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April 17, 2009

Sign outside Taps draws complaints

easter sunday sign outside tapsThe folks at Taps (1439 S. Charles St.) set this sign outside the South Baltimore corner bar on Easter Sunday.

As you can imagine, more than one neighborhood resident (and a few churchgoers, too, I hear) were irked by the sign.

I would call Taps' co-owner Dave Holter for comment, but he hasn't returned my calls for months, so I won't bother.

I'm all about free speech. But this sign is simply in poor taste and offensive.

Would you agree?

(Photo submitted by an irked neighbor)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:33 PM | | Comments (65)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


It could be worse. It's just bad PR. Plus it's open season on the Catholic Church. Try that with some other religion.

I'm not a fan of the owner but I really don't see the big deal here. People are so hypersensitive! Are you, perhaps, only disgusted with the sign because of your feelings toward the owner? Not meant to be an insult...just curious.

I'm a non-practicing Catholic (except The Big 2 church-going days) and that doesn't offend me at all. I'm sure most Irish-Americans would love to head to the pub after mass. Although that statement could be offensive to some, as well.

Who cares what the residents think. People move to SoBo for the bars. Residents don't understand that bars add to property values.

Holter is very clever for putting the illegal sign out on Easter Sunday. No one from the city is out writing citations.

Um, hmmm. I dunno, maybe this is all about timing? If we were talking about a year when St. Patty's Day fell on a Sunday, or heck, any Ravens home game, I wonder if folks would be so upset. I think the ironic thing is that if there was a picture of Capt. Deeeeee-fense next to it, most folks woulda chuckled.

terrible handwriting

Jenn, maybe I'm overreacting. But I really don't have any feelings either way about any of the owners. I haven't even been in the place in a year or so.

Poor taste or not (I say yes), it worked, because here we are talking about it! No such thing as bad publicity.

Maybe they should install a warning...READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

They should get a truth in advertising award. Taps itself is in poor taste and offense.

I agree, the sign is in horrible taste. Who drinks Coors Light? Blech.

It's not unreasonable to be offended by a local drinking establishment promoting public intoxication instead of reasonable and moderate consumption.

And another thing. Can we please get rid of the "Irish Car Bomb". That's about as cute as naming a drink an "Arab Airliner Attack". Get rid of it.

Considering the high rate of alcohol consumption amongst catholics in particular on Easter it would seem he was just stating a perhaps painful but somewhat astute observation about how people conduct themselves when mass is over.

"People move to SoBo for the bars." -TH
I strongly, but respectfully, disagree with that hasty generalization.

I do agree with Pete's comments on St Patty's day or Ravens gamedays. The church is directly across the street and I'm sure the owner knew he wouldn't be adding to his base of patrons with a board like that, on Easter no less.

My guess is that one of the regulars thought, 'dude, brah, it' It's a shame how short this bar has fallen from its original concept. This sign just keeps it consistent.

On second thought, maybe he is a Midnight Sun reader...I'll check back on Memorial Day...
"Superbowl doesn't rank high when it comes to beer drinking
My buddy (and colleague) Rob Kasper (of Kasper on Tap fame) blogs that when it comes to beer drinking holidays, the Superbowl is only ranked eighth. Imagine that!

Here's the list of the U.S.' top beer holidays, courtesy of data from the Nielsen Co.
1. July 4
2. Labor Day
3. Memorial Day
4. Father's Day
5. Christmas
6. Thanksgiving
7. Easter
8. Super Bowl
Rob also listed some interesting Super Bowl trivia on his post. Check it out. "

It's not like they put a picture of the Lord dropping an Arab Airliner Attack with his collar popped. It's Taps. We're lucky they spelled "Sunday" right.

It's stupid and wreckless, particularly in this age of litigation by people not being responsible for how much they drink then what they do when their drunk.

church goers, schmurch goers. it's really not that bad. and technically, it's also promoting the catholic faith.

is the city going to fine him $1000 for not keeping his sign on a leash?

the sign is the least offensive thing in all of sobo. one would only have to take a glance down one of the many alleys to see prostitutes on the clock, drug addicts on the pipe, and homeless people on the toilet.

nah...that's cool. Now, if it had said "Jesus died for your your appreciation and come in for a drink.." THAT'S offensive!


Do explain for the benefit of the mystified and/or potentially offended.

Definitely poor taste. Is it OK to say "ass" in an advertisement? Aren't there obscenity laws?

I don't find the word itself as offensive as the tasteless comingling of a bar promotion and a high holy day, but I was just wondering.

redman - when you say that's cool, you mean like mtv jackass cool?

This is a non issue. The only reason that a few people are complaining is that it is most people's day to act hillier than thou. I bet you the same people complaining her drunk all the time and go to church once or twice a year just to look good. In summary, fake outrage.

On Palm Sunday did the sign say "Come in and get drunk off your ass"?

@ Calvin Learn to spell, or don't type this on your ipod touch you freaking idiot!!!


meh. who cares.

It does rhyme.

I wonder how many of the offended devout are truly devout, and I don't mean the bi-annual Catholics (Christmas & Easter).

Jesus Christ (completely intended) it's a joke! Lighten up people. Isn't this a blog that supports the arts? Support your local poet, even if he's a bar owner with some chalk.

Plus did anyone ever think it could have been a nod to the 90's rave, "Sunday Mass". Nothin says Lord and Savior like grinding teeth and trance.

"is the city going to fine him $1000 for not keeping his sign on a leash?"

Sidewalk signs in the city are forbotten, but only a $500 fine.

Calvin, Go back and read Rob Carlson and GDA's comments, that rates as real outrage.

Tomato Head, "Residents don't understand that bars add to property values." Yeah, right, like meatheads add to your desire to visit certain bars.

Cry me a river, xtains. It's not poor taste. It's damn funny.

if that sign was posted in omaha, ne me and many others would have been there to get wasted. being alone on a holiday is the worst! plus some just don't celebrate that ...

I think if someone were offended by the vague notion that someone is pairing drinking and church, they really need to grow some thicker skin. Sometimes people do things that are against your beliefs, or make jokes about things that you think are important. This happens to everybody. Get over it.

"And another thing. Can we please get rid of the "Irish Car Bomb". That's about as cute as naming a drink an "Arab Airliner Attack". Get rid of it."

Actually I thought that "Irish Car Bomb" was the funniest drink name I've ever heard, and I laughed out loud the first time I heard it. If you can't loosen up about serious subjects when you're pouring booze down your gullet, when CAN you do it? Funny, irreverent names for drinks are half the fun of ordering them!

I'm sick and tired of Christians whining about people being mean to them,teh Imaginary Jew and The Invisible Sky DDaddy.

Anybody over the age of eight who has imaginary friends with super powers is an idiot.

This debate is retarded much like religion itself. As a devout atheist, I just think believers are out of their minds in the first place. Of course they will complain about this and everything else because they are arrogant and paranoid. They don't like this sign? That is not news. Hail Satan, and Santa, and Froto, and Papa Smurf, and wake up you freaks! Religion is for the roaches. Seriously. Ok?

Poor religious folk that have nothing better to do with their time.God said that only god can judge, yet they actually believe they have the right.

Sheesh if they gave up judgment, they may be viewed as respectable human beings, till then.....sheesh.

Poor religious folk that have no sense of humor. Poor poor individuals. God must have had a sense of humor to create Christians!

I laughed until I realized this post might not have been written in jest. What a ridiculous thing to be offended by.

Why is it offensive just because it's connected to religion? I'm sure it offends some people, and not others. I for one am, for the most part, offended by most religions, and more often than not, by Christians, but I don't see headlines "area man outraged as Christian gets in his business!"

Totally tacky and guaranteed to stir up some visits from our inspectors. And the hospitality association won't be able to save your masses on this one.

Bad taste?? Try their brunch, much worse than the sign!!!

KAZ, according to the "Jared Has Aides" episode of South Park, horrible things can be rendered funny after 22.3 years, and The Troubles started four decades ago, so by that logic, Irish Car Bombs have been funny since 1990!

@Neighbor & Stebbin

I think I'm beginning to understand the dichotomy.

Only certain bars add property value, only mensa members move to Fed Hill/SoBo for the bars and only meathead bar owners have meathead clientele.

Taxpaying homeowners should take solace that the FHHA will keep things in order for the good of our neighborhood.

Got to agree with Jenn on this one, the tone in the writing comes across like you're pissed Holter's not calling you back.

If you track your tone through all your posts about Taps, its gotten progressively more unpleasant.

the perpetually offended christians whine again - this time about a small sign in front of a private business that they shouldn't even be near on easter unless they are hypocrites ...geeezzz
silly christians myths are for kids - grow up or at least shut up

The sign is funny, screw the church. Make churches take down all their ridiculous signs too. Oh wait, free speech...

Considering that Christianity reads like a very bad science fiction movie, who cares about church goers.

Honestly? Are you getting your panties in a bunch over a humorous rhyme? Oh dear, it says "ass" and implies that people--gasp--get drunk on Sundays. I have no problem with this. Realize that no everyone revers Sunday has a holy day, and get over yourselves.

Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine for a wedding. Seriously, it ain't no party like a Jesus party 'til a Jesus party's got wine.

Drinking and religion have no real relation. It's because of the self-hating English douchebag Puritans that we have stupid laws about drinking on Sunday. Duh, it's all about the money. No bars open? Give your money to the church. It's just bidness.

Part of the freedom of religion in this country should be the freedom to practice no religion, but we are mostly a country of phonies who pay lip service to Yahweh and practice nothing at all.

"I would call Taps' co-owner Dave Holter for comment, but he hasn't returned my calls for months, so I won't bother."

Maybe you could get some sort of actual journalist to do that for you?

If I had seen it, I would have gone in, and done what the sign suggested in support of offending those that force their dear and fluffly lord on the rest of intelligent society.

my sign would have said

Go to Church
Waste your time you brain dead asholes
You bunch of no self respecting losers.



sounds like somebody's got some sand in their ,,.

I hate to tell you all this but there is more than one CATHOLIC church.

There is the ROMAN Catholic Church.
There is the ANGLO Catholic Church.

We all believe the same thing and no one church is better than another. Although people who grow up in the Anglo-Catholic one don't tend to leave it as adults.

The ad is stupid. If he had mentioned about having a drink and seeing the light--it might have gone over better.

Dont be such a prude. Not everyone is christian.

@Sister Mary Elephant

At one time did you teach 6th grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Hyman or was it Our Lady of 115th Street?

Tomato Head, you don't get it. Most people look upon the arrival of any bar like they put a halfway house for junkies in their neighborhood and enough prove to be bad neighbors that it to them decreases both the experience of living there and the property values.

Taxpaying homeowners should take solace that the FHHA will keep things in order for the good of our neighborhood. I see we're dealing with fairy tales except they usually have a happy ending.

This is definitely getting up there in the pantheon of great MS posts...

@ fapfap -

as an atheist myself, i find it pretty ironic that you're attacking those of faith by calling them, "brain dead asholes" and "You bunch of no self respecting losers" by posting anonymously on an internet message board, on a topic about religion, where no one has provoked an attack upon yourself. if the shoe fits, man.


A no self respecting loser wouldn't commit themselves to a moral code and structure that organize religion can bring to one's life.

Behaving badly is behaving badly, your lack of faith doesn't justify the pot shots and crap of being insensitive to others,

To the truly faithful, you're probably someone to be pitied and prayed for, which is a whole lot more generosity of spirit than you apparently can muster.

Independent of adherance to Christianity, I still think the following,

It's stupid and wreckless, particularly in this age of litigation by people not taking responsible for how much they drink then what they do when their drunk, putting the bar and the bartender liable.

What GDA just said. It's the heart of the issue. Inviting patrons to get drunk it not encouraging responsible drinking or behavior.

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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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