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April 1, 2009

Max's owner to open high-end lounge in Fells Point

NOTE: As many of you have guessed, this is indeed an April Fool's Day joke. I was going to let it go on all day, but decided three hours was enough. Happy April Fool's Day, everybody!

Here's one from left field: Ron Furman, the owner of Max's Taphouse (737 S. Broadway), is planning to open a high-end lounge called G&T in the old Crabby Dick's building. G&T (short for gin and tonic) is still a working name, and Furman is open to suggestions, he said.

"Ever since Max's at Camden Yards closed a few years ago, I've been itching to open another bar," Furman said yesterday. "I see places like Power Plant Live doing really well, and I think I could do that."

G&T -- or whatever it ends up being called -- will have a $10-$15 cover, depending on the night, Furman said ...

Furman wants G&T to have an upscale feel, with leather couches, a large martini list and, of course, a gourmet beer selection. True to its name, G&T will have an extensive gin list, with spirits imported from England and Africa.

For G&T's, grand opening, which will be in late summer, Furman wants to bring in a large ice luge shaped like the statue of liberty.

"We're going to go all out," he said. "We're going to have some fun."

NOTE: As many of you have guessed, this is indeed an April Fool's Day joke. I was going to let it go on all day, but decided three hours was enough. Happy April Fool's Day, everybody!

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:34 AM | | Comments (45)


If its a 'high-end' lounge then I suggest for guarantee success that the name has an 'X' in it.

or a Persian theme.

OOOH Another high end lounge!
Good luck with that.

Why would anyone pay a $15 cover in Fells? Especially when there's a nice free bar just down the street with a good martini list and gourmet beers - Red Star, anyone?

April Fools?

Cover charge? Not interested.

Somehow the phrase "high-end lounge in Fells Point" just doesn't seem to go together.

yeah, and Max's was going to open a gentleman's club a few years back. What is today's date again?

april fools?

How far should we let this one go? I'll throw out some word associations and you guys be the judge...

...Mayor....Strip Club....

Don't do it, Ron. Not in that location. The problem is nothing about that block says luxury. If you must do it in Fells Point, which is probably not the best idea, I would look into something on Thames between Bond & Broadway. There are at least a few more upscale businesses on that stretch already. Honestly, I would try to find something perhaps closer to Harbor East or in Mount Vernon though, since people don't go to Fells Point looking for luxury. Also, don't do the G&T name, or the ice shaped Statue of Liberty. If you're going upscale you need mood, image and exclusivity. Not gimmicks.

Come on Sam, fess up. APRIL FOOLS!!!!

There is a reason I go to Fells Point, it's to distance myself from the power plant crowd. I am glad that kind of bar works at Power Plant and lets keep it there.

Don't try and make fells something it is not.

Oh, great. The owner of Max's is opening a high end lounge.

I guess that means in addition to the cover there will never be a good special or a round on the house.

BAD idea. I would honestly never go...and I like me a good martini. G&T? Statue of Liberty ice luge? Yikes. No one goes to Fells Point to pay a $10-15 cover. You would think Ron would know that.


This is fun watching the hysteria build. I'm sure Ron is getting a kick out of this.

I won't spoil it yet. But I still think opening the strip club is a better idea. Maxines I think it was called.

This has to be a joke (April Fool's Day?).

This reeks of an April Fool's stunt by Sessa with Ron's blessing. Check the calendar people.

i'm gonna say it right now, this is April 1st, and I completely expect Sessa to try and pull the wool over our eyes. I'm calling shenanigans on this post. statue of liberty shaped ice luge, psssssh.

i take it you're being selective with the comments you're letting through here sam ;>

Don't do it. High end lounge next to Little Italy Pizza and Killer Trash?

locust point man, what in heavens name you do mean?

Yes, he is locust point man.

Actually, it would be nice to get a round up of all of Ron's previous April Fools Day jokes because I haven't been keeping up on them for the last few years.

Also have you ever walked by there on a Saturday or Sunday morning? The dumpster from the market is the worst smelling thing. People are going to line up in striped shirts for that?

Must be April Fool's Day on the Sun.

I think its a good idea. And coming from the Max's owner - which is the best bar on the planet - it should work. However G&T makes me think of Greene Turtle which is far from 'upscale', whatever upscale means. I would say call it Tonic.

With a $15 cover, I also say "No Thanks."

This has got to be an "April Fools"

Wow. The comments here do not bode well.

(I totally agree, BTW. Ice sculptures? Luges? Yikes. And if a G&T is your idea of high end, will Tony Sinclair be on hand at the opening?)

I've defended Red Maple's cover before, but that's a different location and lounge culture entirely.

Architecture and the right appointments might help—Furman better shell out for a good rehabber/designer. But he's going to need a lot of luck and bouncers willing to enforce a dress code.

(I'd point to Lime as a bar with high aspirations that just got defeated by its neighborhood and its clientele. No amount of $100 tequila shots stopped its downward spiral into a former frat boy rowhouse tavern.)

I echo everyone else's thoughts on this... to a point.

While Fells Point and "upscale" CAN fit nicely together (Meli, Kali's Court, Mezze), a $15 cover charge will never fly.

Arguably, the only truly successful "upscale lounge" in Power Plant Live is Mosaic, which has a $5 cover on peak nights (and can usually be waived if you're nice to the host). Same with Red Maple in midtown.

If you really need to squeeze funds out of folks during this _awesome_ economic climate, charge $10 for a Gin & Tonic instead of putting people on defense mode as soon as they hit the door.

Also, what's a Locust Point man? Isn't that the same thing as a Federal Hill man? Fort Avenue?

[sitting back, waiting for the Federal Hill vs. Locust Point boundary battle royale to begin]

Ya got me ... Hook line & sinker :-)

awesome...i read this late after a ton of comments had already been made...nice one Sam

While I might be the last word of authority on anything Eutaw Street, I am now a Locust Point man and we will take on Federal Hill men anytime. We'd have to rumble in our neighborhood since we actually have places to park however.

darn it. got me.

Good one Eutaw St. I've got your back!

I've been had!! HAD!!!!

Good one, SS.

That was even close to funny....

It's all fun & games until somebody loses an eye.:-)

Wow. Incredible April Fool! Best one of the day by far.

Damn you!

What a terrific idea! It's so YOU Ron! Hey and where are the dancing cats? (joke from David Letterman...) Thanks for the chuckle today!! Kisses to Ron and Gail!


I think your idea of running for mayor was a better idea. Besides....Gail would kill ya'

In other news, the Globe Brewery on Key Highway is coming back.....


The Globe Brewing Company was one of the best bars that I ever worked at. Unfortunately, they didn't have any AC, which matters when you have the hottest summer ever,1997, and high ceilings. The Glove was owned by three awesome guys, Buddy, Howie, and Lou. The last I heard, Howie was in Vermont making vodka and I am not sure about Buddy and Lou. The Globe was such a great place. Havanas was doing okay but the Globe was the place to go. I wish Tim the best of luck if he chooses to open the Globe.

The good ole days.

The real "fools" are the one who patronize the current joint.

Is there anywhere that isn't trying to be THE next high-end lounge or upscale club that's comfortable midprice place to meet at or just hang out? Someplace without a lot of poseurs or meatheads.

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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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