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May 15, 2009

An evening at Silks


Finally, I swindled convinced longtime commenter Evan to do a post for me, and he came through in spades.Every time I drive past Silks, it's closed. Evan is one of the lucky few who've been inside. Dig it:

What seems like a thousand years ago, I was on a rather smallish bar crawl of sorts hitting up some of the non-square Canton establishments that I had frequently heard of, but never really been to.

One such establishment was Silks -- a place whose name I found myself repeating out loud every time I passed it, because the name is printed in enormous letters on the side of the building, as well as in big neon CAPS on the door (picture slightly outdated).

You'd think based on the mural on the side, SILKS is some sort of sports bar, yes? Well, the reality is somewhat different ...

Upon arriving at the front door of Silks, our group found it to be locked. There were people inside, vacantly staring at a television in the corner, but nevertheless that goofy door was locked tight. So we tried the side door, asking aloud if they were open, to which we didn't really get a response but walked in anyway.

I couldn't help but instantly notice that Silks, despite its sporty exterior, has nothing to do with sports whatsoever. In fact, the bar itself is quite elegant. Solid wood, with molded trim lining the room and a huge mirror backing dusty bottles of various boozes. Turns out, that was about the only elegant part of Silks, coz the rest of it is crazier than crazy.

SILKsm.jpgEssentially, Silks is the extension of the owner's house - not an unusual reality in Baltimore - which became evident when one of the people we were with accidentally walked into a living room after going through a door assumed to be for the bathroom (the actual bathroom was pretty cool actually, with a large trough urinal and old porcelain fixtures).

While looking around, I saw stacks of mail on the table next to the bar, newspapers, a chaffing dish, and piles upon piles of other random crap you'd find in a Baltimore row home. The walls are plastered with old pictures, posters and other interesting knickknacks, all of which have a bit more character than your standard bar.

But wait! There's more! The owner, a guy named Kevin, is quite the character. He yells at you, has a foul mouth, and is probably nuts, but in a charming way. At one point he stepped out from behind the bar, revealing himself to be wearing pajama pants and slippers - definitely a first as far as my bar-going experiences are concerned.

He asked one of us for a business card, which was provided. Kevin proceeded to whip out a plastic grocery bag full of piles of business cards and napkins with names on them, extolling the virtues of how many celebrity contacts he had (none of which I had really heard of). It was a riot, and so was he.

Check out the totally sweet business card he gave in return! It even has a map on it!

(Photos by Evan)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I've been to Silks many times! It's great and Kevin is an awesome guy! He somehow got my cell phone number and calls me every once in a while to offer extra Ravens tix. Unfortunately I've never been able to take him up on the offer. It's a tough place to get into, but once you've been there, you're welcome for life. Besides the trough, the bathroom has this awsome old condom dispenser from the 50's or 60's.

Kevin recently left me a voicemail at work. He told me to bring in a group, to receive drink specials. Can't beat that. Kevin also recalled the name of every friend who was with me in Silks. He's one of those real, friendly Baltimore gems.

Last time I went to Silks, Kevin told a great story about when he was catching a flight home. He ran into a "hot blonde" in the airport and struck up a conversation with her. It turns out she was an adult film star, and was accompanying Chris McCallister. The two of them ended up coming back to Silks with Kevin, and enjoyed a lengthy night of drinking and shooting pool upstairs. Come 3 or 4 in the morning, C-Mac and his lady-friend get ready to settle up, and Kevin gives them a bill for $30. The porn star proceeds to whip out a $50 and thanks Kevin. C-Mac, the gentleman that he is, decides that is too big a tip, swipes the $50, and leaves two $20s instead. All this from a guy making $8 mil a year...classy.

I demand more Kevin stories! These are awesome!!

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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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