« Concert review: Erykah Badu, the Roots & Chuck Brown at Spirit Fest | Main | The Atlas Bar is closed, could relocate »

August 9, 2010

Racers Cafe trades the peanuts for popcorn

racers cafeAwww ... nuts!


Racers Cafe, the beer lover's bar right near the county line, has traded its barrels of peanuts for popcorn. A reader sent me a tip about this, and I confirmed it with Dustin at the bar.

The reason for the swap? It wasn't allergies, believe it or not. Peanuts were too much of a hassle to clean up after, Dustin said, and attracted unwanted pests. Popcorn is much more hygienic.

And delicious, if you ask me.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:22 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Boo to this...

I may just have to remove Racers from the 2nd Annual Black Out Friday Bar Crawl because of this announcement. The peanuts were clutch after drinking multiple pints first thing in the morning post-Thanksgiving Day.

Racers please change this back, if not for good, at least for November 26.


At least they aren't kowtowing to the namby-pamby peanut allergy lobby.

Boo indeed - There are 3 great things about racers - The beer, Skip and the peanuts!!

Bring em back!!

Never been a fan of Racer peanuts or no peanuts. It's a poor man's Max's. Less seletion, uncomfortable seating and slow service

Governor O'Malley was at Racer's tonight, maybe he read your blog Sam and wanted to find out what happened to the peanuts.

Peanuts or Popcorn I'm going to racers for a good beer directly from the keg, not from a 100 foot beer line.

I would find Dustin's explanation a lot more believeable if Racer's hadn't been providing free peanuts for what seems like since the dawn of time.

Racers was one of the first places I checked out when I first moved here in 2001. Back then, in addition to peanuts, they also had buckets of a chips/pretzels/chitos mixture. I'm pretty sure this had been going on long before then.

So now, some 10 years (or more) later, the owner suddenly discovers that dumping baskets of peanut shells on the floor is a bit unhygienic? Really?

For anyone who has ever been to Racers... have you ever gotten the impression that keeping the place clean was ever a priority there?

@JohnM -- You're such a nut. I like popcorn better anyway.

Last time I was there, there was a big sing on the back door about no peanuts outside.

It was attracting rats.

I'm not in favor of removing the peanuts, but if that's the case, it makes sense.

What can I say Sam? I have a suspicious mind.

It just seems a bit odd to me that a place I'd characterize as a dive (if not an outright dump), and one that has been encouraging patrons to dump their peanut shells on the floor for years, all of sudden switches from peanuts to popcorn, ostensibly because it's too much of a hassle to clean up the shells.

Not that it matters to me, as I'm a Max's and Mahaffey's kind of guy anyway, but yes, Dustins new found concern over cleanliness does make me wonder a bit.

Dear John M:

See the post above yours about a possible motive.

Truly yours,

I never understood why people assume that if a place offers peanuts, then they expect you to throw them on the ground.

I can completely understand why you wouldn't want to serve peanuts to those idiots.

@Jeff - I used to bartend at a place that did peanuts. First, bartenders usually don't like the hassles associated with them period. However if peanuts are there, we would much rather sweep them up off the floor once or twice a night than constantly remove them shells from the bar surface itself. They're not nearly as easy to clean when they mix with spilled beer or other liquids on the bar surface.

This video explains a lot about the whole peanut thing:

Anon. As I mentioned previously, Racers has been providing free food for years (assuming peanuts and chip mix qualify). So they just now realized there's a potential rodentia problem with that?

Also, as the post from Dave the wave alludes to, providing free peanuts is hardly a unique or novel idea. Sean Bolans in federal hill used to provide free peanuts for years, apparently without problem or incident. In fact, many bars provide complimentary peanuts, and yet they somehow manage to escape the rodent problem alluded to by Dustin (or perhaps they just don't care).

Lastly, I have to confess I was unaware that the rats around that part of town have such discriminating palates. You mean to tell me that they dig on peanuts, but turn their whiskers up at popcorn? Who knew?

As I said before, it matters not at all to me what the real reason is behind the changeover (though if I had to hazard a guess, I'd guess the reason likely has a monetary basis). Curmudgeon that I am, I just find it annoying when someone tells me they're doing something for my benefit, even when the net result seems to be just the opposite (sort of like those nice folks over at city hall, when they raised the parking rates in Fells Point, all to make my life easier by making parking more available for me).

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "w" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected