop on, and then skate away. You wonder why you have trouble?

You can't ignore that the neighborhood is largely residential and have music loud enough that where I am 2 blocks away you can sing along with the words. That doesn't encourage me to join in.

You can't have bands that start up at 11pm when the rest of the neighborhood is trying to consider getting up to go to work at 5 or 6 am...it's a demonstration of the lack of respect for the community needs. They just don't care.

The atmosphere inside the bar isn't one that encourages you to come back and share with friends. Anytime I've been there, I've left with ringing ears and a complete annoyance that even in slow times I can't get a drink. I don't want to go out to a place where the music is so loud that I can't speak to my spouse or friends. Or where I feel like I can't relax.

The bar owner may be a "supporter" of the music scene, but he's doing it in the wrong location. The building is just not suited for this. Aesthetically, it's greatly lacking. The acoustics are completely wrong. Part of this, I'm sure, is lack of soundproofing and appropriate wall materials to absorb/reflect back sounds. With too much noise in too small a place and leaks all over, with only tin foil insulation in the front windows (which DOES NOT welcome anyone since it looks like a construction site), no one is encouraged to really consider this a place to enjoy live music. You might as well JOIN the band.

This bar is not one I've set foot in for many months. I won't go back and support a place that doesn't adapt. Someone mentioned how the Gin Mill thrives. They did so by adapting to the upscale needs of the changing neighborhood. The 700K townhouses came in and brought people who want to enjoy wine or drinks in a tasteful establishment with attractive accoutrement. They did this surprisingly, and have adapted. They also never tried to wedge a square peg into a round hole.

I wish the owner John the best, but his vision does not work in this location. Why prop up something that the market doesn't support?

Disclosure: I'm a neighbor of the Red House Tavern. I live on the same intersecting group of properties.

Bottom line: regardless of how "nice" you are (and this owner has barely spoken to any neighbors I know) or how much you "want" a business to work out, you have to have a clear vision of who your patron is, and what it will take to cater to them but also to change with the times and find ways to continually bring in people and even draw that same patron back.

You can't just say "I want a bar with live music" and not look around and ask "can it legitimately be successful in a neighborhood that is largely residential?" or "what would it take to serve the people in this immediate neighborhood, who can thus support me/us?". Is a music venue what this neighhood can support? No. But there are other things it might.

With no understanding or appreciation of the "needs" of the neighbors, the Red House flounders with the occasional great "older" band and good followers with some money to spend and what looks mostly like a rag tag group of folks with 2 dimes to rub together. None of these people are neighbors of the property.

There's no effort at all to cater to the neighbors in surrounding streets. There is blatent disinterest in being a "good business neighbor" by leaving garbage, excessive cigerrette butts, not removing ice/snow, letting their building fall to disrepair regardless of what is surrounding them.

The music is ridicoulous. The property is about 25 feet wide by 60 feet long. They have absolutely no insulation or soundproofing. They outwardly have made comments about closer neighbors who legitimately complain about their noise level. They simply do NOT care who they are talking to and who that person may be close to. I left the bar after a female bartender/manager made commentary that was inappropriate. Meanwhile the building is shaking with the noise levels.

The lack of effort or willingness to soundproof the property is a complete slap in the face to neighbors and we do tend to support one another here.

The only nod to this I can see is some kind of insulation in the front windows which makes the place look like a haunted house. You can hear this place from down the road. Is THAT being a good neighbor? Is that encouraging locals to support you?

I've talked to the owner before. I've talked to his wife and family members. They certainly all mean well I'm sure. They just don't get where they are, as compared with what they are trying to do.

Find a way to convert the property to largely restaurant with actual tables (not salvation army excess or card tables). Serve GREAT drinks. Find a way to have live music maybe 1 or 2 nights a week if you must and only get the most spectacular groups. Stop wasting money bringing in groups that nothing to offer but noise levels. Don't blow out the ear drums of your patrons unnessessarily. People WANT to enjoy time out with friends where they can talk, and eat. This neighborhood would support a place with casual food and occasional music. But trying to grab any musical act regardless of talent or draw doesn't garner you anything but those bands' buddies.

In the neighborhood you are in, WHY arent' you trying to draw in those with the disposable incomes who want a place to relax and eat after the hours in the office. Clearly the musical side does nothing for the success here. It's the LOCATION.

In this day and age where so many truly needy situations could use any extra dollar we could spare, do we try to temporarily prop up a place that is going out of business b/c it's not a successful busienss plan?

It's a shame Unhappy on Patterson Park doesn't live in the county. That way, he could proudly wear his plaid robe, slippers, and socks while waving his rolled newspaper, screaming "You damned kids, with your skateboards and your loud music! Get off my lawn."

I live on the same street as Red House Tavern, less than 2 blocks down, and it is nowhere near as bad as Unhappy on Patterson Park mentions. I've never heard the music in my home, let alone loud enough to sing along with. I've never had to "navigate" around bar patrons. I've not been impacted in any way by the bar.

I've also never been in the place, so I've got no dog in the fight. Seems like the bar owner has some things to work out if he wants to be successful, but it's not the scourge of the neighborhood. Best of luck to him.

Idea.....

Why don't some of you guys organize a "Save My Favorite Bar" bar crawl once a month and you can hit all your bars and help keep all of these bars afloat.

Is it possible that the "Neighbor" lives next door and moved next door to Cardwells when she was young and enjoyed it? And as she got older, she realized she didn't want to live next to a bar with live entertainment but didn't want to sell her house? It is possible.....

i know everyone that lives on that intersection and i know that they were all firmly in their homes long before cardwells opened. before cardwells opned, the building was a jazz venue called bar harbor. before that the property was the essex street pub (or some variation).

i also know that there is a reason that the other venues have been succesful whereas this one isn't. yes, john is nice. we've all head about that, and i can vouch too. but i'm not convinced of his managing skills. he insists on running the sound for all of the bands which is why the sound levels are ungodly loud. the accustics in the bar are abismal. (full disclosure: i make my living in the high end audio business and am a long time musician).

i've spent many nights at the previous places (probably too many), but there is absolutely no draw for me to return to the red house. bad food, bad service, bad sound, bad atmosphere, and hearing loss on top of that. its a shame too. i remember many nights sitting outside with friends on that corner enjoying the music that came out of the door. what it comes down to is this... there havn't always been problems. it seems the problems that exist are brought on by john himself. and honestly, the idea of a "charity fund raiser" to benefit a "for profit" business is absurd!

The place is a hole. My girlfriend could not even use the bathroom because not only did she not want to sit down, she did not want to go in at all. CLEAN YOUR BAR!! No one wants to hang out and drink in a stank hole. And when I was there, the service [stunk] as well. 4 people in the bar and I can't get a beer? I hope your friends are big tippers because that is the only people you are paying attention to.

C Nacho, Cardwell if you were part of the previous ownership of Cardwells then you know full well what John paid for it. If John had that money, then I say, "whoa be unto John!" If John needed an appraiser and a bank loan for that property and business then I yell shananagins! - or the unfunny words, predatory lending.

Don't come on here and say painting or furniture will help him. It won't. His monthly [interest payment] is part of the reason why he's being dragged down since he signed on the dotted line. As for everyone in that hood, if you think you're unhappy now, what until the red house has to close, the property goes into foreclosure, it gets vandalized, degrades even further and starts bringing down all your property values even more.

As for the Gin Mill, that place has been for sale so many times, the owner should be a in jail for pimping. Even he can't unload it. Ah, looks like the Boston Street curse is moving North and East. Kiss Cafe and Red House. Get immunized people.

A business is supposed to a money making proposition by identifing a need and filling it or producing something some wants, in either case better than the consumer can do for himself or the competition, ergo failing that means the end of the venture.

Unless there is a plan to remedy the situation that a temporary loan or gift can help them through a period of transition, you're just prolonging the death.

Dana's plea sounds a little desperate, like last measure , that could scare some help away.

Sam,

Have you talked to Dana since this blog? There are a lot of interesting tips and insights into her business.

What are Dana's feelings about everything that has been said? I actually found this blog quite informing, we could actually pick a bar of the week to unload on, or to praise. Sam Sessa's bar consultation company!

GDA,

You're right. I was always told that if you criticize, have counter proposal or suggestion.

Red House -

1. Fire your staff. Sorry their family but family still steals and can be lazy.
2. Paint the interior. After market places where contractors donate paint can by bought cheap. I mean 99 ct. cheap per gallon.
3. Stucco - google it, use it with the paint.
4. your myspace page is old, facebook is now in, soon to be out.
5. New/used furniture. Doesn't have to match. Look at the 'eclectic seatware' in club charles. If that stuff was in someone's house in Dundalk you'd laugh at them, but it's 'chic' if it's in Club Chuck.
6. There are a lot of other kinds of music besides mustang sally cover bands and Jazz. I personally love acoustic sets.
7. Charge a $1 cover save Red house tavern fund. $2, I'd pay it.
8. Specials dude. And I don't mean 25ct drafts. That's a recipe for disaster. Think ladies night, reverse happy hours 10pm to close.
9. A clean red house is a happy red house - inside and out. Butt cans are a wonderful invention and not a pickle bucket with 5 lbs' of cement and sand in it.
10. Be there yourself. Everyone on here seems to like you. The owner is the face of the biz.
That is all.

In response to wah's post...I believe I am the neighbor you reference though I'm not sure which of the above details you think are mine.

I'm the immediate neighbor of the bar property. To correct you wah, I bought my house 14 years ago, long before there was a bar next to my house. It was two doors down. That changed several incarnations ago. I never opted to live next to a bar. And you are right that living next to a bar without soundproofing isn't my first choice in options.

This isn't the forum for me to comment on the things that passed since that time, however I will say I'm sorry to hear that John and his wife are having troubles. I know they put a lot of heart into the property regardless of what specific issues I've had with the bar itself.

John is aware of my concerns and noise issues with the property and I believe is also aware that it is not a personal issue between him and I, but more an issue that I'd like to sleep during the week prior to 1:50 am. I'm not sure that's so much to ask, but I certainly would not put my concerns about the property into a public forum. So wah, I'd appreciate that you leave your snide AND inaccurate comments out of this or go ahead and come by to discuss your issues. You know where I can be found.

Sorry to hear your troubles John. A co-worker only just forwarded this on.

In Response to Anonymous, First you may want to check into Spell Check or even a dictionary. Secondly this has nothing to do with what John paid for the business. That was business, bottom line. No one forced him to buy the business and no one held him down and made him sign on the dotted line. I haven't tried to tell John what he should do, In fact, I thought I made my point pretty clear, even to an idiot, that Red House is not my dream, and everyone else has their own opinions of what it should be. I'm not here to be a hater like some, I only wish those to see the bigger picture. This is not about one bar, It is about trends and how Music & the Arts in Maryland tend to be on the way out.
Support Local Music!

Nacho,

Can't believe I'm responding, but here it goes.

"First you may want to check into Spell Check or even a dictionary." - why, because I misspelled shenanigins? guilty as charged, I misspelled a word.

"Secondly this has nothing to do with what John paid for the business. That was business, bottom line. No one forced him to buy the business and no one held him down and made him sign on the dotted line."

Really, Nacho? This thread is about why Red House Tavern is going out of business. I did my homework and found out how much he paid. I didn't blame you in my original post, and still don't blame you for selling the bar for the amount you did. If someone came up to me and offered 1 billion dollars for my car/house/shoes I'd say sure as well. I restate, if a bank gave him that loan based on appraisal then there is a rat. Because no one in that hood has a property value that high and as a result everyone on that block will suffer.

"This is not about one bar"

Yes it is, in the particular thread, it is.

"It is about trends and how Music & the Arts in Maryland tend to be on the way out."

When Red House closes, that will be another venue you can't play in. Are you beginning to see the vicious cycle? But like you say Nacho, Business is business.

BTW - The way you read a blog is this. A person posts and at the bottom it says posted by ... Kind of like a letter. You mistakenly read Anonymous for my post. Just a friendly reminder from one idiot to another. Jeez.

Just read somewhere that Red House is closing down. Apparently they're running some crazy specials in the meantime.

I heard that too, Evan. I think via facebook. I heard they were closing this week, so act fast, ladies and gents.

I stopped by last night to verify (and have some cheap booze), it's goin' down.

I'd say the Boston St. curse rides again, but this doesn't really count methinks.

I'm trying to keep the Boston St. Curse from acting like Sleepy Hollow. I have been in contact with John to keep her alive and buy the RHT to bring it back to what it should be. Great guy who fights hard but maybe I can help. Let all know there is strong hope.
rsinger78@msn.com

is this place still open ? if not, its a shame hat local taverns are closing ? John, if you need help, let me know, i have owned several bar.grills and took them from barely making it to very profitable. i have over 23 years experience. lets get this place back to where it should be

I'm the immediate neighbor of the bar property.To save your rose house you have to first of all take loan and make repair it.Then we can decide further.

I was there once and the bartender told me to leave because he wrongfully said I broke something in the bathroom causing a leak. When I returned on another night I was informed by Dana that I was not welcome. Other locals and former patrons I know got the same vibe and have collectively boycotted this establishment. I've been supporting all of the other bars and restaurants in the area with my hard earned blue collar dollars for as long as I have been old enough to drink. My point is, what comes around goes around. Maybe the owners and all of their stuck up friends can now get jobs at Walmart. I hear they're allways hiring

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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 erik.maza@baltsun.com. 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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