A genealogist could be kept busy charting the lineages and name changes of some Baltimore nightclubs. The Towson nightclub that once upon a time was Kaos has returned to that name after several years as Buddy's and then a fast few weeks as a membership-oriented club named facade.
There's still some evidence of Facade's brief life, but apparently its membership fees, dress code and cover didn't succeed in a town where people often balk at having to dress up, much less pay at the door.
Although Kaos is located off busy Joppa Road in East Towson, it's actually tucked away on inconspicuous little Orchard Tree Lane. The well-known Orchard Inn is the best guide to where you should turn onto the kinda-sorta lane and head north until you see Kaos across the asphalt parking lot serving a motley assortment of stores and restaurants housed in warehouse-like buildings.
The nocturnal lure in this nightclub has always been the high-ceilinged room in which banks of pulsating disco lights and video screens make the dance floor beckon. Although a two-level lounge off to the side offers a resting place, this has never been the spot for intimate moments.
Having seen this club on another occasion jam-packed and loud, I was a tad disconcerted to stop by on a recent weeknight and find such a low population count. My hunch is that all the changes in identity and policy may have kept some of the regulars away. However, dollar-drink nights on Sunday and Wednesday should prove alluring for old-timers and newcomers alike.
What really seems likely to pull in a crowd is the no cover dance music on Friday and Saturday nights. This club has been a longtime staple for Top 40 bands, with Moment of Silence playing tonight and Saturday, and TKA playing Sunday.
A summertime tradition here is the ladies' bikini contest tailor-made for an appreciative audience of guys every Thursday night. In what might be looked on as an equal exposure opportunity, the ladies are invited to come see a performance by the male Heartbreakers Dance Review on June 4.
Where: 8850 Orchard Tree Lane, Towson.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Menu: burgers, sandwiches and salads served until 4 p.m.
Credit cards: AE, MC, V.