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October 15, 2010

How long do you give Alewife?

In today's Live! Midnight Sun reviews Alewife, the new beer hall on the West side.

Despite its big suds selection, the bar hasn't pulled in the crowds since it opened in September, suggesting it may go the way of previous bars that opened and quickly closed on that very spot, like Maggie Moore's.

From the review: "Alewife's size is working against it. While 21 N. Eutaw St. has dignified architecture, the building is a hulking monolith with high ceilings that retains much of the coldness of a bank lobby.

"Though it's been repainted in a warm red, and dark-wood paneling covers the bar and tables, it still looks like the Treasury Department after a Pottery Barn makeover.

"While owner Daniel Lanigan can be commended for eschewing the long banquettes of most beer halls — or the spilled brewskis on the floor — maybe Alewife would benefit from a more rustic aesthetic. Empty as it is now, it's too forlorn, like a jungle gym without kids."

The bar's challenge will be getting patrons to go weekdays, not just on weekends and during the Hippodrome's season. 

Without weekday crowds, for how long can it stay open?

Photo: Beer in Baltimore

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Posted by Erik Maza at 1:19 PM | | Comments (72)
Categories: Bar stories
        

Comments

Damn, this is mean. I've been defending you to my husband (Tif), but jeez. You didn't have *anything* else to post today? Aren't there some beer week events to post or something.

2.34

Good Point Micki. There is a crap load of stuff going on every night at bars all over Baltimore and we get this thrilling update.

I hope he posts an update at 4 pm as to whether Alewife is still open.

Pick up today's Live! and there's a Midnight Sun story on the next three days of Beer Week; it'll be posted later today. Thanks for reading.

I am working on a new piece myself:

"Reporter writes for the Sun, but doesn't know how to construct complex sentences. How long do you give him?"

But seriously, thanks for teaching me that the English Language and Grammar should not get in the way of being a reported. I get to learn new words like "betterl-known".

And this is in the actual Baltimore Sun...

at first look at the menu i thought the prices might be a bit too pricey, but i've since heard the food is good. it's certainly on my short list of places to try.

as for the review leaning heavily towards its lack of customers...what do you expect when you go on a monday and tuesday night? hardly the nights to go to get a true feel for a restaurant/bar. imo.

bad location + overpriced food = FAIL
I'll say March

I've been to Alewife nearly a half dozen times, usually on Monday afternoons on my way to class. I've noticed that customer flow has increased, and it seems to be gaining steam with those that have a connection to the West Side (med students at MD, another student group was there planning a group happy hour event for November, etc). The Stone event was very well attended, and from the looks of my Twitter feed, the Dogfish event last night was, too. The food really is great, and the beer selection is phenomenal. Yes, the location is difficult, but I absolutely do not think that it is on Death Watch, as a headline like this implies.

The westside needs a place like Alewife to survive.

~sigh~ Maza, you're gonna have to learn to suffer the slings and arrows of the blog. Just because you got a roughing up yesterday doesn't mean you put the same tone on the next bar piece.
Also, let's give supporting local businesses a shot, shall we? There's at least 50 different ways to describe the interior of the bar without seeming to be a brat.


Completely agree with you Micki, and I've got a couple of thoughts/observations of my own.

I find it interesting that Eric chose to check Alewife out at 10:30 on a Monday. I'm guessing that even the hottest bars in the city aren't exactly entertaining throngs of people at 10:30 on a Monday night. Last time I was at Max's on a Monday at around 9:00, I doubt there were 20 people in the joint, and that's at a popular, well regarded, Fells Point bar.

Aside from the fact Eric stopped by fairly late on a Monday night, this place has been open all of what now? 5 weeks? Even if this place turns out to be wildly successful at some point, I think it unreasonable to expect that to happen overnight.

My feeling is that the Sun review means absolutely nothing at this point, and my guess is the author realizes that very well.

Are we reporting news now Eric, or trying to create it?

This is immature of me to say but I do not think I am alone when I say - Eric: you absolutely suck at your job.

Its Friday afternoon, everyone's looking forward to the weekend. There is a ****load going on. And this is what you post?

You are a dark cloud that hovers over our beautiful city.

I read your review yesterday. I can't believe you had the audacity to write about the lack of crowd at 10:30 on Monday at a brand new, and in my opinion pretty cool, establishment that should have a great chance at surviving if the Baltimore Sun's nightlife reporter wasn't such a hater! I guess you get points for the honest reporting. But you lose points for picking a Monday night to go into the place. Which brings me back to the fact that you absolutely suck at your job. You shouldn't even work on Mondays.


Wait, isn't this the same blog that the majority of posters slammed, saying that it won't last when it was first reported that it was opening?
JohnM., I think that you said that it would probably be a "one and done" place for you.
So now, because the Sun nightlife reporter questions its ability to survive, everyone comes to its defense?
In a slightly related topic, why is it that everytime a place closes everyone comes out and talks about how great the place was? Alewife may join that list from what is being said here. It can join Friends, Lulu's and apparently Full Moon Saloon.

Everyone raises a fair point. Its Friday. There's plenty to do this weekend. Why write basically the same thing that's already been written a week or two ago?

For what it's worth, I think Alewife would have done well to open in April, coordinating with baseball season, instead of right at the tail end of it.

I think the key to their survival will be specials and events. I'd like to check them out, but they're going to need something better than draft beer (even really good beer) to lure me in. There are just so many places closer to my house.

That original post, btw, is here, and generated a lot of discussion: http://bit.ly/cHZbPs

James, Full Moon had to be sold because half of the ownership passed on; it was the sort of place that be it so humble, couldn't be handled alone. Friends needed a ton of work, and the owner would rather have closed it and sold the business then let it languish (sort of akin to putting down an elderly pet instead of letting it suffer. Doesn't mean it wasn't loved)
Not sure as to what exactly happened to Lulu's, which was ALWAYS jumping, other then the majority owners wanted out of the bar business.
None of which, got the jaundiced article that Alewife now has to endure.

We have daily flights back to Miami. Where you can write about nothing....or Cuban Punks, that sounds interesting.


@ James.

Yes I did. Given the location (traffic and parking problems in particular), and given the other options available in the city, I thought I couldn't possibly like it enough to visit more than once.

OK, so it turns out I was mistaken. :-)

I'm still not a fan of the area and likely never will be, but Alewife has won me over. I've visited twice so far and have no doubt I'll stop by again, and again and again.

James, it has nothing to do with Alewife. It is the shoddy posts that come from this blog. I generally couldn't care less, but this one was actually in Baltimore Sun proper.

Secondly, if you read the comments, the majority were slamming the new blog author, not Alewife.

Thirdly, JohnM's overall comment in the original post wasn't negative towards Alewife at all. He simply said he probably wouldn't make it over a lot due to the options on the East side, hence the "one and done". Maybe you should re-read that James.

Lastly, commenting that you think a place is going to fail and writing it in the paper are two different things. I hope you can tell the difference between a comment and an official post/article on the baltimore sun.

Again, we are reviewing places that JUST opened? And you comment on the lack of people...ON A MONDAY?

guh

For the record: there are no misspellings in the full print or online version of the review.

Can the Sun just double Sam Sessa's salary and put him back in charge of Midnight Sun? I'll chip in $100.

Erik coming to the Sun was genius and if I read his bio right it was more of a transfer or promotion because he was at a Tribune paper. So every time he pisses us off- see that ING Banner up there? They get a bill. After four months of this crap the numbers will be great and The Sun will double the price for that ING ad. Now the bad grammar and how he intentionally misspells stuff is really impressive.

I am beginning to think that Maza is an elaborate piece of performance art. I mean, could someone with so little talent, actually be employed by a major newspaper? His articles are hack jobs with poor grammar. There are two good pieces of the Midnight Sun: 1) When guest columnists write reviews. 2) The comments section.

Maza needs to be Dave Trembley'd.

Geez, you people are brutal. While there are definitely some valid points being made here and there, this is pretty ridiculous. Doesn't anyone have an argument to make other than "Erik sucks!"

I disagree that Alewife's size works against it. I personally like the set-up (particularly the giant window at the front and the stained glass), but I can certainly see how it would feel really empty with only a handful of people inside. But, if you belly up to the bar, it doesn't matter how big the room is behind you; the barkeep is just an arm's length away.

Yawn.

I seriously miss Sam.

You have updated it since it went live on the site. In other words, there were misspellings as of 1:49 pm when one of them was pointed out and after it was already live on Baltimore Sun.

Not that I care, but I have noticed how you slyly re-word, correct spelling, etc with posts after they go live without using the customary strike-through. I would say that method lacks integrity, but no big deal.

uh, @J. blog posts are routinely updated for grammar and spelling, as they are at all major newspapers. But I have no way of magically altering copy that's been printed unless it's with an actual correction.

I strikethrough when there is a factual mistake.

You can now safely resume the Maza sucks discussion, which is beginning to take a slight "Fire Letterman" tenor.

Good god, you guys, if you don't like a blogger, just don't read the blog. It's a free service that is provided for your entertainment. This post has at least opened up the discussion and shed light on the bar -- if anything it'll drum up some business because people want it to succeed ("That'll show Erik! Hahaha!"), but bar openings and closings are common and questioning if a particular bar has what it takes to make it in a certain area is fair.

Please do not compare yourself to David Letterman. That is like comparing, well, Erik Maza to David Letterman.

David Letterman? Nah! You're more like Anita Marks. She's also from Miami and a clueless hack.

Alewife is a cool place and I hope it lasts for many years to come. I thought today's article was an embarrassment to its author. The last article that annoyed me this much was the Oct. 11, 2003, classic by Jamie Stiehm:
"Market's slow start has many worried; Rebirth: Six months after its reopening, Belvedere Square has failed to achieve the success its backers were hoping for."

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-10-11/news/0310110342_1_belvedere-square-market-rebirth

Almost 7 years later to the day, Belvedere Square is flourishing and one of the great spots in Baltimore. Jamie Stiehm? Well, I don’t know what happened to her but she sure isn’t at The Sun anymore. Probably laid off/bought out by Tribune.

So here’s my question. Which lasts longer: Alewife or Maza’s stint at The Sun?

FHT, if you don't like my comment, don't read it.

@ Matt G. - you are right on the money!

Erik, dont take this the wrong way, I am sure you are a great guy, a good friend and a trooper. But you can't write, and the Baltimore Sun should have higher standards. I'm sure you would make a great music or club promoter though! The Hippo and Rye Rye would be happy to employ you!

@Beerman - Jamie Stiehm is at Huffington Post. AHAHAHAHA, yeah sounds about the right place for a hack!

I think I might be too late to the party to actually comment on Alewife. But I think the place is great. I love the vibe, the food, and the beers. I hope people check it out more, especially on Monday nights at 10:30 because I'd like to see it stick around for a long time.

We all know the Sun, err Tribune Co., doesn't care about journalism, Baltimore nightlife, or anything dealing with this city. It doesn't see your negative comments. It sees the $$ from your clicks.

And by generating all this traffic from hecklers and the subsequent defenders, Maza is racking up the hits and the revenue. Love him or hate him, he's brought some controversy and interest to this blog, which was lacking during Sessa's upbeat but generally monotonous reign.

Every time you click on a story or submit a post, positive OR negative, it's a vote for Maza to keep his job.

He wins, you lose.

We all know the Sun, err Tribune Co., doesn't care about journalism, Baltimore nightlife, or anything dealing with this city. It doesn't see your negative comments. It sees the $$ from your clicks.

That probably explains why David Zurawik still has a blog.

@southwest - comment of the day, I'll chip in on that one-way ticket!

Without getting into the appropriateness of the question, the entire West Side "renaissance" is a failure. Baltimore City government deciding that an area is hot for development should tell you it is a failure. If an area is hot for devleopment, first artists and galleries would be there and it would happen on it's own until the artists and galleries are chased out by high taxes and rent. Or the uber-successful developers and business people would have developed that neighborhood years ago.

The surrounding area is downright horrible and poverty stricken. While I sympathize for the neighborhood, those two qualities don't make people want to go there after dark to shop, eat and play.

Working a block from there for 6+ years after 5 years or so in Hampden area, I can tell you the difference between an area that is ripe for successful bars/restaurants/live shows from one that is a few blocks from skyscraper day use office buildings to one side, a hospital to the other and federal housing projects to the north and west...

Sorry folks, loved Maggie Moores for renovating the building, a beautiful space, I just feel for that whole area that it will not take off. You can call me out in a few years when I'm wrong, just my opinion.

Some people are awfully grumpy for a Friday afternoon. Go grab a beer at Alewife.

C Wriz,

I think "Honolulu" Harry Weinberg was more to blame for the West Side's failure than the city. The failures date back to the Schaefer administration- when Willie Don begged Harry to sell his slum properties along Howard Street.

Is the photo gallery a crass gimmick to pile on manufactured hits? Yes. Consider that to get to number one you needed click (10+20+30+40+50) 150 times this week.

I suspect this scheme came down from an editor, so maybe evil editor Sessa has his wicked fingers in this after all ... mwaaaa hahahahaaaaaaaa...

Personally I hate photo galleries. They are a big time waste for me. Now I realize why sites create them - hitsville.

@ C. wiz. West side redevelopment is a story that's extremely interesting, and one that'll be taking up soon for the paper.

Thanks for the perceptive comment.

god, maza. shut up.

you think the west side redevelopment is extremely interesting...but you are writing about alewife's inevitable failure to attract a crowd at 10:30 on a monday?

Just when you think Maza sucks, he delivers an even higher level of suck.

If I owned Alewife I think I would be hanging this guy upside down by his skinny jeans and beating him silly with his iPhone.

What the west side needs is a Cordish developement... LOL!

Alewife has better food than most top rated restaurants in this area, they clearly have great beer. As for empty, I've only been for events and during happy hour, every time it has been very busy. I was at another bar this past Monday around 11, maybe 15 people in the place. It disgusts me to see a local reporter promoting the failure of a new business for no apparent reason. This guy should be ashamed of himself. The success of Alewife could be HUGE for that neighborhood, and the do have the tools to succeed.

I keep tuning into this blog hoping to find some interesting stuff to do with friends and fam when I return home, but all I read is how much Eric sucks. The nitpicking, the name calling, it's a real bad showing for BMore. As soon as he posted in his bio that he was from Miami, there was blood in the water. "Oohh, look at Eric he thinks he's so cool with his arms crossed and his tie!" Please, your insecurity is not a good look. I find it ironic that Baltimoreans can be so pretentious about having NO PRETENSION. Maybe Sessa's pic was less threatening?? I don't think its necessary for me to go into the reasons why, because deep inside you know what it is.

If anything, I think what Eric may be guilty of is just being misguided on how Baltimore operates. Baltimore's not a "lifestyle city" like MIA where people hang out on the regular..the quote "The bar's challenge will be getting patrons to go weekdays, not just on weekends and during the Hippodrome's season." is pretty much on point and a big reason why a lot of places in BMore fail.


Completely agree with you, sucio. The behavior here is sad.

That about sums up my thoughts as well Sucio410. These people must be a drag to be around. It was sometimes bad with Sessa, but rarely at this level. Why read it if you hate him or his writing so much. Get over it and move on. There are plenty of other entertainment, music, bar blogs for our city you can read... or write your own.

yeah, I agree that people have been really s****y to Maza since he got here, and it's classless and lame, but I have to say, I frequently find myself with NOTHING to say here on the blog lately. And I've never been one to be speechless.

I don't know if it's the blogging or the commenting that's driving me away, but I feel like I'll be visiting here much less frequently going forward. It's been real, kids. See ya at the bars.

Maza is a super nice guy and a good writer. On a tight deadline I'm sure everyone here would make one or two grammar or spelling mistakes once in a while.

That said, what's with scoping a bar on a Monday night? Where are the Maza-penned Friday and Saturday nightlife stories? I don't want to hear about huge concerts that everyone and their mother attended; anyone could write those reviews. I want to hear about the cool/weird stuff that is distinctly Baltimore.

Maza, get out and about on the weekends! Bar hop, get drunk with the locals, go see some Baltimore bands! Nobody here gives a sh*t about whats going on at Merriweather or Nissan!

@ryan, May I direct you to some of these?
On Wednesday night I was at The Get Down, http://bit.ly/cIc1j8. That morning, I was at the new Full Moon Saloon, which no one had seen yet, http://bit.ly/a6QSj1. For this piece, http://bit.ly/aUoenC, I went to three different bars that use architectural salvage, a trend we hadn't written about. On my first nightlife column, I went to the Annex Theater, which we hadn't covered either http://bit.ly/bDQBjq.

Hey Erik,
I remember seeing a bumper sticker in Bolton Hill once that read, "eschew obfuscation". Maybe it should have read, "why use 'eschew' when 'avoid' will do," or perhaps, "write to learn, learn to write". I know the Sun has had its budget slashed in recent years, but can't you guys afford an editor? What does this mean: "or the spilled brewskis in the floor"? And what's up with your picture, hon? You look like an angry Gap Kids model. Now quit being such a gloomy Gus and start writing about some positive things in B'more. Oh, and proofread from now on, Mr. Skinny Tie. You're making H. L. Mencken turn in his grave.

As often happens, I am in complete agreement with the ever-awesome kateebee.

And yes, judging any place based on a Monday night is absurd. While I support Erik and don't think we should torture our reviewers ... or guest reviewers, I thought the comment about beating him with his iPhone was funny. The owner has every right to be super-pissed for that bit of bad nasty.

It's really uncool to put a death watch on a new place. That kind of bitchy pessimism is best left off the net and in the bars among your friends - where I do that sort of thing all the time, but it doesn't hurt someone's new business.

Now, I do like that Laura Vozzella, Ricardo Gore-Licker, and Maza have teeth. I am so sick of living in a town where the reviewers write generic reviews just to keep their jobs and not make waves. They (not you, Sessa) ruined the Sun and the review scene, which had no credibility in the past (for me), except among the living dead cohort that are driving the Sun into an early grave.

So yeah, keep it up, Erik. I would rather have you make multiple egregious errors than play it safe and be a p****y. Of course, I will call you out when I feel like it because that's how the f***ing street goes. (And I am soooo OG). Go get 'em.

When I first came to this blog, people acted adolescent and douchey. Then people came together and became more of a community, more considerate and frankly more fun - something I was proud to write for. Now I come back to find people acting grown up and douchy. Pathetic.

You know, when Sam started as a baby reporter all he had to do was write for the paper. The blog came later. Erik was thrown into a new city with multiple responsibilities. Put yourself in his place if you have the capacity for empathy.

Jobs are insanely hard to find in the newspaper business, so I'm guessing that Erik has something to back up his hiring.

I know it's fun, but seriously, don't be evil. There's no upside.

I second @kateebee. I wish Erik nothing but good luck, but haven't been a huge fan of the direction he's taken this blog. Still, he doesn't deserve to be raked over the coals for making relatively minor mistakes. My preference is for fewer concert reviews (which seem to attract silly trolls -- "how dare you insult Finger 11!!!) and more bar reviews -- of course that's just my take. Erik, you deserve credit for not going ape sh!+ over all this negativity. I hope you'll take the constructive comments to heart and again, I wish you the best. Baltimore is a fun city to explore and I'm sure folks will enjoy hearing about your research.

Dear author, you are entitled to your own opinion. My friend Daniel has a track record of successful beer destinations under his belt. The Moan and Dove, The Dirty Truth, Lord Hobo. I think he has an appreciation for qualified staff and puts time and energy into teaching them and igniting a passion seldom seen in your average "bar". I wish him continued success and expect it.


@ Tif

That's absolultely my take on this as well. It seems reasonably clear that the original article was intentionally lame and provocative, the better to generate widespread irritation and blog responses.

Worked like a charm too, didn't it?

While I think that a bit irresponsible in newspaper reporter, you have to admit, it certainly has had the desired effect.

So it appears in the future we should simply take Erik's reviews with a grain of salt, or just get used to feeling outraged by what he writes. Not sure which way to lean on that one...

Is someone impersonating Owl Meat Gravy? I mean, he's advocating being nice! Really, Owlie?

Someone please go check on Owl. He may be running a dangerously high fever. Or the absinthe got to him.

Shut yer pie holes, you cynical harpies. I'm busy playing with a basket of kittens and listening to Joni Mitchell after adapting "Radar Love" for the harpsichord.

Meerkat, I think he's snapped out of it.

Aaaaaaaaaaa........

So here's my Alefwife story:

Walked by there Saturday afternoon, Baltimore Marathon Day. Arguably the single biggest marketing day a new restaurant along the route could have. I drooled at the list of beers on tap. But...

Tables: Only two with customers, 5 people each
Bar: About 10 people
Total: About 20 - Not too slow, not too busy.

Waited by the hostess stand for a table for five minutes. Crickets.

Seated ourselves by the window. Waited some more. Crickets.

Fed up, approached the bar. Waited. And waited. Crickets.

When bartender finally wandered over, asked for water and menus. Got neither. Was told water was on the way. Crickets.

Waited some more for a waiter. Finally got beer menu (after already deciding based on the chalkboard). Crickets.

Back to the bartender. Crickets.

Asked a barback for menus.

Back to the table. Crickets.

Watched three guys bring out burgers to one of the tables. First time we'd seen anyone remotely interested in table service. But not ours.

After 20 minutes elapsed time: Crickets. We left.

If it was my place and so many people were alerted to our non-service, I might have noticed the unhappy people leaving and apologized or tried to get them to stay. Instead...

Crickets.


So here's my Alewife story:

Walked by there Saturday afternoon, Baltimore Marathon Day. Arguably the single biggest marketing day a new restaurant along the route could have. I drooled at the list of beers on tap. But...

Tables: Only two with customers, 5 people each
Bar: About 10 people
Total: About 20 - Not too slow, not too busy.

Waited by the hostess stand for a table for five minutes. Crickets.

Seated ourselves by the window. Waited some more. Crickets.

Fed up, approached the bar. Waited. And waited. Crickets.

When bartender finally wandered over, asked for water and menus. Got neither. Was told water was on the way. Crickets.

Waited some more for a waiter. Finally got beer menu (after already deciding based on the chalkboard). Crickets.

Back to the bartender. Crickets.

Asked a barback for menus.

Back to the table. Crickets.

Watched three guys bring out burgers to one of the tables. First time we'd seen anyone remotely interested in table service. But not ours.

After 20 minutes elapsed time: Crickets. We left.

If it was my place and so many people were alerted to our non-service, I might have noticed the unhappy people leaving and apologized or tried to get them to stay. Instead...

Crickets.


So here's my Alewife story:

Zoomed by there Saturday afternoon. Ordered a Dogfish 18%, sat by the window and watched the marathon for at least an hour. Was aproached by Brian (sp?) the owner who placed a laptop on my table with a website open telling me about the beer I was drinking. I had a few more, gave him the ins and ous of you Bmore haters, talked about Maza, Sam and this blog and had a great time. I totally support this place,it's not some conglomerate or Cordish typed company as I though it's a real dude with a real bar and some relly good beer.

Makes me wonder how the poster above was in the same exact place as I was in the same exact seat at the sme exact time.

Tif,
My experiences there mirror yours, with the staff being very attentive and helpful. Don't know what happened to Crickets, but I hope he (she) will give it another chance. The beer and food both warrant our support.

I don't know anything about the groups that ran the previous incarnations of bars at this location, but this one really seems to know what it's doing. They obviously have some very good connections in the beer industry (as evidenced by the Stone Brewing and Dogfish events), and I hope they make it. It's a really good bar.

The word must have gotten out, because I went on Thursday and the place was absolutely packed. There was an hour long wait for a table. By the way, this place has the best burgers I think I've ever tasted. Sadly, there were so many people there on Thursday, they ran out of burgers, but I'll definitely be back for more.

Had a very nice oxtail dish there along with a pleasant salad and some Stone beers on 10.9.

Business partners gave thumbs up to cubano and shrimp-n-grist and our exec chef went down the next day to have a burger which he loved.

Bartenders were attentive and savvy, even though it was pretty busy. I am happy to have this addition to Baltimore's beer and culinary scene!

I went there on Friday during happy hour and counted about 80+ people there.

I had a tuna appetizer that was pretty fantastic, a decent cream of crab soup and a spectacular smokedy gouda? burger, they were out of their regular burger but this one was pretty damn good.

They overstaff, which is a good thing, the bartenders don't wear uniforms but there were plenty of people behind the bar working.

The only thing that I wanted was a lighter beer, but that is just because I am getting old and fat and I can't handle the better tasting beer like I used to.

Overall a good time, I saw the owner working and in a good mood. Parking was very easy to come by, not like some other places in Baltimore;) I wish them the best of luck.

Definitely some top serious Mob Mentality on this blog. MAN ya'll some dorks. Get a life!

Who's Chris Sligh?

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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 erik.maza@baltsun.com. 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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