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March 17, 2009

The good, the bad and the awkward: Handing out the Best of the Best of the Best awards

patrick russell of kooper's, slainte and woody'sBelieve it or not, a few bar owners didn't show up in person to collect their Best of the Best of the Best Awards at the Shindig a couple weeks ago.

I know, right? The shock! The horror!

The ... the ... nerve of these people!

Anyhow, I showed them. I showed them but good. 

I showed up at their doorsteps yesterday to personally present the awards. 

This doesn't sound like much, but some of these awards bordered on insulting. So to hand them out in person was fun, yes, but also incredibly awkward at times.

The first stop, MaGerk's, was the most awkward, actually ...

If you recall, I awarded MaGerk's the Biggest Meathead Magnet Award. It's kind of an insult, but in a friendly, 'hee hee' kinda way.

I rolled in there around mid-afternoon, asked for a manager and was told to walk upstairs and holler for "Erin." Here is a brief recollection of our conversation:

erin of magerk'sErin (pictured, right): Who is it?
Me: Sam Sessa from The Baltimore Sun. I have something for you!
Erin: What is it?
Me: I have your award!
Erin: Oh. Yeah. I heard about this.
Me (smiles politely, presents award): Here it is!
Erin (looks at award, frowns): But we don't have any meatheads here.
Awkward pause.
Me: Uh, yes, well, it's all in good fun, you know.
Second awkward pause.
Erin: Yeah. Well, I'll try and find a place to hang it. Somewhere.
Me: Can I take your picture?
Third awkward pause.
Erin: Sure.

Whew, man, I was glad to get outta there. Yeah I know the photo is blurry. I didn't want to ask her if I could take another one. She didn't take the award as well as I'd hoped she would.

Whoops.

Next stop was the Greene Turtle in Fells Point. They won Second Biggest Meathead Magnet. Co-owner Jill had -- gasp -- a sense of humor! She gave me a big hug and told me she couldn't wait to hang it somewhere. Thanks for saving my afternoon, Jill.

Then I strolled on over to Slainte, where I hoped to find owner Patrick Russell. He also owns Kooper's Tavern and Woody's Rum Bar. Woody's won an award for Best Place to Get Day Drunk. 

I walked into Slainte, and asked the first person I saw if Patrick was around. The guy turned to me and goes "Who's askin'?" I told him I was none other than the famed Sam Sessa. He gasped, gave a low, sweeping bow and ushered me to a table where Patrick sat.*

As you can see in the top photo, Patrick was quite pleased with his award. He tried to peel the $4 Dollar Tree sticker off the frame, and I had to stop him and tell him the sticker was part of the charm.

My last stop of the afternoon was Lagers Pub, the Bar We Love to Hate. Backstory here. Lagers didn't look open, but I tried the door anyway. It swung open, and I stepped inside.

All of the lights were off and nobody was there. I called "Helloooooo" a couple times, but no one answered. I set the award on the bar and slowly backed out the front door. For some reason, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I think someone may be in trouble. I just don't know. My spider sense was going nuts, though. Oh wait, I'm supposed to tell you about my super powers. Shh.

It was a chilling way to end a fun (and awkward) expedition. I still have a couple awards to hand out. Friends wasn't open when I was there, and neither was Club Charles. I'll try them both later.

*This particular story has been altered from its original version. It has been exaggerated for your reading pleasure.

(Photos by me)


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:45 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

Don't you be messing wit my lagers. We were just, ummm, cleaning up in the back room. Nuthin to worry about Sessa!

Sam,

That erin chick at MaGerks threw me out for "sleeping at the bar" and I swear I wasn't!!!!!! I dont know what i did to make her think that but she demanded I leave. Can't really handle that bar anymore anyway.

Aaaaahahahahaha poor Erin.

Cleaning up the back room, eh, Lagers? I'm onto you ...

I know where the Lagers people were that day. They've decided to further ingratiate themselves to the neighborhood by creating an avalanche of unwelcome litter. They've been leaving enormous Lagers menus (thick, bigger than 8.5/11 inch paper) all over doorsteps and in mailboxes throughout the neighborhood. This happened for the first time a week ago, and the menus still are floating around, plastered to the sidewalk or stuck in the grass in the park. Mine was thoughtfully stuffed in my mailbox. Isn't it illegal A) to distribute unwelcome fliers and B) to put anything in a mailbox that is not actual mail?
Lagers is lucky I didn't collect all those fliers and superglue them to their front door one evening. It's tempting.

I know where the Lagers people were that day. They've decided to further ingratiate themselves to the neighborhood by creating an avalanche of unwelcome litter. They've been leaving enormous Lagers menus (thick, bigger than 8.5/11 inch paper) all over doorsteps and in mailboxes throughout the neighborhood. This happened for the first time a week ago, and the menus still are floating around, plastered to the sidewalk or stuck in the grass in the park. Mine was thoughtfully stuffed in my mailbox. Isn't it illegal A) to distribute unwelcome fliers and B) to put anything in a mailbox that is not actual mail?
Lagers is lucky I didn't collect all those fliers and superglue them to their front door one evening. It's tempting.

KB, if you collect all those fliers and make a giant paper mache beer mug. I'll fill it with midnight sun prizes and we'll bash it at the next Shindig.

Who "sleeps" at a bar anyway???

He was just resting his liver for goodness sake.

I asked a bar owner about this and he told me he could get fined for every leaflet he delivered. This was intended to keep the streets clean of litter from bars, band cards, realtors, open houses, construction and handyman solicitations. I think he said he could get popped for something like .95 a flyer. Don't quote me. Also, if it's a post card, metered and delivered in you mailbox, it's legal. I'm talking about something printed up on a computer and stuffed into your railing or doorknob/mail slot or put on your windshield.

Too late, Sam. I collected all those fliers and organized them alphabetically in my circular file, if you catch my drift. Then I dropped days upon days worth of poop from my dog on top of the fliers until the next trash pick-up. So satisfying.
Next time, though, I'll hoard the fliers for you. These fliers were DEFINITELY not post cards or any kind of legal mail. Just menus (like, actual menus, printed on card stock-ish paper) raining down from the sky on all our homes like some kind of hellish storm of crappy food. Ugh.

Sam didn't post that, I did. I wouldn't know who to send that junk mail too. BPD would probably hate you more if you gave it to them then the canvasser who plastered your hood in the first place.

The point was I wasnt sleeping, i think i had my cell phone on my lap and i was reading a text. i was overserved but not sleeping

The last time I was at MaGerks there was some drunk old man hiding a pocket knife behind his wrist while he leaned up against the wall. We tipped off the bartender, who apparently knew the guy and told him to put it away. Said drunkard then tried to convince me that my sister's purse was his. Shortly after his failed attempt, he ducked out the door and didn't pay his tab. He stuck his friend, who was at the bar getting really (I mean REALLY) handsy with a girl, with the tab. Good times.

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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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