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April 26, 2010

Rare Soul could replace Club Phantom

these folks are going out clubbing on boston streetTell me if this sounds familiar: A restaurant/club named Rare Soul could open at 2312 Boston St. in the coming months. That address might ring a few bells -- it used to be Club Phantom, and before that, Kamp.

According to liquor board documents (the hearing to approve the license transfer is Thursday), a woman named Yolanda Espinet wants to add live entertainment, outdoor table service and to remove the restrictions on the license. Those restrictions forbid the club to bring in outside promoters.

What do you think is going to happen here? Let me peer into my crystal ball ...

I'll bet you all the money in my wallet ($7) that history will repeat itself. The liquor board will most likely approve Rare Soul's license transfer request, as long as the club doesn't bring in outside promoters.

Rare Soul will, inevitably, bring in outside promoters for parties. The neighbors with the nice houses across Boston Street will complain about the noise and violence, and Rare Soul will lose its license.

Why am I so sure? Because this has happened numerous times on the same little strip of Boston Street in the past few years.

That's what happened to Club Phantom. I'm not quite sure what happened to Kamp, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was relatively the same thing.

"That place is a Bermuda triangle," said Stephan Fogleman, the liquor board's chairman.

"It’s one of the toughest blocks in Baltimore to get a good concept. You've got neighbors across the street – neighbors who pay lots of property taxes. Theyre in that no man's land between Fells Point and Canton proper."

Don't get me wrong -- I wish Yolanda all the best with her new venture. But I'm not holding my breath. 

(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:11 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Yet corporate garbage like Field House seems to be doing just fine.

We live in a strange town.

Interesting spot for outdoor table service.

There's been foot traffic in and out of that spot for the last month or so. Painters, workers, etc. Figured something was going on.

@Jay- I personally have never been to the Field House but I bet if they were privately owned you might feel differently about them. The reason that they are doing well is that they have live entertainment and they show all the games on their televisions. They also started with "bar specials" which is the favorite thing to have in Baltimore. I haven't heard much about their food but most people who go out to watch a game or to see a show just want chicken tenders anyway. It seems to me that the Field House is catering to it's clientele. Rare Soul will probably have a tough time unless they have deep pockets or if they cater to a niche clientele like Milan. It will be tough for them.

If they had bad food, poor management,
"specials" that last an hour, and special deals for Red Sox fans, I really wouldn't care if they were privately owned.


Allow me to clarify my comments. The Liquor Board believes all residents should be able to enjoy a relatively quiet and peaceful co-existence with their neigborhood bars.

I wasn't talking only about that space as the Bermuda Triangle, but all of the establishments in that two block corridor. Only the Gin Mill seems to have any staying power down there.

I hope that the third time is a charm for this venue.

I agree that FH feels a bit corporate, but you know what, I've been there three or four times and the food has been good each time. The service has always been good. Yeah, it gets a bit loud and can be crowded, but you will ultimately find the sporting event you want to watch.

Before you start in on me, I'm a bit older than most of the crowd at FH and still think its not a bad place to be.

Parking is a major issue on Boston Street. Field House is in the Can Company which is close but not the same. There is a lot, a garage and when people congregate outside, They are not directly across the street from other people's bedroom windows. BTW what is goin on with the Pur Lounge (formerly GoodLove Bar) spot??

Not digging the name. Sounds like undercooked fish.

I ever went there but I seem to recall the Good Love bar was pretty successful on that block until they lit themselves on fire.

I wouldn't mind seeing one of those places transformed into a decent pool hall. We haven't had one of those downtown since Edgars, which I also never went to.

Who cares what anyone thinks about the name or so forth and so on. The place is opening whether the neighbors like it or night. Besides it will provide jobs in the area.

And far as the pool hall, there is a caliber of people that enjoy the night life of downtown Baltimore. I don't think Fells Point need another crappy sports bar but an upscale one. I wish Yolanda all the best with her endeavors.;)

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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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