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Entertainment Music & Nightlife Midnight Sun

New Reservoir Hill music venue is housed in synagogue's basement

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?"

Zager and her husband would handle all the booking and the venue would work around the temple's schedule. Rabbi Daniel Burg obliged.

The venue will be located in the temple's social hall, which holds about 160 people. Tickets are around $20.

Zager says she's planning on at least two bookings a month  - mainly on Saturdays and Sundays - and perhaps more in the future. She also intends to apply for a one-day liquor license.

Though Beth Am hasn't set any restrictions on the type of music, Eutaw Place is strictly targeting the singer-songwriter types, both nationally touring and local. Religious affiliation is irrelevant. 

Matisyahu won't be playing here any time soon. A Marc Broussard would be perfect, Zager says.

The first show, on April 28, is the guitarist Ari Hest. The venue's second show hasn't been settled yet.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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