Some bad bar news you should be aware of
Bad things have been happening in and around Baltimore bars and clubs this past week.
First, there was a near-riot outside The Velvet Rope (pictured), the downtown mega club which replaced Palma on the corner of Calvert and Redwood streets. Last Wednesday, a promoter booked rapper Yo Gotti to play there, and allegedly oversold the show.
Some 300 people waiting outside the club stormed the doors, and security guards sprayed mace on them.
It took 50 police officers and a helicopter to get things under control. Read the whole story here.
Police wanted to shut the Velvet Rope down immediately, but that's not possible, according to liquor board chairman Stephan Fogleman ...
He said he'd schedule a hearing at the earliest possible date, which is no less than 10 days from the incident. I'll keep you posted on the hearing's outcome.
On Saturday, 25-year-old Michael Kooser was stabbed during a Fort Avenue bar crawl. I'm going to sum it up, but it's best to read Justin Fenton's account of the fight, and the storm of comments that ensued. The crawl was raising money for the Hitmen, a flag football team, of which Kooser was a member.
Basically, there was a fight around 6:40 p.m. outside Taps. Police arrested one of the Hitmen and left. Kooser said he tried to break up the fight, and when it was over, walked away. He got about as far as Hogan's Alley, where he was jumped by two women who were friends of the dude who got arrested (they thought Kooser should have backed up their buddy).
While the women were attacking Kooser, a 35-year-old man stabbed him in the back. Kooser lost about half of his blood, but is in stable condition. Both the women have been arrested and charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, assault, among other charges.
Kooser had an interesting take on the incident, considering what just happened to him. According to Fenton's piece:
[Kooser] was disappointed that the stabbing was giving the bar crawl and the football team a bad name. "It was a really big success - we had a ton of people there, we made lots of money and everyone had a good time," Kooser said. "Now, afterwards, people will take it out on us, but it had nothing to do with the bar crawl."
Right or wrong, this incident is going to ignite a ton of debate from neighborhood residents over bar crawls and binge drinking.
Several of my friends (and Midnight Sunners) were on a Snuggie bar crawl around the same time as the Hitmen, and said many of the Hitmen crowd were absolutely wasted in the middle of the afternoon, and a few were looking for a fight. Looks like they got one.
But wait, we're not done yet.
The Fells Point strip club Chubbie's (pictured, bottom) had its license suspended for a year at a city panel hearing last week. Read the full story here.
Chubbie's list of offenses seems tame, compared to spots like Suite Ultralounge. But neighborhood residents young and old cried NIMBY, and got Chubbie's shut down for a year.
I've never been in Chubbie's (though I heard from a friend they can't be accused of false advertising), but that neighborhood has drastically changed in the past several years, and I can see where the new residents might not be willing to put up with strippers, barkers and late night carousing.
Getting a bar's license suspended for year in this city is no easy task. Did Chubbie's deserve it? Depends on who you ask. I'd like to know if Chubbie's ever tried to be a good neighbor in the first place. Getting in good with your neighbors is key for any bar or club in a residential neighborhood.
(Photos from Sun archives)