Entertainment Events

UMD Gets A…Nightclub?

Shameless Plug Alert: Check out my new freeverse over something resembling the “Born Sinner” instrumental. Subjectively, it’s friggin’ awesome.

Now that the music’s out the way, let’s get into the feature presentation.

It’s me, it’s me. It’s the No-Fi King, Speed on the Beat back with entry number two (of over 9000) for Thee Arteest. Today kids, we’re going to talk about a new place for all you youngsters and hip cats to groove at called Terrapin’s Turf, or, Terrapins Turf, or TT. When a place already is trying too hard to make itself trendy right when it opens, you’re probably going to run into some craziness.

People in the DMV may remember a little club in DC called Platinum. It opened to a decent amount of fanfare and included lots of things that’d make you shake your head. Some of these included lots of bros, Middle Eastern women who didn’t even want to think about thinking about a Black guy, and overall douchiness. Oh, and gogo dancers. Lots and lots of gogo dancers. It was as if the worst things about a nightclub and the basis of a booty club rolled into bed and created some bastard child of a convoluted mess of a club. Suffice to say, the place has been shut down since late 2007.

Meanwhile, in College Park (which could’ve have been an album title from either myself or DK aka Wayne Watts), a bar by the name of Santa Fe was about three years away from closing itself. A landmark of sorts in the area, Fe offered an alternative to the Cornerstones, Bents, and Thirsty Turtles (the “original” TT) of the world. Live music, professional DJs, the whole nine. No knocks intended to C-Stone or Bentley’s, because I frequented/kind of worked/paid bartenders’ tuition costs at both of them, but Fe, in some ways, had them beat.

And, then the music stopped. Mostly because of sprinkler system issues.

Fast forward to October 2013. After a slew of rumors, false starts, and even rumblings of a Foot Locker opening up in the Fe spot, Terrapin’s Turf finally opened its doors. And, let me tell you. It’s not Fe, but it doesn’t need to be.

Armed with gogo dancers, a rave-like atmosphere, and that same damn island bar, the atmosphere is amazing. But, it seems that with this new atmosphere, we’re given similar situations to the aforementioned Platinum. I got into the club around 12:45, perfect timing as it was still “zombie time” and it was the grand opening. The amount of people standing outside of C-Stone and Bentley’s easily surpassed the total group in TT. That’s the first alarm of a prolonged death waiting to happen. Secondly, no one danced, or even looked like they were having fun. Like Platinum, it seemed like people were more concerned with how they looked versus having fun. While the drinks were strong, the atmosphere was dead enough to kill a vibe of Kendrick Lamar proportions. Third, while the bar looked amazing and the gogo dancers were hot–some of them, anyway–the vibe carried over to make every second in the place seem kind of life-suckingly horrible. Now, it could just be first week jitters. But, even Looney’s, Barking Dog, and that other sports bar where Vito’s used to be had better vibes, better crowds, and better people. Or maybe it’s just a case of “UMD Can’t Have Nice Things Because They Won’t Really Appreciate Them?” Either way, I give it a year, maybe two, before we’re looking at just another empty spot in Route One, wondering what could have been.

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