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June 10, 2010

Baja Beach Club is not resurfacing in South Baltimore

I hear this building is a gateway to C.H.U.D.-land Sometimes I feel like I spend more time disproving rumors than presenting cool new stories.

A bunch of folks have emailed/texted me with the news that the downtown megaclub Baja Beach Club is relocating to the old Pabst packaging building in South Baltimore.

As delicious as this sounds, it is, unfortunately, not true. I checked in with Baja's former owner, Tony Di Fatta, who said he sold the liquor license when the club closed in early 2008. The people who bought it wanted to open some kind of restaurant, he said.

After a trip to the liquor board, I discovered that the plan is to turn the Pabst building into a combination restaurant and market ...

But from the outside (as you can see in the photo), it appears to be a long time coming and a long time off. 

Since this was more restaurant than nightlife news, I passed it onto ace food blogger Laura Vozzella, who, I don't think, has written about it yet. I'll check with her today and see.

In the meantime, if someone tells you Baja Beach Club is coming to South Charles Street, hit them with some knowledge.

Also, let's take a minute and reflect on how ominously cool this building looks. This was obviously made in a time when people took their beer seriously. Even crappy beer. I imagine a stoic CEO, standing in the uppermost office, peering out the window while gently pulling on a pipe, a gold pocket watch tucked into his vest pocket and an ice cold can of Pabst in his left hand -- 100 percent gentleman.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:39 AM | | Comments (13)


What!? No 25 cent bottles, are you kidding me? I guess I will just have to go to Taps for Friday happy hour.

The neighborhood is in an uproar because it seems the license was from Baja and they love to gripe about something or another. They were already passing around a petition about this place and it is over a year away from doing anything. Reminds me of the old "Crash Cafe" that was suppose to be built on Key Highway years ago down the street from Little Havanas and the Globe Brewing Company. The old Pabst Brewery seems like an excellent location for a restaurant and there is space for parking, albeit no parking, but there is a lot of space across the street from it. Nice picture of the building Sam.

Passing around a petition on a property without actually finding out what's going on there? Haha I love it! Here's to you, South Baltimore neighborhood associations.

You mean no return of the "Bra Bar"?? Thank God!!! I drive by the Pabst brewer everyday and think what a great building it is. There is just no place to park. Even Rub has to struggle to find spaces, and on Ravens gamedays its a disaster down on that corner.

Cool building. I'll be drinking a couple PBRs during my softball game tonight...and I can't wait.

Sam, if you are insinuating that Papst is a "crappy beer" then, you sir, know little about beer.

I've been to a party in that buildong before, it is incredible inside, high ceilings and a nice layout. There would be enough parking if 101 Wells shared some space and the leveled some of the old buildings across the street. I think I know who is interested in putting a place there and they would do a great job in that space. It would be a nice addition to the neighborhood. Do the beer tub girls transfer with the liquor license as well from Baja;)

Thanks Bucktail...not every beer gets a blue ribbon.

Why do people in South Balto complain so much about parking? Remember, your neighborhood was built before cars were invented. What do you expect?

I used to work in that building when it was the Maryland Glass and Mirror Company. They moved into a larger warehouse by the Ravens' stadium a few years back.

A restaurant/market would be a really cool use of the space in there. I'm interested to see what develops.

My girlfriend and I decided long ago that we would buy that Pabst building when (not if) we win a Mega Millions jackpot, and renovate it to be our new mansion.

I guess we need a new plan now.

My dad worked at that building for a long time and I can remember as a kid running around that building and we lived 2 streets away from there and I will say the parking is a mess and adding another restaurant will just make it worse. There have been many times we have driven from our house in Owings Mills to have dinner at Rub and not been able to get a parking spot and ended up around the market somewhere.

Frank Booth: What kind of beer do you like to drink, neighbor?

Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken.

Frank Booth: Heineken? F*#^ that s@#^! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Th South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA) has NOT started a petition. SBNA has made multiple attempts to meet with the license holder to understand what is being planned. SBNA has a list of residents who have expressed concerns and want to be involved in the process before the State Liquor Board. Once SBNA meets understands the plans/intentions then we will proceed with meetings to discuss the concerns/issues.

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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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