sophisticated fun

They may have stopped carding you at the door, but that's just your signal to find a more mature place for a night out

July 11, 2004|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

You know who you are.

You like music and you like to go out, but you don't want to be the only one there who doesn't have a body piercing. And you don't have to get falling-down drunk to have fun.

There's a word to describe people like you. That word would be adult.

Being an adult is as much a state of mind as an age (although let's not kid ourselves: age factors in here). It isn't always easy to find a place where you belong.

Hey, no problem. You aren't condemned to watching reruns of Sex and the City. We're coming to the rescue with our Going-Out Guide for Grown-ups.

SILVER SHADOWS

5550 Sterrett Place, Columbia, 410-730-0111

People come to this popular nightclub from both the Baltimore and Washington areas for the jazz, reggae, hip-hop, R & B and Latin music. But mostly they come to dance. So go on. Get your groove on. Take note: Silver Shadows has a strictly enforced dress code.

What's adult about it: It markets itself for professionals.

RAMS HEAD TAVERN

33 West St., Annapolis, 410-268-4545

Big names in all musical genres appear here -- people like Merle Haggard, if you're a country fan, but also blues, jazz, gospel and rock acts. The tavern has been so successful, in fact, that it's expanded to several other locations showcasing regional musicians. The newest is the Rams Head Roadhouse, also in Annapolis. Look for a Baltimore branch big enough for national acts to open in Power Plant Live this fall.

What's adult about it: The music and the scene. The operative word is mellow.

EDGAR'S INC.

1 E. Pratt St., Inner Harbor, 410-752-8080

This is not your corner pool hall, but a billiards club. OK, the pub food isn't really upscale, but the fin-de-siecle gentleman's-club decor includes mahogany paneling, mirrors, Oriental rugs and 16 leather-pocketed tables. Edgar's is located on the Inner Harbor Skywalk, with outdoor seating and live music some nights on the patio.

What's adult about it: After 6 p.m., tables are $12.50 an hour, which keeps the young and the indigent away.

Dance Fever

CANCUN CANTINA

7501 Old Telegraph Road, Hanover, 410-761-6188

Come on, admit it. You've always wanted to learn country line dancing. Those folks are having fun. So head for the Cancun Cantina on Tuesdays and Thursdays for line dancing lessons from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and stay to dance afterward. The group is slightly older and a bit quieter than the eclectic crowds that come to hear country and rock bands the other nights of the week.

What's adult about it: Their oldest regular is 83. OK, maybe that's a little too adult for you.

HAVANA CLUB

600 Water St., downtown, 410-783-0033

This intimate, Cuban-inspired nightclub appeals mostly to those 30 and over. The well-dressed crowd goes for the sophisticated, clubby atmosphere (leather sofas, anyone?), state-of-the-art sound system, dance floor (salsa is the dance of choice), pool table and extensive wine and cigar lists.

What's adult about it: One word -- cigars.

LATIN PALACE

509 S. Broadway, Fells Point, 410-522-6700

Friday and Saturday are the best nights for grown-ups here. That's when the club features classic salsa bands and Latin music. Not to worry if you can't salsa. The Palace offers lessons at all levels. As soon as people walk in, they start dancing, and when they get tired, they can eat at Las Palmas restaurant on the mezzanine, which offers Caribbean and Cuban cuisine.

What's adult about it: Not every night is Caribbean College Nite or Sexy Singles Nite featuring 92Q Jams, just Thursdays and Sundays.

The Sound of Music

JAZZ AT THE POWERHOUSE

Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West St., Annapolis, 410-263-7777, Ext. 3411

When the King of France Tavern closed, Joe Byrd, brother of the late jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd, and Joe's wife, Elana, opened this venue, where for a $20 cover you can hear good jazz and get food and drink in a club atmosphere. Like the music, the hours are fluid; there are usually performances a couple of weekends a month. Call for more information and reservations.

What's adult about it: Besides good jazz, the Powerhouse also has tea dances and big-band dinner dances.

NEW HAVEN LOUNGE

1552 Havenwood Road, Northwood, 410-366-7416

The Haven is a nationally recognized club that attracts big-name jazz musicians, in spite of being stuck in a strip mall. It's intimate -- read small -- with dark wood, high ceilings, booths, sofas, posters of jazz greats and a feel-good atmosphere. For 35 years, it's been providing an ethnically diverse audience with some of the best music in Baltimore. People love this place.

What's adult about it: The dress code, which bans jeans, sneakers and athletic wear, is strictly enforced.

SIMON'S OF BUTCHERS HILL

2031 E. Fairmount Ave., Butchers Hill, 410-534-7100

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