Tag Archives: Opening

Second Annual Pigment Opening @ Gallery 788 Tonight

We’re going back to Pigtown tonight. It’s been more than a year since we’ve gone to Pigtown for anything, and the last time we did it was for the first Pigment opening. It’s funny; we said then that Pigtown should hold more cool events to lure people from the rest of the city into the neighborhood once in a while, and here we are a year later having not been back once.

Last year’s Pigment opening was duly impressive. Gallery 788 had the walls overflowing with great work, and the floor overflowing (literally, people were spilling out onto the sidewalk) with some of Baltimore’s most creative and stylish people. Cans of Boh were flowing and records were spinning, and we even managed to score a framed drawing for a ridiculously cheap price which still holds a prominent place on our bookshelves.

We say show up early, because pieces are going to sell tonight. With a 6pm start time you’ve got four full hours to enjoy the art and the company, and figure out which of the eventual afterparties you’d like to get in on. There’s bound to be no shortage of celebrations, as today also happens to be Cinco de Mayo. Or you can do like us and eschew drinking holidays completely, and drink bourbon at home instead of tequila downtown.

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Gallery 788 is at 788 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown.

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Filed under Art Openings, Baltimore Events

House Rules: The Soft Opening

For some people a new year can also mean a new business venture. Whether you’re a national bank or restaurant chain buying up properties in a new market or a little guy opening a humble shop on a main street corner, your first instinct might be to hire a PR firm and an ad agency, build a lot of buzz, excitement and goodwill, and pull out every gimmick in the book from free iPads to air dancers and spotlights to midnight madness doorbusters. We say save it.

The Chop fully endorses and approves of the soft opening.

Baltimore is a city of small businesses and corner places in which you are your reputation, and reputations are still made by word of mouth. People in this town tend to be pretty savvy about what works and what doesn’t, even to the point of passing judgment on certain shops, cafes and bars without ever having been inside.

Word of mouth can make a bar legendary. Worked for this place.

This might seem counter-intuitive, but this is also a town of very few surprises. We’ve been just about every place that’s worth going, and the truth is that we’ve seldom been surprised. If someone says a spot has the absolute best bloody marys, they probably do. If the word on the street is that the service is terrible, you can believe that it is. And if a place gets a reputation as a neighborhood’s best kept secret, you’d be much encouraged to get yourself in there as often as possible.

Granted, in this day and age word of mouth is also word of email. It’s word of tweet and word of status update, as the folks at Cafe Hon are finding out. The bottom line remains the same though, if you’ve got the goods you’ve got a good reputation. You can hire all the PR people and social media strategists you want, but none of them can do for your business what a few good words, honestly spoken from a trusted source will do.

So we say skip the big grand opening, no matter what you’re opening. Don’t bother with the 60% off sales and the double-happy happy hours. Forget about the groupons and ad campaigns and luring critics in the door and all of that nonsense.

Just hang out your shingle, open your doors, and offer your offerings as best you can. Baltimore will do the rest for you.

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Tragedy: a Tragedy @ Single Carrot Theater Tonight

When the young thespians behind Single Carrot Theater decided to find themselves a home they searched far and wide before settling on Charm City. It goes without saying that we think they’ve chosen wisely, and their arrival here has illustrated something that we often say about Baltimore: it’s probably a crummy place to visit but it’s a wonderful place to live. That’s true not only for people, but for theater productions as well. While many touring productions that come through are artistically questionable and barely profitable (looking at you, Hippodrome), local productions are consistently interesting and unique.

Tragedy opens at Single Carrot tonight. Film at 11.

That’s as true at SCT as anywhere. Baltimore is certainly a city of niches, and the Carrot has found theirs and settled into it quite well. They’ve quickly become a cornerstone of the Station North neighborhood and have been winning awards and new fans at such a consistent rate that it’s almost hard to imagine when there wasn’t a Single Carrot. That’s how naturally they fit into Baltimore’s cultural landscape.

Tonight’s sold-out show marks the official opening of Will Eno’s Tragedy: a Tragedy (with sneak previews having been staged this week). The New York Times famously called Eno a “Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.” While the Chop doesn’t pretend to know too much about theater, we do pretend to know about news. Or fake news. Or news that is dumb enough to be fake. We watch plenty of it anyway; like watching Tony Hayward on the Hill as we type this avoiding questions about an actual tragedy, and let us tell you, it is certainly tragically absurd. So we’re excited to see art imitate life on stage tonight… and more than a little scared that life will out-ridicule the ridiculous.

We’d love a chance to get to the theater more often, and to cover it in this space. It seems to us though that it’s generally not the sort of event to which you drag all your old punk-rock buddies, and it would be awkward to go alone. To us the stage is best appreciated with a date. Not just any date will make a great theater date though. She’s got to like theater of course, as well as being all-around wonderful and someone we’d want to see a lot more of. Lucky for us, we found a great theater date for tonight.

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Single Carrot Theater is located at 120 W. North Ave in Station North. 443-884-9253. Tragedy opens tonight and runs until July 11.

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Filed under Baltimore Events, Theater