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August 10, 2010

The Atlas Bar is closed, could relocate

the atlas bar The Atlas Bar, the Charles Village hideout which won Best Secret Bar, is closed and could relocate in the coming weeks, according to manager Angela Devoti.

Devoti has long been at odds with her landlords, who own the Charles Carryout, and decided to close up shop last week. Devoti is in talks with an employment lawyer about suing the owner to try and recoup lost pay, she said.

"I can't stay here," she said. "I can't believe how much he didn't want the business to succeed." ...

Devoti has her eye on another space in Charles Village, which she'd like to take over in the coming weeks. I'll keep you posted once I know more.

The back pay thing is only the tip of the iceberg, Devoti said. I won't go into further details for fear of libel, but she's got some pretty serious allegations against the owner. If and when she files legal documents, I'll pass along the details.

Atlas Bar will be sorely missed. Why do all the best ones have to come and go so quickly? That's one thing I've learned after writing about bars, clubs and restaurants for five years: Enjoy them now, because there are no sure bets.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:26 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, News


Midnight Sun curse at work here?

Pretty much. Sam Sessa sat at his big oak desk, drawing on an even bigger cigar, and decreed: "The Atlas Bar is closed, see? And Angela will neva work in this town again, see? NEVA!"

As a semi-regular at Atlas, I'm not gonna lie: the Charles Carryout owner was a Presence with a capital P. He *loomed*. I have no idea if Angela is in the right or the wrong regarding whatever disputes she has with him. But I felt trapped under that guy's thumb almost every visit, and I was a paying customer...


damnit sessa. you're goin down.

What do you mean by trapped under his thumb? What was he doing? (Do you mean sitting at hte bar and being "that guy" that gets in everyone's business, or something else?)

hi guys.hopefully i can clarify a few things here.

a note to all of you: a business owner who takes an entirely hands-off approach to running a business he or she doesn't understand...won't succeed.

for those of you who decide to take ownership of a business in an industry in which you have little or no experience: do your homework, and play by the rules.

there are some owner- personalities that don't belong in or near a bar in any way. bars should be places to relax and/or be entertained. if a bar manager can't provide that for her patrons , she should move on, so i have.

I for one will follow so long as they are in walking distance. Love this place, so sad to see it go.

Do not give up the dream, make it your own Angela!

I'm still heartbroken that Friends closed.

@Another Aaron

Easy to experience, hard to explain. He didn't sit at the bar—he was too busy running the carryout—but he certainly gave you the eyeball almost every time you in, and it was often apparent that he didn't like what he saw.

There was always the sense that he wanted the bar to be like his carryout: get in, get your drink, get out. But bars don't work that way. (And the bar was the only reason I tried his carryout, not the other way around.)

Add that to basic amateur inconveniences—just getting ice was meant the bartender had to go to the kitchen and ask for some—and it made for an odd patron experience that soon went from quirky to creepy.

at the 'ice' comment: what, you mean it's not normal for a bar owner to fix an ice machine 19 months after the bar opens?

during the time in which we had no ice machine,
i tried to compensate for our lack of storage space ice by bringing in a large picnic-style cooler but it was re-appropriated (given to the boss's son) for his snowball stand without my permission.

this effectively left us ice-less, and 9 out of 10 friday nights right when things would get busy, we'd have to send out for it.
a trip next door, but surely one we could have avoided.
a box fan i paid for and brought in to cool the place down when the a/c didn't work (it still doesn't) was also 're-appropriated' for some failing refrigerator equipment in the kitchen.

ah well...

(by the way, thanks, stefan! hope to see you soon!)

Angela took a chance on a space that no one even knew could exist and made it into the cosiest little bar north of North ave.

I would say you should move Atlas up to Remington, which has several perfect places (empty ex-bars) for it... Alas, our neighborhood association doesn't want bars around the area.

I hope you are able to open back up. I really dug the place!

Feh... You should try to relocate to the abandoned Kitty Kat bar on the corner of 23 and Hampden Ave.

Come to Hampden!!

That's a shame, I liked the Atlas Bar and I like the Charles Carryout. It's like mom and dad fighting.

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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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