Dubai, Velvet Rope, Palma, Redwood Trust: a brief, 100-year history of 200 E. Redwood
The Velvet Rope re-opened in late January under a new name, Dubai. It's the latest name for 200 E. Redwood, a building that has had many tenants in over 100 years and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Here's a brief history:
1885: opens as Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. branch, featuring the highly ornamental design of Baltimore firm Wyatt and Sperry.
1904: survives the Great Fire
1960: undergoes renovation that damages original plasterwork.
1993: Mercantile branch closes, leaving building vacant for seven years.
2000: Baltimore developer Nicholas Piscatelli sinks $2.5 million on a renovation, one of the most significant in the city's history. Opens Redwood Trust, a megaclub. Cover was $10. VIP Access? Anywhere from $250-500.
2003: five times a week during the day, Redwood functions as tapas restaurant, Red Tapas.
2004: Piscatelli closes Redwood - boo hoo - tries to sell building and its license for $3 million.
July 2008: Jon Han bites, opens Palma, the sister club to D.C. megaclub Ibiza. Han also installs the first Dubai, a sister lounge across the street at 10 South Calvert, where Club X Ultra Lounge had been.
December 2008: Lux takes over 10 S. Calvert. It's still there.
May 2009: the Velvet Rope replaces Palma, run by, among others, hip-hop promoter Tracye Stafford.
February 2010: promoter oversells Yo Gotti concert, hundreds of ticket-holders storm the venue, attracting some 50 cops and a helicopter to the scene. Police ask liquor board to revoke club's license.
March 2010: club pleads guilty to security breaches and pays $3.500 fine to Baltimore Liquor Board. Meanwhile, police said two men who had been involved in a fight inside the club were shot and wounded at the Inner Harbor. Video footage later showed bouncers had ejected the men from the club.
April 2010: club keeps liquor license, despite appeal by three neighboring hotels that license be revoked, in deal with police and liquor board to beef up security.
December 2010: owners close Velvet Rope to re-tool.
Photo: outside the new Dubai (Colby Ware/Special to the Sun); a party at Redwood Trust in 2003 (John Makely/Baltimore Sun); Jon Han at his club Palma in 2008 (Julie Ferguson/Baltimore Sun)