UMD Gets a…Nightclub?: The Final Chapter

Last year, the University of Maryland’s (in)famous Route One was the recipient of a new nightclub-like spot in the form of Terrapin’s Turf. My first two encounters with the atmosphere were, to put it lightly, pretty infuriating–mainly because this place had “hit” written all over it, but ended up giving me something else that ends in “-it.” A year has passed since those first two reviews, so I decided to say “forget it” and give it another chance.

So recently, on a whim–and bored out of my mind–I headed out to College Park and entered into Terrapin’s Turf (lulz). I pre-gamed at Looney’s (still a great spot; their crab skins are delicious. Fattening as all hell, but delicious) then headed on down the road. I rode solo, since y’know, I am in my mid-to-late-20s and most people I’m cool with either live a while away, have kids, were sleep, or don’t really rock with College Park-area places that much (understandably so, since it is still a college town, nice bar or not). When I entered, I was fearful of the pit of suck the place could’ve became in that year. And then I noticed something. While it was the same place, a lot had changed (perhaps for the better).

Maybe they just took the day off?
(Photo from last year)

Gone were the go-go dancers (to my chagrin and delight, since booty is cool, but it made the place seem a bit snobby/”uppity”), and the “I’ll throw you out if you look at me wrong” bouncers. In their place was an atmosphere that was refreshing and fun. The bouncers were fun and a lot more relaxed, the bartenders were less stressed, and it overall was a lot more fun to participate in. A bit more chill/boring, but still fun. Now, I’ll be honest. The go-go dancers were one of the best parts of the original incarnation of the place,

The drinks were cheap and strong. The bartenders, they were not only less stressed, but more friendly. That’s something that you need in a bar/club, bartenders that aren’t just like “eff you, pay me.” I mean, if you expect me to tip you, you’ve got to be pretty fun. Now, I’m not saying you’ve got to seduce your patrons. But, a smile and some BS small-talk can go a long way.

The bathrooms were still a point of contention, since they had the Ritz Cabaret-esque doorperson, but the facility itself was kind of yuck. At least that good ol’ chlorine-meets-beer-meets-vomit smell I’ve associated with most college-town bars was absent, so that’s also a win.

As I mentioned, the place is a lot more chill than this time last year. What that means is this: it was kind of empty. I like a chill spot more than anyone, but when I’m in the mood to relive my college years and turn-the-f*ck-up(!!!), I want somewhere I can turn-the-f*ck-up! So, while I love the more chill atmosphere, the less-hoity-toity demeanor of everyone, and the inexpensive drinks, it still gets a bit of a failing grade from me. After leaving from TT, I ended up at what my friends and I used to call “homestead:” Bentley’s.

That’s right. I went to Bentley’s. I’ve gone to Big Play (by the way, shoutout to @Destruckshawn, the DJ extraordinaire who introduced me to that spot. Still pissed we never got to hang out; kept missing each other), which is pretty dope itself. I’ve gone to Looney’s. I’ve done C-Stone (and have done things/people in C-Stone/because of C-Stone/after going to C-Stone). But, there’s something about that ol’ fill-up station that just makes me smile.

Gag when I smell that chlorine-meets-beer-meets-vomit smell, but smile. It’s probably that old nostalgia feeling. Plus, I can geek at all the youngsters and feel good about myself. I don’t make it a habit to go to Bentley’s because I’d rather not look like Dr. Z, that old white guy that used to come into College Park bars with his 1970s suit, way-too-tight pants, and old-man swagger (complete with a cane). However, it–like the rest of CP–can be fun at times when there’s a need for fudgery.

TL;DR: Terrapin’s Turf is cool, it’s fun…but if you’re looking to actually “turn up”–regardless of age–check out somewhere else.

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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