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June 11, 2010

The Get Down to replace Fletcher's

the view from the second floor, looking downA new lounge called The Get Down will replace Fletcher's in the coming weeks, according to owner Bryan Burkert.

Burkert, who also owns the music store Soundgarden, is overseeing a sweeping renovation of the two-story Fells Point club, which includes removing the upstairs stage, knocking out a portion of the ceiling and installing metal railing and refinishing the floors, walls and bar.

A drastic departure and significant investment on Burkert's part, the Get Down could be open in early July, he said.

"There's no guarantee that what we're doing is going to work," Burkert said. "We're going to create the best space with the best vibe we can."

Burkert recruited Scott Chmielewski to design the lighting and interior design of the Get Down. A Baltimore native, Chmielewski worked on the Beijing Olympics and other high-profile lounges ...

"There shouldn't be anything around that is like this," Chmielewski said. "I'm trying to make it an immersive environment without being overbearing. ... The minute you walk in the door, we're hoping it feels unexpected."

Chmielewski and Burkert are drawing inspiration from the old GoodLove Bar in Canton and Red Maple in Mount Vernon. They don't want to open something as over-the-top as Pur, and don't have lofty expectations of bringing New York or Miami to Baltimore, they said.

"I play devil's advocate on this every day," Burkert said. "Is this going to work? We could have just gone for a pop/dance club."

Some of The Get Down's furniture will come from the late, storied New York club The Roxy. Burkert and Chmielewski got the pieces from former Roxy owner Gene DiNino. They're currently being reupholstered.

The Get Down will have DJs and some live music on a regular basis, Burkert said. Though Fletcher's hosted live music for years, with the rise of Rams Head Live and Sonar, it became harder to book notable nationally touring bands, Burkert said. And with nearby Harbor East and the planned Marketplace at Fells renovations coming soon, he thinks the neighborhood will be able to support a place like The Get Down.

"I'm sure not everybody who used to come to Fletcher's will like it," Burkert said. "Some of them are going to hate me for what I did. But I had to make a decision."

(Pictured, the view from the second floor, where the stage used to be, looking down)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, News


I believe that any new Get Down must have two thirds approval of Parliament and Funkadelic.

Can't wait for the wrenching decision-making that will go into whether to go to The Get Down or Rare Soul. Aaaaaa.....

This sounds intriguing and hopefully will be a bit hit in Fells Point. Could be just the right Rx....what do you think?

Looking forward to see what the Get Down offers. I think the city needs a few more places similar to the vibe of Red Maple and the old Good Love Bar.

"the city needs a few more places similar to the vibe of Red Maple"

Yeah, Officer Tshamba needs a new place to hang since he's no longer welcome at Red Maple.

I say boooo - I want old school Fletcher's back.

A lounge type atmosphere without the dreaded "bringing NYC/Miami to Baltimore" tagline sounds great!

Sounds like a breeding ground for Douche-baggery. Wouldn't it be best to keep than all at Milan?

SOOO glad it won't be another craphole playing house music for a bunch of moronic frat/sorority folks. I loved Fletchers and the pool tables but they mostly had hipster doofus bands upstairs which appeals only to a very small minority. Poor management killed Fletchers. Hopefully Get Down will survive.

ditto @ kateebee

I'll give it a go at least once. Get thee to the Get Down as it were.
Best hope for them, Fletcher's used to rule for "too small for___, but too big for a bar gig."

I like this. I remember the Old Fletchers w/ the Regal Beagle lounge but I think that this place is going to work. Good luck!

I can't believe no one has ripped the name of this place yet.

they should offer a mixed drink called a "jungle boogie".

I believe that any new Get Down must have two thirds approval of Parliament and Funkadelic.

The other 1/3 of approval's going to be harder to get now that James Brown has passed on.


I like the idea, and it does sound intriguing. I'm not crazy about the name. It sounds a little hack to me.

Good Love was a spot that walked that fine line between pretentious and cool. At times, I felt they overstepped too far to either side, but all in all, it was a good spot.

Kinda surprised that jason z didn't already have this name locked up... "Where are you going tonight?" ... "Oh, I'm going to Get Down" ... "No, dude, WHERE?"


"Go Home" works too.

I'm going to Go Home.

Hell would be the best though.

Go to Hell. Cool, I'll meet you there

anyone found a website for this place yet?

antsy pantsy there used to be (still is?) a bar on Eighteenth Street in Adams Morgan in DC called Hell. They were in the basement of course, and "Heaven" was upstairs.
As for Fletcher's, the place just seemed to run into the ground. Used to enjoy shooting pool there way back when, before all the flat screens went up etc, and they used to have some great shows. I can't believe I saw some unknown band called the White Stripes in that little room there. Ha!

kim - i think this might be

ummm...those "hipster doofus bands" were usually packed and kept Fletchers open for many years. Just because Whitney Houston or whatever you like wasn't played there doesn't mean you need to rip on our scene...

Fletchers was incredible back in the day. So many good memories...even saw the flaming lips there. But didn't it change ownership those last few years? I remember a goodbye party 3 years ago...and now it's back under the original owner? Sam, what's the story on that?

I am always up for something new if the old wasn't working. I remember seeing bands there when I was like 19. I just haven't seen any bands billed there in ages that I wanted to see. I always end up going to Ottobar for local, independent, and eclectic shows these days and maybe Rams Head for the bigger national acts. The bands at Fletcher's felt like they were on some 98 Rock beer garden stage or something.

Fletchers is just old.. a change is needed.. The whole cool place that has bands thing is so played out anyway.. flyers and stickers on the walls is so 1990-95.. Besides, with the 5-10 people a band gets to a gig, the Brass Monkey right around the corner will do just fine..

They'd better lay in a supply of Smirnoff Ice!

I hope they bring back the Bills and Sabres games!

oh wow..tis sad..Fletchers was at one point the only other place after Memory Lane closed down to see a combo of local & national touring bands in one night..I remember Bohagers and Hammerjacks taking the super national acts for a time,then when they left-Fletchers was the place to go..However Recher in Towson came in and destroyed that-took alot of acts from 8/10,Fletchers and at the time Club Midnite-which changed into the current Ottobar...Sonar popped up and took the techno and rap acts that Fletchers and Ottobar had tried to book at one time or another..They even dabbled into the hardcore punk area as well which sadly left only obscure local acts,cover bands and a few national favorites like Mojo Nixon...Ramshead live is now the epicenter of all these places with different booking agencies like IMP and Walther prod. booking shows there as well as other big venues like Merriweather and Pier Six...What would make this next incarnation(which should be acknowledged in Baltimore is the fact that THe Good Love bar-though it may have been a lil off beat for some but one of the best places ever to come to b-more especially for the mix of clientele and music,was the busiest place every Sunday night for the few years it was open prior to the fire and know one has been able to recreate the vibe or energy that was created those nights since) is a place where one can hobnob with local acts as well as touring acts after a show or keep the party goin .. hopefully
the experience and knowledge of music,and all around class that Mr.Burkert will bring back the B-more that I loved to visit back in the day...

Oh, no. I hope this isn't another corny club that invites wack, out of town dj's to play fake watered down House music; instead of the real soulful House music from local dj's that actually have a following.

I hope this bar/club plays it all, hiphop, R&B, etc. Fells point needs a gay night too!

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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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