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By Sam Sessa, The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2010
It seems strangely fitting that some of the Baltimore area's best bars are a few steps below the rest. Charm City doesn't have many basement bars, but the few that are scattered across the city and region are standouts. The boxing-themed Venice Tavern in Highlandtown has been in the same family for generations, Dionysus is a Mount Vernon haunt steeped in character and the Quarry House in Silver Spring has an excellent beer list and live music lineup. Here are three of the area's best basement bars.
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SPORTS
Mike Preston | March 25, 2014
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is in his bargain-basement mode these days. Over the weekend the Ravens added two new players, which got a lot of fans excited, but neither center Jeremy Zuttah, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, nor former St. Louis Rams safety Darian Stewart should make a dramatic difference to the Ravens this season. It appears that Newsome is filling in some gaps, like finding another backup running back or a rotational defensive lineman, but the major lifting is over until the NFL draft in May. Oh sure, Zuttah is better than Gino Gradkowski, who started at center last season for the Ravens.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2011
Invited over to help celebrate his son's first birthday, 25-year-old Hari P. Close III had been a no-show. But overnight Tuesday, Close crept into the home where his son lived and climbed into bed with the boy's mother, records show. On Wednesday morning, 1-year-old Dalyire Damion McFadden was missing, and he was later found by police wrapped in a deflated air mattress in the basement. He had been stabbed in the neck, police say. Close, who was an aspiring male model, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in his son's death and was being held without bond.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2014
Who exactly J.W. Hogg was to Baltimore's Washington Monument may be a question left for the ages. Master craftsman who helped build it? Or vandal who defaced it? Hogg's name, written in block letters with a pencil next to the date 1829, was among dozens of 19th-century signatures and drawings discovered this week by a restoration crew using hand tools to delicately remove loose plaster from the monument's subterranean vaults. "They could be craftsmen They could be carpenters.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2011
Filene's Basement warned state regulators Monday that it expected to close its Baltimore and Rockville stores in January, laying off 68 people. The discount clothing retailer and its parent, Syms Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection last week and asked for court approval to liquidate their assets. Filene's Basement told the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that layoffs would affect 31 employees at its Inner Harbor store and 37 employees in Rockville. Both locations are expected to shut down Jan. 9. jhopkins@baltsun.com twitter.com/RealEstateWonk
NEWS
By Yeganeh June Torbati and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | April 27, 2011
A body found smoldering in the basement of a vacant Southwest Baltimore home may have been intentionally set on fire, police and fire officials said. Firefighters were called at about 9:40 a.m. to a home in the first block of S. Monroe St. in the Booth-Boyd neighborhood on Wednesday, officials said. Upon arriving, firefighters found "no visible fire, just very very light smoke" and the individual was pronounced dead at the scene, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a fire department spokesman.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2013
Firefighters discovered the body of a woman in the basement of single family home in Northwest Baltimore that caught fire Friday, authorities said. The fire started around 2:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of Highgate Road in the city's Glen neighborhood, according to Chief Kevin Cartwright of the Baltimore City Fire Department. The woman appeared to have suffered burns, but a cause of death has not been determined. Homicide detectives have been called to the home to investigate, according to Baltimore police.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2012
Don't worry, it won't be the type where they do bad covers of Adon Olam. Eutaw Place, housed at the bottom of Beth Am Synagogue, is catering to singer-songwriters. It's scheduled to open in late April. The idea came together last summer, said producer and booker Ellen Kahan Zager, 56. She likes coffee-house types like Jammin Java in Virginia and adult contemporary getaways like Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis. But didn't find any in Baltimore. Though she didn't have any experience in the business - "My husband and I just love music," the graphic designer says - she approached the rabbi of her new temple, Beth Am, with a proposal: "Would you consider a music venue in the lower level of the synagogue?"
FEATURES
By Yolanda Garfield | June 2, 1991
Once upon a time, a starry-eyed young couple fell in love and got married. To save money, they rented a tiny apartment with barely room for two, except for the basement, which they intended to use as a bedroom. They placed their mattress on a plywood island near the furnace, water heater and racks of clothing, and resolved to clean up . . . or something . . . as soon as they returned from their honeymoon.Unbeknown to them, their friend and fairy godmother, designer Cheryl Duvall, could not bear to allow the newlyweds to return to the basement as it was. As a surprise wedding gift, she and six friends from Duvall/Hendricks, an architectural and design firm, pooled resources, and talents, and spent four weeknights and one Saturday waging a successful battle against the basement uglies.
BUSINESS
By Dean Uhler | March 31, 2002
Julie Somis of Baltimore has a historic, brick, end-of-group rowhouse next to Riverside Park in South Baltimore. The basement of the house is unfinished, with a thin concrete floor and a low ceiling. When she and her husband bought the house 11 years ago, their home inspector showed them deteriorated bricks and mortar at part of the foundation wall in the basement. The mortar is soft in places, the result of dampness in the wall leaching minerals from the mortar over the past century. Moisture has also broken down salmon bricks - bricks that are unusually soft because they were not well-fired when they were originally baked in the brick kiln.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | February 2, 2014
A fire burned a single-family Pasadena house Thursday night, according to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. No one was injured, department spokesman Keith Swindle said via Twitter. The fire, which started in the basement of the house in the 1100 block of Bradley Rd., was brought under control around 10 p.m. The cause was under investigation Sunday night, the fire department said. cmcampbell@baltsun.com twitter.com/cmcampbell6
FEATURES
By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2014
The first time Lindsay Fitch-Alexander-Alexander heard about professional organizing, she thought, "Wouldn't that be the best thing ever?" Several years and many piles of paper later, the Catonsville pediatrician and mother of two hired Mary Cate Claudias, owner of Charm City Organizers, to help her manage the paper flow. "I have young kids in school with papers coming in and had a desk and computer area drowning in a sea of paper," she says. Claudias initially helped her sift through her home office area, creating systems that would allow her and her family to stay organized over time.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2014
A fire caused $165,000 worth of damage to a Brooklyn Park house Thursday evening. Thirty-five members of the Anne Arundel County and Baltimore fire departments worked to put out the fire, which was reported around 5:30 p.m., in the basement of an unoccupied two-story single-family dwelling in the unit block of 7th Avenue, according to a news release. It took less than 30 minutes to get the fire under control. No injuries were reported. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the incident.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 1, 2013
Brie Daugherty doesn't object to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. replacing a gas line in her Arbutus neighborhood. It's the flooded basement - courtesy of a sewer line broken by a BGE contractor - that bothers her. "Obviously the infrastructure needs to be replaced, I'm not doubting that," she said. "And I have no problem helping to pay for it. I do have a problem helping to pay for that when my house is damaged and it's like pulling nails to get it fixed. " She's not the only aggravated utility customer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Adelle Waldman | November 22, 2013
I didn't intend to throw a "Risky Business"-style New Year's blowout at my parents' house to ring in the year 1996. It just happened. A lot of things just happen when you are 19 and a sophomore in college; at least that's how it felt to me. I was home in Baltimore from school in Rhode Island, and my parents, who liked to travel, were away. When you are not yet 21, the question of what to do on New Year's tends to loom large. All I did was mention casually to the right (wrong?
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word:  OUBLIETTE House arrest can be relatively pleasant, and these days even penitentiaries provide heat and light. But sometimes those imprisoned wind up in an oubliette , a kind of dungeon in which the only opening is at the top. It is often a pit concealed below a floor by a trapdoor.
FEATURES
By Rob Kasper | March 2, 1991
Real estate agents might tell you otherwise, but the most important room in the house is not the bedroom with a balcony, or the bathroom with the skylight, or even the kitchen with its high-tech island. It is the basement.The basement tells you the secrets of a house. Where the floors are sagging. Where the leaks are. Where a previous owner has jerry-rigged a wiring job. A glance at the paint cans hidden in a corner offers clues on what has recently been repainted.Long ago when I was house-hunting, I always made it a point to visit the prospective basement.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
Police arrested a man suspected of organizing a dogfighting ring after finding 15 pit bulls, four of them puppies, chained in the basement of his home in the Mosher neighborhood of West Baltimore on Tuesday. Investigators were met by sights of dogfighting equipment, "dogs chained to the walls" and "lots of blood splattered on carpets and walls" when they executed a search warrant in the 2800 block of W. Lafayette St., officials said at a Tuesday news conference. The pit bulls were taken to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.
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