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April 8, 2009

The frustrations of being a nightlife critic

coburn's tavernLet me tell you about last Friday night.

I had heard that Club Phantom (2314 Boston St.) was finally open for business, so my pal Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

We put on semi-nice clothes (from the outside, Club Phantom looks like it might have a dress code) and hit up the club.

It was closed. Nobody was there and the place was dark.

Then I remembered Coburn's Tavern (2921 O'Donnell St., pictured) had recently closed and reopened under new management. So Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

Nothing had changed.

At least, nothing significant ...

Then I remembered a new bar/lounge called Clutch was supposed to be replacing Tiburzi's. So Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

It wasn't open yet.

beer in handBelieve it or not, this happens on a fairly regular basis in the world of Baltimore bars and clubs. For whatever reason, it is infinitely easier to get a hold of restaurant owners than bar owners.

Restaurants usually have Web sites/regular hours/a listed phone number. Bars and clubs increasingly do not, which makes me increasingly annoyed.

We ended up at Mahaffey's Pub (2706 Dillon St.), where we had a great time. But I can't just publish a review for the sake of publishing a review. There has to be something new or at least different about the place. In journo-speak, it's called a "peg."

As far as I could tell, there was no peg for a Mahaffey's review. And that, dear readers, is why there will be no nightlife column this week.

(Top photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun. Bottom photo from Sun archives.)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:28 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Mahaffey's has like the biggest frigging hamburgers in the world. They're enormous. For that I like them, but their beers are pretty expensive.

I understand your frustration, but I think you should be grateful that you weren't subject to Club Phantom (or Phatom, according to some poorly spelled signs).

when in doubt - people always seem to end up at Mahaffey's

Tough life.

Look at the bright side: You got to drink on the Sun's dime (I hope you're expensing your mileage as well) and don't have to write anything.

*cough* would you like some cheese with that.....

Life is hard!

Maheffey's did just get new windows! PEG!

"...but their beers are pretty expensive."

considering the rarity/quality of beers that they serve, mahaff's is damn cheap... and that's before you factor in the 3 beers for $4 happy hours.

Yeah, I'm a total cheapskate, and I think Mahaffey's is a deal, especially during HH.

Although it's less of a deal when you factor in the cost of drinking to the point of clumsiness and dropping your fancy new phone in the ladies' toilet. Sigh.

Since the thread is now about Mahaffey's, their 3 for 4(.25) 10-oz mugs happy hour is the best deal around. Shame I never get over there.....

An amazing happy hour, to be sure. I was referring to the $4.50 Harp I received in a plastic cup the last time I was there. Granted that's probably not the standard but it left an impression.i

Mr. F.,

Evan likes his 3 for $5 14-oz glasses happy hour over the otherside of the pond. If I may speak on the behalf of Evan. You are more than welcome to stop by sometime. It's a shame you never get over here ;)

Sounds like maybe you've found your peg? The fact that so many bars are run by shady operators?

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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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