Christian nightclub to open at Havilah-Hayes Dinner Theater

March 10, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer

Taneytown may have lost a popular entertainment spot when the Havilah Inn closed, but the city is gaining a nightclub that one Frederick County man hopes can fill the void for those in search of a good night out.

Treasure's, a 3-year-old Christian nightclub, is relocating from Frederick to the former Havilah-Hayes Dinner Theater building in Big Pipe Creek Park, southeast of Taneytown.

The club, which will be open next month, will operate Fridays from 8 p.m. until midnight.

"It's a 1990s version of a 1960s coffeehouse," said Edward S. Kurz, who manages the club and is director of Treasure's Civic Club Inc., the Mount Airy-based, nonprofit religious corporation that operates it.

Mr. Kurz said he was operating the Frederick establishment as a restaurant and coffeehouse ministry, "but the restaurant wasn't making it. I'm a musician, not a restaurateur."

Through his church, the Taneytown Christian Fellowship, Mr. Kurz learned that the former dinner theater building, where the church held its services, was available to lease.

He then struck a deal with building owner David Fitzgerald, who owns Fitzgerald's Classic Catering, Mr. Kurz said.

"We're talking about doing a buffet from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and then do Treasure's from 8 p.m. until 12 a.m.," Mr. Kurz said. "Dave will do the buffet for people who are hopefully drawn there by Treasure's, and we'll have the nightclub afterward."

Treasure's brings to Taneytown the music, excitement and opportunities to meet new people that regular nightclubs offer -- with a few notable exclusions.

Alcohol is not served.

"We have dry drinks, like daiquiris, coladas and things like that," Mr. Kurz said. "We have no nonalcoholic beer, though. I don't know why, but it offends so many Christians."

Live music is a staple in the club, but the pumping, funky rhythmic sounds for dancing are Christian contemporary music.

"Basically, secular music is preaching things we no longer believe in," Mr. Kurz said to explain the ban on conventional nightclub tunes.

He said he will try to book well-known Christian contemporary artists to headline each week.

Mr. Kurz is also putting together a house band, in which he will perform, to open for the headlining acts.

"This is just like regular nightclub music," Mr. Kurz said. "The only difference is that all the lyrics are positive instead of negative."

Mr. Kurz said the club will feature line-dance instruction on Fridays when the club features Western swing music and baby-sitting for patrons.

Mr. Kurz says he hopes to include children in some activities by using the club for Christian youth rallies. He said he is working with the Frederick chapter of Youth For Christ, an international organization, to bring acts to the club that might appeal to the younger set.

Mr. Kurz, who described himself as a "child of the '60s" and former lead guitarist for a Baltimore-based band called Pizzazz, developed Treasure's as a way to combine a few of his favorite things -- the Lord, music and a good time.

"In the old days, I used drugs and drank. I mean, I partied hearty," said Mr. Kurz, whose father owned a bar. "I like the music, the people, the atmosphere.

"After I came to the Lord, I stopped drinking, but I realized that nondrinkers needed a place to party and hear live music, too," he said. "I also realized that if you need drugs and alcohol to have fun, there's something wrong."

Potential club-goers shouldn't feel that Treasure's will be a sterile experience for people interested only in sitting around and talking about God, Mr. Kurz said.

But Treasure's is not where a church service will be going on.

"We party. I mean, we really have fun," he said of the dancing, mingling and socializing at his club.

"We're definitely overtly Christian, but we're not out to convert you or make you feel uncomfortable," Mr. Kurz said. "We don't want to preach to you. If you want to hear a sermon, you can come to church."

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