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The frustrations of being a nightlife critic

Let me tell you about last Friday night.

I had heard that Club Phantom (2314 Boston St.) was finally open for business, so my pal Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

We put on semi-nice clothes (from the outside, Club Phantom looks like it might have a dress code) and hit up the club.

It was closed. Nobody was there and the place was dark.

Then I remembered Coburn's Tavern (2921 O'Donnell St., pictured) had recently closed and reopened under new management. So Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

Nothing had changed.

At least, nothing significant ...

Then I remembered a new bar/lounge called Clutch was supposed to be replacing Tiburzi's. So Crazy Joe and I went to check it out.

It wasn't open yet.

Believe it or not, this happens on a fairly regular basis in the world of Baltimore bars and clubs. For whatever reason, it is infinitely easier to get a hold of restaurant owners than bar owners.

Restaurants usually have Web sites/regular hours/a listed phone number. Bars and clubs increasingly do not, which makes me increasingly annoyed.

We ended up at Mahaffey's Pub (2706 Dillon St.), where we had a great time. But I can't just publish a review for the sake of publishing a review. There has to be something new or at least different about the place. In journo-speak, it's called a "peg."

As far as I could tell, there was no peg for a Mahaffey's review. And that, dear readers, is why there will be no nightlife column this week.

(Top photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun. Bottom photo from Sun archives.)

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