The town is alive with celebrities

HOT STUFF

September 16, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Haul out those shades. The starlight is blinding in B-more these days. First, Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair were in town a couple of days ago for the premiere of John Waters' latest flick, A Dirty Shame.

Now, invites are out for the Sept. 27 Charm City premiere of Ladder 49 with stars John Travolta, Joaquin Phoenix, Jacinda Barrett and director Jay Russell heading the lineup. The Senator Theatre screening will be a benefit for the Baltimore City Fire Foundation. Which seems only right. Not only is the movie about a group of Baltimore firefighters, but it was also shot here. Then there's all the training local firefighters provided to the cast and crew.

Expect more info today, when the city makes a formal announcement of the benefit.

But, don't take those sunglasses off yet! It seems a bearded George Clooney has been spotted around town, shooting a few scenes for the spy flick Syriana. Last week, a state office building downtown and the Avenue at White Marsh. Next week, who knows?

And don't be surprised if, in the days ahead, you see someone who bears a striking resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson out and about our fair city. We hear a few scenes for the action sequel XXX: State of the Union are also gonna be shot here. Soon.

New on Thames Street

Expect Thames Street to be jumpin' tomorrow night. Sure, it's Fells Point on a Friday. But the newest resident on that waterfront boulevard - Slainte - is celebrating its grand opening. Slainte (pronounced "salancha") is the Gaelic word for "cheers to your health." Two floors of Irish pub and restaurant, it's owned by Katie Russell. Her hubby, Patrick, owns Kooper's Tavern right next door.

Patrick says Katie wanted her place to be authentic, so she went to Ireland to check out the real things. She used real Irish fabrics and furniture in her pub. The first floor has warm yellows, greens and maroons. Benches and booths are shaped into intimate groupings - an Irish pub essential. The second floor is decorated in rich blues and reds, and both floors have oak bars.

The menu mixes Irish favorites with American pub standards. You'll find Irish stew ($5.50 a cup and $9 a bowl) alongside steamed shellfish ($8-$15). Shepherd's pie ($11), bangers and mash ($9) are offered, as is a strip steak ($18) and burgers ($6.25-$7.50). Patrick boasts that Slainte's lean corned beef sandwich ($9) beats your typical Reuben because it's made with homemade cabbage slaw and homemade rose marie sauce (think Thousand Island dressing, but not so chunky). He also claims Katie's place has the "best pint of Guinness in town" due to an expensive draft system to makes the perfect head on the ale - "thick and very creamy, with no bitter aftertaste." For Irish sports fans, nine flat-screen plasma TVs will air all the Gaelic sporting events.

Climb up to the building's third floor, and you'll find yourself in the land of pina coladas and steel drums at Woody's Love Shack and Rum Bar. In fact, steel drums form the base of many of Woody's tables. Murals in vibrant colors and a deck that overlooks Thames Street continue the island feel. And the menu completes it. Jerk chicken strips ($8), coconut shrimp ($8.50) and ahi tuna sandwiches ($11) share the menu with nachos ($8), wrap sandwiches ($7-$8.50) and more burgers ($6.50-$8).

You'll find Slainte and Woody's, 410-563-6600, at 1700 Thames St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. The kitchen will serve food until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Oh. In case, you're wondering who Woody is, he's Patrick and Katie's black Labrador. Seems he needed a little attention. After all, Kooper's Tavern is named after their yellow Lab.

To submit tips, ideas and possible items for Hot Stuff, e-mail sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax to 410-675-3451.

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