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February 4, 2010

The Captain's Corner: Taking the cage

capt. larry outside his bar, circa 2000

We've heard about the bullet holes in the ceiling and Joe the parrot.

In this week's column, Capt. Larry Gross, the former owner and namesake of Captain Larry's, dishes about the ultimate drunk tank. The helm is yours, Captain:

We had a cage near the pole in the center of the bar, made out of stainless steel. It was about three foot by three foot by about eight foot tall. It was made out of stainless steel. It was a rectifier cage.

Now, a rectifier cage in the Navy is something they would have in a radio room where they would put equipment in they didn't want anybody to touch, and lock it up. ...

I get a knock on the door one day, and it's three or four SEALs. They said, 'We got something for ya, Captain.' They had a pickup truck. They said, 'We got a new bird cage for Joe.'

I said, 'Jesus, Christ, look at the size of that. Where did you get it?'

They said, 'We can't tell you.'

I said, 'Where'd you get the cage?'

Well, they had stolen it off a Navy destroyer down in Norfolk, Va. and brought it up to me.

We didn't use it for the bird, but if we got a customer that got a little unruly, either he got barred from the bar, or he would have to take the cage.

If he took the cage, what would happen was, we would lock him in the cage, and get bottles of beer -- preferably Guinness or Beck's or Harp -- and we would shake 'em up and spray beer all over him, in his face, all over his body, laugh at him, totally insult him to death.

If he survived and didn't get mad, he could come back and drink at the bar.

All fun stuff. Nothing where anybody got hurt. It was quite a time.

(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:30 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Bar stories


Love it. I can think of a few people who would benefit from some cage time.

bar penalty box. GENIUS!

"2 minutes on mr. mock turtleneck for knocking over a beer"


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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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