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Rolling Stone names Baltimore's Ottobar one of '10 Best Live Music Venues in America'

Rolling Stone names Baltimore's Ottobar one of '10 Best Live Music Venues in America'
Music and entertainment magazine Rolling Stone listed Ottobar as one of its 10 best live music venues in America. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

In a recent article, music and entertainment magazine Rolling Stone did the difficult job of narrowing down hundreds of live music venues and clubs in the country to the 10 best, and a Baltimore music venue made the cut.

Alongside other noteworthy music venues like Austin’s Stubbs, Nashville, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club, and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, Charles Village’s Ottobar made the Stone’s “10 Best Live Music Venues in America” Writer Sarah Grant described the “dingy-yet-beloved rock club” which has provided unforgettable nights filled with acts, including “hometown heroes” like Animal Collective and Beach House and international headliners like the White Stripes for more than 20 years.

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“Because its small stage is elevated, anywhere you stand feels like the front row,” Grant writes. “… and more often than not local legend John Waters is in the back, presiding over the party pit. … For a prolific arts city that’s teeming with talent yet constantly recovering from DIY space crackdowns, transient student populations, and the like, Ottobar offers much more than consistent live music. It’s become an important community pillar, a home base and an undeniable hidden gem of the I-95 tour circuit.”

The club, which opened in downtown 1997 and moved to its current location in the 2500 block of North Howard St., will eventually undergo some changes.

Officials with the concert venue and bar announced in a social media post last month that owners planned to hand the reins over to a new group in 2019.

The business, according to the listing broker Adam Meissner, will continue to operate until the right buyer is found.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lillian Reed contributed to this article.

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