A Sykesville businessman's effort to open a nightclub for teen-agers in Howard County is a step closer to reality, now that he has found a site in the North Laurel area.
Carl Douglas "C.J." Archer Jr. wants to convert a former delicatessen on Johns Hopkins Road near Route 29 into a non-alcohol club that he wants to call Hurricane Cove. He plans to apply for a $50,000 loan from the Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund Inc. to open the club.
Before it decides on the loan, the Rouse foundation is waiting for Mr. Archer to resubmit his loan application with more information.
"I feel very enthusiastic because [finding a location] was like the final piece of the puzzle," said Mr. Archer, who began planning for a club more than three years ago. "Now you have all the pieces. It's a matter of putting it all together."
If the loan comes through, Mr. Archer would open a 3,225-square-foot club that could accommodate up to 300 young people ages 14 to 18 on weekends and holidays, featuring techno and hip-hop music.
For an $8 cover charge, patrons could also play video games, pool or pinball machines.
To provide a safe environment, Mr. Archer plans to install a metal detector and hire off-duty police officers as security guards.
Mr. Archer, a 24-year-old paging company employee, grew up in Howard County and recalls little for teen-agers to do in the county.
His club, he said, would "offer them alternatives to doing the things that teen-agers do now -- like hanging out at places. Some get so bored and look to more destructive forms of entertainment."
Jerry Feigen, executive director for the 2-year-old Rouse fund, said that the foundation's loan reviewers looked over Mr. Archer's application last summer and "thought it was an interesting idea. In this area it's true teen-agers need some place to go."
But he said foundation officials are still waiting for Mr. Archer to resubmit a revised business plan showing how profitable the club could be. He said there are financial questions about opening nightclubs.
The fund provides loans of $5,000 to $50,000 for businesses that would have a significant impact on the local economy, Mr. Feigen said.