Old watering hole called an eyesore

WHEN THE TAP RUNS DRY

November 06, 1992|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

Once a landmark for motorists commuting to weekend cottages along the Severn and Magothy rivers, the Brick House Bar is a burned-out hulk.

Fires over the past few years have gutted the Mountain Road fixture. Yesterday, wind and rain whistled through its collapsed roof and open doors.

"It really should be torn down, it's such an ungodly sight," said former state Sen. Al Lipin, whose father built a gas station and general store there in 1917.

Pasadena neighborhood and business leaders agree.

"That's our welcoming mat to the community," said Tom Redmond, president of the Pasadena Business Association.

"It's a hazard, really, because there is a brick chimney standing straight up in the air. If it fell, it would land right in the middle of Mountain Road."

The old bar sits in the 200 block of Mountain Road, at Long Hill Road.

"The public would like to see it gone, as it would any horrible mess," said Jack Feehley, president of the Greater Pasadena Council, which represents nearly 30 neighborhoods. "If it weren't so well built, it wouldn't be standing right now."

The council has been lobbying county officials, who acknowledge the safety hazard, to raze the building.

County officials say they are doing what they can. The county ordered Robert H. Glensky, a Nabbs Creek Road resident, to demolish the building after the Department of Permits and Inspections condemned it this summer, said Ruthanne Gary, county community services director.

Because Mr. Glensky paid $16,000 for the property at a 1990 tax sale, "he is responsible for the demolition," Mrs. Gary said, adding the situation has been complicated by additional state and federal liens against the property. She declined to comment further.

Mr. Glensky, who had been preparing to foreclose on the property, said yesterday that he is washing his hands of it. "I have been given an ultimatum, either drop the foreclosure, leave it to the five [corporate] owners and forgo my $16,000 or take title and get billed for $500,000 [for the state and federal liens] plus demolition costs," he said. "Guess which one I'll take."

Mr. Glensky said he will not pursue title to the property, even though he will lose his investment. That means the county will have to pursue the corporate owners.

Mr. Lipin, a Glen Burnie resident, said his father operated a gas station, restaurant and general store there -- giving the area the name Lipins Corner -- until selling it in 1944. The bricks were added later. In its final incarnation, before closing in the mid-1980s, the bar was a popular nightclub and concert venue.

He recalled bumper-to-bumper traffic that passed by the store on Long Hill Road -- then a segment of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard -- every weekend as motorists commuted to and from their weekend cottages on the water.

Reporters and politicians stopped at the store for ice cream and sandwiches as they traveled between Baltimore and the State House in Annapolis.

"I'd be sorry to see it torn down, but I think it would be the best thing that could happen to it," Mr. Lipin said.

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