Bohager's new bar to have concert hall

Fells Point bar plans $3 million renovation at spot 2 blocks away

April 30, 1999|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

The owners of Bohager's Bar & Grill said yesterday that they will relocate the popular Fells Point megabar to another establishment two blocks away where it plans a $3 million renovation that includes a concert hall for national music acts.

Bohager's, at 515 S. Eden St., will close May 30 and reopen June 2 at 701 S. Eden St., which was formerly occupied by Parrot Island, an open-air bar and restaurant that opened in 1995, said Damian Bohager.

He would not disclose the purchase price of the Parrot Island property.

In September, Bohager plans to begin the 10-week construction of a 8,710-square-foot enclosed facility that would hold 1,000 people and have an auditorium for concerts. The new facility will allow Bohager's to double its work force to about 100 employees, he said.

The new concert hall would be a boon to tourism, Bohager told the Baltimore City liquor board yesterday. The board approved the transfer of the liquor license from Parrot Island to Bohager's.

"Right now, we don't have enough room to continue to have national acts," Bohager told the board. "The acts are opting to skip Baltimore to go to Philadelphia and other places. We need a building of this size.

"One thousand people is kind of a magic number in the concert business."

Wade Price, a member of the Fells Point Task Force, a group of community leaders, told the liquor board that the group does not oppose the transfer of the liquor license.

"We're excited that the number of megabars in Fells Point will be reduced from two to one," said Price, who lives one block from the current Bohager's.

After the meeting, Price said he does not have many concerns about the concert hall. "It sounds no different from what [Damian Bohager] is doing at Bohager's now.

"As long as the building is constructed properly with sound-proofing, and there is some means for crowd control, I don't find the proposal unusual."

Bohager said he is also planning to construct a half-dozen open-air food stands -- dubbed the "Garden of Eden" -- along the perimeter of the property. There will be 146 parking spaces on site.

The Bohager family is in discussions with prospective buyers for their current building, which opened as a bar in 1992. The U.S. Postal Service is the lead prospect.

Bohager's has not been without controversy.

In December, Bohager was threatened with involuntary bankruptcy by two of his brothers, Bernard C. Bohager Jr. and Robert S. Bohager, who serve as trustees of the building containing the bar.

The trustees filed a petition seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would require the bar to be liquidated. The two brothers claimed that they were owed more than $100,000 in unpaid rent and other charges.

Damian Bohager said the petition amounted to a hostile takeover bid for control of the bar.

He and another brother, Darryl Bohager, filed suit in November to have their two brothers removed as trustees. Prior to that, Damian Bohager and his partners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect themselves from creditors.

The partnership emerged from bankruptcy in July 1997, he said.

He said the two petitions last year were settled out of court.

Sun staff writer Amy Oakes contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 4/30/99

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