Tag Archives: Club Charles

Hipster Parking Lot: Parking Info for Station North and Downtown Clubs

It’s kind of ironic that we’re writing a post about parking now that we’ve resolved to give up our car, but there are two changes in parking at places we go regularly that are worth noting for the rest of you who still have cars.

The first change we noticed was in Station North, at the lot on the corner of 20th and Howard Street. This lot is kind of a minor urban miracle in that it functions as a free community lot where people can park day or night without fear of being towed. A lot of people are quick to denigrate the presence of parking lots, but when they’re free and open to all they’re very much a valuable community resource.

Now, we’ve been parking in this lot for years, and we’ve always kind of wondered who owns it and why they allow free parking, but we never thought it wise to look the free-parking gift horse in the mouth since we’ve never been ticketed, towed, or broken into there.

In this diagram, south is up.

The only difference now is that when we went to Joe Squared last week there was a large poster board with the above graphic lashed to the fence next to the patio. We can only take this to mean that parking in this lot is pretty legit for patrons of all Station North businesses. Who says there’s no such thing as free parking? Now all we gotta do is pass Go and get our $200.

The other parking change is much more substantial and will be of interest to anyone attending shows at Sonar or other clubs near the foot of the JFX.

We’ve always just parked on the street when going to Sonar, Sidebar, etc, since there’s generally not any shortage of street parking near City Hall at night. Going to the Shellac show though, the weather was rainy and since our driver’s side window has been reduced to a pile of Baltimore Diamonds we were looking for sheltered parking.

As it turned out, we were in luck. We’d noticed on Sonar’s website that this show’s listing said parking would be available in the garage above the club for $2. We had always know that there was a garage on top, but had no idea that it was available for show-goers. Not only that, but when we pulled in, there was no one there to take our money. The parking was free.

When we asked the club staff about it at the door, they advised us that nighttime parking in the Farmers’ Market lot under the JFX now costs seven dollars ($7!). They also said that from now on, Sonar patrons can park above the club either for free, or for some rate which will be less than $7.00 depending on the show.

If you zoom in on the embedded map, Sonar itself looks like a parking lot. There are 2 levels of parking on the building, a covered garage, and the exposed rooftop. you can access both levels from Gay Street, passing the church and making a hard left right behind the billboards.

Have any downtown parking tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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House Rules: Football Free Zones- Bars With No TV’s

There’s no denying it. Football is basically the new religion in America. The game once took a backseat to baseball, but ever since the 1994 MLB strike, the NFL has made huge gains in popularity and revenue every year, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon (unless they can’t resolve their own labor issues by next year).

We’ve had a hard time figuring out what to do with ourselves on Sundays lately, inasmuch as the entire city turns purple and shuts down. Non-football fans are pretty much free to walk around naked and rob banks on Sunday afternoons, since nobody’s paying attention anyway. By the same token, if you want to go to where people are, it can be nearly impossible to escape football.

Football and church have a lot in common. They both bore the Chop to death.

Even our humble Chophouse has its living room commandeered by Roommate and his girlfriend every Sunday, so the entire first floor is basically given over to football, takeout, and couch-sprawling. Since we can’t keep our house as a football free zone, and because staying upstairs with nothing else on TV only goes so far, by 7 or 8 we’re usually ready to break the dull monotony with a drink or two between a different set of walls.

Most bars use screen size and premium football channels as selling points to draw the crowds in, but for us, just the opposite will get us in the door. Here are a few of our favorite local spots which don’t have any televisions in the bar whatsoever. These are the kind of places where you have little choice but to talk to the person next to you at the bar. Or, you know, check the scores on your smartphone.

13.5% Wine Bar 1117 W. 36th St, Hampden. Sunday hours 1pm- ‘late’.

Bertha’s 734 S. Broadway, Fell’s Point. Sunday hours 11:30 am- 2am.

Club Charles 1724 N. Charles St., Station North. Sunday hours 6pm- 2 am.

Daugherty’s 223 W. Chase St, Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 12pm- 2 am.

Dionysus 8 E Preston St., Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 5pm-2am.

Hamilton Tavern 5517 Harford Rd, Hamilton. Sunday hours 4:30 pm- 2 am.

Holy Frijoles 908 W 36th St., Hampden. Sunday hours 12 pm- 10 pm.

McCabes 3845 Falls Rd., Hampden. Sunday Hours 11:30 am- 1:30 am.

Metropolitan 902 S. Charles St., Federal Hill. Sunday hours 8 am – 11 pm.

Red Maple 930 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 6 pm- 2 am.

These hours are only guidelines, but should be mostly accurate. If you’re looking for the Chop on a Sunday evening, odds are good you’ll find us in one of these spots. What about you, Baltimore? How do you beat the Sunday doldrums and fill the void, if not with football?

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Of course, voting for the Chop in the Baltimore Sun’s Mobbies contest is another great way to kill time on Sundays. We’re nominated in the Music/Nightlife, Misfits, and Personal categories, and we’re going to need your vote now to push us up into first in one of those categories.

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