'Crash Cafe' Finally Grounded

September 25, 2001

     Local developer Pat Turner has pulled the plug on his controversial 17,000-square-foot theme restaurant, Crash Cafe.

     During meetings with community groups in South Baltimore and hearings with the Liquor Board in the past, Turner was not responsive to comments that the proposed eatery might not only be inappropriate, but also repugnant. City Councilman John Cain testified in one hearing that in his opinion, the proposed operation was "Not a restaurant, it's a playground with alcohol."

     Turner made the decision to ax the project on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

     The original 4.5 million dollar concept was to have the restaurant, located in the out-of-business Globe Brewing Company, celebrate disasters with video tapes of train wrecks, building implosions, stunt people and the centerpiece, a DC-3 tail section on the exterior of the building.

     The web site for Crash Cafe, now offline, described the project - "Some may say the cutting-edge concept borders on the unacceptable, but that's precisely its strength. Deny as we might, America has been seduced by the specter and mystery of crashes. Disaster movies are more popular than ever. Network programming is littered with crash oriented shows. ... Let's face it, the public needs to indulge their undeniable fascination with the destructive, erotic nature of crashing, colliding, and exploding objects."

     Now, the residents of South Baltimore have a new issue to ponder...what will Patrick Turner do with the Liquor License for Crash Cafe? Will they be treated to another novel way to pump liquor into customers, or yet another mundane restaurant that relies on liquor sales to stay afloat?

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