« Scratch that bit about Scores and Aqua | Main | The 10 biggest no-nos of concertgoing »

May 29, 2009

The Velvet Rope to replace Palma

clubbingI know what you're thinking: Not another mega club in the Redwood Trust building (200 E. Redwood St.). I thought the same thing.

So many club owners have tried and failed to open a mega club at that spot. The most recent one was Jon Han, whose Palma/Dubai mini-franchise imploded spectacularly.

I was all set to write off the Velvet Rope, the new upscale club in the Redwood Trust building. But then I poked my head inside and met its owner and managing partner, Tracye Stafford.

Stafford is a hip-hop promoter who has brought acts like Lil' Wayne to town. Remember that hip-hop show at DuBurns Arena in Canton that ended early a couple years ago? That was her ...

Stafford has been throwing shows occasionally at the building for the past few months. She recently decided to make it a dedicated club and concert venue. The grand opening should be in July.

With its purple walls, paintings and new carpeted floors, The Velvet Rope has a cool, comfortable feel. I don't know how much money Stafford put into the place, but from the looks of it, she spent a lot on renovations.

Stafford knows about all the failed clubs that came before her, and she knows how hard it can be to get people out to a high-end joint in this city. She also knows how important security is -- especially at hip-hop shows, which have a history of violence.

If Stafford focuses enough on bringing in big names in hip-hop, if she makes sure there is proper security, if she can consistently fill the place and if her rent payments aren't too high, she might be able to swing it -- for a couple years.

That's a lot of ifs. I'll add one more: If anybody can do it, I'll bet she can.

(Sun archive photo)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:11 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I thought Mel Torme was dead?

5-1 - close within 1 year.


One more thing. For the record, the Lil' Wayne show 'ended early' because it was shut down by the Exec. Director of the Liquor Board (according to the Baltimore Sun).

There was a stampede. Multiple people suffered injuries and were hospitalized.

The promoters, alongside their council, differed responsibility from themselves and the performers, stating that the authorities were, and are, targeting celebrities. Their council is on-record calling this enforcement, "hip-hop targeting."

Yeah, ok.

They can beef up their internal security all they want, but I'll bet 12-1 odds that a stabbing will occur outside the venue within weeks and that'll be that.


Considering that Ultralounge is still open, I doubt one stabbing would make much of a difference.

too true.

I love this club and I believe that this is the best spot for the mature crowd.
The women come dressed to impress
and the DJ'S play what i want to here and they have police for security but with the mature crowd they draw they are never needed.
I look foward to that spot.

I love this club and I believe that this is the best spot for the mature crowd.
The women come dressed to impress
and the DJ'S play what i want to here and they have police for security but with the mature crowd they draw they are never needed.
I look foward to that spot.

What is an Irish coin withdrawn from circulation on January 1, 1993?

the problem in baltimore is that we wont give a person a chance i know trayce on a wrk level and no shes a work- aholic and wont stop til its rite in her city with the support and backing and non-hating of these baltimore folks everything will work out find .im tired of driving to d.c and or philly ,ny etc...just to have fun so please support trayce.

S. carter,

When you're done your 8-ball, I'd like to introduce to a friend of mine, his name is punctuation.

Jeez...I can't keep up with the name changes at places in Baltimore. Everytime I come back to visit, the spots that I visited before have changed names for the 2nd and 3rd times. It's tough to build a brand/following when the place is constantly turning over. There's something to be said for consistency. *sigh* But that's Baltimore nightlife and one of the reasons I left I guess. Best of luck to the new owners.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "t" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected