Sunday, August 05, 2007


The Magnet: Baltimore's Coolest Bar?

Magnet Bar RIP, 19??- 2007

My filmmaking hero Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot) just notified me about the closing of a place he calls "Baltimore's coolest bar," The Magnet on the corner of North Charles and 20th Street, one block north of North Avenue (as pictured at left). I've lived in Baltimore all my life and passed by this place on an almost daily basis without giving it a second thought, even when I was literally a stone's throw away on the other side of the street at my favorite Korean barbeque restaurant, Nak Won. Yet it took a D.C.-suburbs native like Jeff Krulik to point out what was right under my nose.

I remember whenever Jeff was in town for a Maryland Film Festival screening, he always wanted me and my Atomic TV crony Scott "Unpainted" Huffines to meet him for drinks there because from the outside it looks the very definition of "local dive bar." I mean, look at this appealing facade that invites - or rather, given it's name, magnetically attracts - customers to walk through its doors (especially the sign in the window warning "No loitering within 100 feet"!).

I always wondered what the appeal was, and then I recalled him saying his college roommate Scott tended bar there for many years, and it all made sense. The boys are pictured catching up on old times below:

Well, I have to admit, I was intimidated by it's rough exterior and location. Now the only way I'll ever get to experience The Magnet is through Jeff's well-documented visuals.

Following are some pix and video Mr. Krulik - who has a knack for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and opening up unknown worlds and characters that the rest of us gloss over without seeing the value that he finds - took before The Magnet's unfortunate demise.

See the pix: Magnet Photo Album

Watch the video: The Magnet Lives on Tape!


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