Steeltown, the Dundalk entertainment complex that was shuttered after bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year, has reopened with new management, new features and a new approach to the Baltimore music market.
"It will be different from anything in Baltimore," said Sam L'Hommedieu, owner of the club located at 2401 North Point Blvd. in North Point Plaza. "We're doing Top-40 or dance music in the concert hall, which is the largest room we have here. And on Sunday nights, we're doing country dance."
On most evenings, he said, the entertainment would be by local bands or DJs, but there will also be concerts, beginning with an Aug. 2 performance by progressive country star Rodney Crowell. (Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Steeltown box office.) In addition to the main concert hall, Steeltown also features an arcade and a restaurant, the latter boasting a piano sing-along, and Sunday karaoke.
L'Hommedieu, a well-respected Washington-based concert promoter who helped start Cellar Door Productions and managed the Warner Theatre for a dozen years, was behind the revitalization of Painters Mill Theatre in Owings Mill. After that building was destroyed by arson last year, he began looking at other potential Baltimore venues, and formed a consortium to buy Steeltown in March.
Hammerjacks owner Lou Principio is also part of the Steeltown group, but L'Hommedieu stresses that Steeltown's entertainment will complement, rather than duplicate, the offerings at Hammerjacks. "We are not going to be doing the type of acts he does," L'Hommedieu said. "This is for an older crowd, with a target audience of 25-50. They're going to do their thing, and we're going to do our thing."
Crowell was the only confirmed concert as of yesterday, but L'Hommedieu said that he and his booking agents had several other shows on line. "We are working on a list of about seven or eight other acts, and we should have them shortly," he said. And although it is probably too early to tell how the new Steeltown will fare in the future, L'Hommedieu was impressed with the opening weekend's business.
"The people really supported us, they really came out," he said. "And we intend to continue in the same vein in the future."