Electrifying attractions

October 11, 2001|By TRICIA BISHOP

Getting there: Power Plant Live! is located at the intersection of Market Place and Water Street in downtown Baltimore. Valet parking ($6 if validated by a Power Plant Live! tenant; $12 if not) is available in front of the plaza entrance.

From Interstate 395, turn right onto Pratt Street and left onto Market Place. From I-83, turn right onto Lombard Street and right onto Market Place. From I-70, take U.S. 40 east, turn right onto St. Paul Place, left onto Baltimore Street, right onto Frederick Street and left onto Water Street.

For more information, call 410-659-9755; on the Web, go to www.powerplantlive.com (currently under construction).

What's what

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (410-783-0033) - High-end restaurant specializing in USDA prime steaks, lobster, fresh seafood and good wine.

The scene: Diners are mostly well-off-looking couples in their 30s and up. The atmosphere is elegantly comfortable, but you can get away with fairly casual clothes (Dockers).

Havana Club (enter at Ruth's Chris; 410-468-0022) - Latin nightclub and cigar bar with free salsa and merengue lessons Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The scene: Caters to an upscale, professional crowd. There's a dress code, so leave the jeans at home, no matter how designer they are.

Babalu Grill (410-234-9898) - Cuban restaurant featuring a long drink menu, authentic fare (paella and ropa vieja) and a nightclub alter ego after 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The scene: New York chic. Dinner draws ages 30 and up; folks in the dance/bar crowd are in their late 20s to late 30s and looking to mingle.

Mondo Bondo Italian Bistro (410-244-8080) - Inexpensive gourmet Italian pizzas, sandwiches and pastas.

The scene: It's more casual, quiet and well-lighted than most other places at Power Plant Live!, probably because there's no separate bar. At dinner, you'll find all ages, but late-night expect to find young partyers feeding their munchies.

Bill Bateman's Bistro (410-230-0026) - Quality comfort food in a casual atmosphere.

The scene: Bill Bateman's is a family kind of restaurant, but the bar has a distinct sports-lover slant. Ages range from 20s to late 40s.

Howl at the Moon (410-783-5111) - Dueling-piano bar where ad-libbing musicians accept bribes to play (or stop playing) your favorite songs.

The scene: Madhouse. Lots of audience participation gets the patrons (20s to 50s) pretty animated. Bring your best friends here after they've been dumped; there's no way to pine in this environment.

Maryland Art Place (410-962-8565) - Not-for-profit arts center, formerly housed on Saratoga Street. Displays change every six weeks.

The scene: The crowd changes with the show. Right now, nudes are the focus, so make of that what you will. But if you bring your sweetie here before dinner on the weekends, when it's open late, you'll probably earn cultural brownie points.

Bar Baltimore (410-385-2992) - Gutted-warehouse decor. DJ music.

The scene: High-energy bar with a capital B. If you're much over 30, this place probably is not for you.

Have a Nice Day CafM-i (410-385-8669) - Retro dance club with a strong focus on the '70s, though the '80s and '90s aren't ignored.

The scene: Strictly a young-and-funky (or trying to be funky) bunch. If you can't hold a conversation surrounded by black lights and disco tunes, skip this one.

McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon (410-779-7101) - Classic Irish pub serving crab cakes, shepherd's pie and ribs.

The scene: The 20s predominate as the night wears on, but those in their 30s and even their 40s will probably find McFadden's a comfortable place to hang out with their buds.

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