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July 20, 2010

What should replace Taps?

taps is closed. what comes next? you decide.By this point, we've all heard the bad news: Taps is closed.

One question remains: What comes next? What brave soul dares to risk everything on a new business which could bring balance to the neighborhood -- or destroy it?

What about a brewpub, with the vats and stuff upstairs? Or maybe someone could resurrect the 5 for $5 wine nights (aka "purple teeth and blackout nights") The Vine used to have before it closed.

City That Breeds blogger Evan and I have our own incredibly lame brilliant plans for the place ...

TV Hat Bar: Whatever happened to virtual reality? We were supposed to be taking fake vacations and stuff by now. Well, TV Hat Bar is the next best thing. When you walk into TV Hat Bar, you strap on a super chic TV Hat, which is linked into a live video feed inside the bar. You can watch yourself order a drink! And to make things really freaky, sometimes the cameras will be in unexpected places, like the bathroom. Mindfreak! It's very post-modern.

Dave & Busted: This sports bar and game zone would have all kinds of fun activities such as shuffleboard, corn hole and arcade games. But here's the twist: Everything malfunctions. Not bad enough to make you want to leave, but just enough to annoy the heck out of you. For example, you get all the way to the end of Pac-Man and the power goes out. And everything works fine with Super Mario Bros 3, except the screen is upside down. Whoa, nelly! The best part? It will be filmed for a reality TV show. Now that's forward-thinking.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (30)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


6-8 lane duckpin lanes and bar...less trendy than Mustangs, more baltimore / blue collar.

I support TV Hat Bar, but as a member of the female population can i please point out the age old problem of "Hat Hair" ? Please make that not happen.... yes it's vain but also a "reality" ;-)

Hat hair is only one of the many unnecessary byproducts of TV Hat Bar, Lisa.

How about a fart bar, where men can go to 'let loose' complete with gas inducing menu and complimentary air fresheners on every table.

@drunk richard -- "Drive your art car to fart bar."

This is a tough on, you have to keep certain things in mind, there is no parking, and the neighborhood association doesn't want another bar, and their kitchen is very, very small. I like Evan's thoughts but I just don't know if it could generate enough cash flow, plus another bar with games and televisions would just......

I also like Sam's idea of a brewery. The upstairs has a beer hall feel to it.

What about a crabhouse/ brewery with a small game room upstairs that consists of shuffleboard, darts, ping pong, pool table and foosball table. I see picnic tables upstairs and maybe a small acoustic act upstairs and a dj downstairs. Still early in the morning, I'll keep thinking about this one.

Actually the Uber awesome TV Hat comes in a stylish visor form, so no hat hair!

Also fart bar could come with a gas mask with every entry, with special fixtures to accommodate a drink. Theme shirts and their associated slogans practically write themselves!

Methadone clinic. Time Fed Hill stepped up and joined the rest of the city

Rub-A-Dub Club

Hot Tub Time Machine Bar!

Upscale French restaurant.

@JTK -- Les Taps?

I'm gonna head in another direction entirely and say a small specialty market with a small cafe inside. I know Teeter is coming soon, but I think a store with some more esoteric finds, skewing on healthy side... Maybe juice bar by day, fresh juices as mixers by night? OK I'm coming back around to the bar idea, but staying with the natural market/cafe idea by day. Whole Foods meets Liquid Earth meets...cocktails? Oh yes please.
I think that space is too big to house a bar with games, etc without pissing off the neighbors. I hope whoever is next doesn't try to mindlessly replicate No Idea, Don't Know, Reserve and Blue Grass- they're doing what they do very well already.

@Neighbor- I like where you are going. I totally see a place to go during the day to grab a healthy meal and to sit down and relax. I like that a lot.

@ Sessa - Oui.

I wouldn't trust the brewery tanks to not come right through that ceiling if they were upstairs.

I'm thinking Dance Studio. Maybe Funeral Home. Or even old time telegraph office.
Anything that lets them keep the old sign.

German Beer hall. The space is ripe for it. The small kitchen can cook only German food. Schnitzels, pretzels, kraut, kalbasa, etc. Use the infinite number of Taps that Holter put in and order up some great German beers. Oh wait - can someone unbrainwash the original owners into thinking they can get me to buy that place for 375k. We're in a depression peeps.

No parking there and it's at the ass end of town. Neighbors don't want bars and there are already a ton down there. Taps gave it a shot but it's a hard market to compete in. You need to be more than another generic Fed Hill bar to pull it off. Whatever they put in should be unique and cater to a need or desire that isn't already addressed by all the other boring bars in Fed Hill.

Harsh words, duder. I don't happen to agree that Federal Hill/Sobo is comprised of boring bars and on the ass end of town.

Big space on a major corner in Fed/SOBO. The issue with people want a juice bar or restaurant is that you wouldn't really be able to utilize that outdoor space because of the bus stop at the corner of Fort and Charles. I say this because I don't see the City moving a bus stop for outdoor dining/seating area OR someone wanting to sit out there eating while 3 people smoke jacks waiting on the 1 or 64 bus to stop.

Starbucks? Panera??

How about Raising Cane's chicken fingers?


Nando's Peri Peri?

Roy Rogers?

Maybe those Ghosthunters guys can move in.

Okay.....I'm going to put my two cents in. The building is named the 'Craftsman's Club', and that's what the next restaurant/bar be in that space be built around. The craftsman's club, build your own...... (Sandwich, burger, salad, drink, etc.) Decor should then be of old South Baltimore. The ports, train depots of Port Covington, crazy submarine, Fort McHenery, Etc. It has a live music license so it should use it...... in a tasteful and enhancing way that would bring and build clientele from the surrounding neighborhood (acoustic, jazz, or local unique talents). THE CRAFTSMAN'S CLUB!

oh and knock out the bricked up windows!

CRAZY joe, thank god someone noticed the architecture. That building must've been beautiful in its heyday. You're absolutely right about the windows upstairs.

As for the Craftsmen Club, the craftsmen were lithographers and printers, the graphic artists of the day. This was literally their clubhouse.

If anyone's interested in history, from

In October 1909, a permanent organization with 94 charter members was perfected, and the name "Club of Printing House Craftsmen of New York" was adopted, symbolizing the organization's avowed pride in the traditional Craftsmanship of the printing industry. The insignia chosen was the printer's mark of Fust and Schoeffer, the successors of Gutenberg. The famous and appropriate Craftsmen's slogan, Share Your Knowledge, was the idea of Charles Heale of the New York Club. It briefly and eloquently describes the ideals and purposes of the first Craftsmen's club, and will probably endure as long as pride in Craftsmanship exists. The progress of the New York Club was closely watched by others in the larger cities concerned with the management and supervision of printing plants. Favorable reports on the success of the Craftsmen's movement soon circulated and the idea took root. Philadelphia (1910), Chicago (1911), Boston (1912), Cincinnati (1913), Connecticut Valley, Massachusetts (1913), Baltimore (1914), and Washington, D.C. (1919) organized independent clubs modeled after the New York Club's plan.

As always, Federal Hill needs a nice Italian place. No new-age Chef Needed, just classic Italian like Pasta Mista, Mama Lucia, Tutti Gusti, and so on. Probaby to expensive a building to do it in, but somewhere please. I hate having to cross the harbor to get a great slice of Pizza.

Taps is up for auction on 8/25 according to an ad in the Sun

Anyone know how much TAPS went for at auction yesterday?


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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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