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May 13, 2010

The skinny on De Kleine Duivel

De Kleine Duivel This morning, I caught up with Paul Kopchinski, the owner of De Kleine Duivel, the new Belgian beer bar coming to Hampden.

A Baltimore native, Kopchinski graduated from Peabody with a degree in classical composition, then spent 10 years working as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Now, he's opening a Belgian bar.

"I'm on my third or fourth life right now," he said.

After leaving Big Pharma, Kopchinski took an introductory course at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and started scouting locations for his bar. He wound up buying the Nutty Pub in Hampden, which he is currently gutting and renovating. Kopchinski hopes De Kleine Duivel will be open by late June or early July.

"The location was perfect and the timing was perfect," he said. "I thought, 'My idea for a bar would fit right in with what's already in this neighborhood.'" ...

Kopchinski wants De Kleine Duivel to have an authentic art nouveau feel, with exposed brick and intricate wood work.

"Anybody who's been in here before is not going to recognize it when they come back in now," he said. "We're pretty much starting from scratch."

If all goes as planned, De Kleine Duivel will have 10-12 Belgian beers on tap and another 30 bottles, Kopchinski said. He wants the beer menu to be seasonal, and also plans on serving a limited, authentic menu.

Kopchinski's mother's side of the family is Flemish, and he still has relatives in Antwerpen -- hence the name, which means "The Little Devil." For hundreds of years, Belgian beer was brewed by monks, who gave it names with religious symbols like "devil" and "angel."

"I know it will be little difficult for some people to read or pronounce, but what as long as they like the beer, that’s all that matters," he said.

(Photo courtesy of the bar's Facebook page)


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:04 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

Can't wait!

Way to go Sam, good job in getting the first interview before everybody else, that's the power of the Sun! Now Brad and Adam can fight over the next spot. Good work, this place is going to be awesome.

This looks great. I'll definitely be coming up there to check it out.

Well, of course the guy who gets PAID for doing this stuff is going to get a jump ahead of the guys who do it for no pay and have to work in the stuff in between other, paying stuff. Besides which, is there really anything more to interview him about now? Leave the guy alone and let him open, so then he can be the hot new bar of the week.........

Oh, and I did get some interview Q's with him--by e-mail..........

Well all the Hampdenites I know are very excited about De Kleine Duivel. Finally something in that space that is worthwhile!

A welcome addition to my neighborhood and the Chestnut St. corridor.
Prost!

Has Alexander D. Mitchell IV not learned to express himself on the internet without sending like a... well, jerk, or is that really his personality?

No, it's really who he is.

Now now, kids, play nice.

To be fair, most commenters on Midnight Sun come off sound like jerks.

Yeah, shut up, jerks!

To be fair, most people who comment on ANYTHING online come off sounding like jerks.

Amazing what you can do from behind pseudonyms, huh?

My remarks were meant as a recognition of two facts:
1) people online expect the magical standard, "better product for free." If we pursue this business model to its fullest, Sam Sessa (and a lot of other folks) will be seen on a street corner begging for spare change, and you'll all have to find someplace else to hang out and someone else to abuse.
2) You get what you pay for.
3) "hot new bar of the week"? Yes, nightlife creatures are just that fickle. Ask Sam. Ask any number of bar owners--or former bar owners. Hopefully, Kopchinski's place will have drawing and staying power.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm on my way back to Chestnut Street for the third time........

Well said, Anonymous #2

Mitchell IV, if its your third time visiting then you'd know its Chestnut "AVE."
good luck!

Anonymous jerks are the worst!

Way to stay classy Mitchell.

Between De Kleine Duivel and 13.5%, I may be able to summer entirely in the Hampdens this year!

Wait, wait, let me see if I have this right:

Someone hiding behind the pseudonym "Bodymore"--which we all know is a disparaging nickname for this city based on the perceived crime/murder rate--is admonishing ME about being "classy".........

Thanks! I needed the laugh!

Been looking forward to this for some time now. We can literally crawl home from this location. Downhill too. Score.

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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 erik.maza@baltsun.com. 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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