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Scoping Out Club Reality

April 24, 2009

Quiet Night At Club Reality | Image by City Paper Digi-Cam

Over the past couple years, the Turntable Club had found a comfortable niche in East Baltimore as a small but bustling hip-hop club. So when the management decided to relocate last year to a new spot called Club Reality across town in the more suburban Morrell Park area, I was curious how the transition would go. Having stopped by once or twice before to check out a sparsely attended open-mic night, it didn’t feel like it has entirely reached out to the old club’s clientele yet. But stopping by for Reality’s “International Night” on Thursday, I started to see more signs of life.

Club Reality was until recently the Y Not Bar & Grill, and the sign out front hasn’t changed yet. Plus, he townies playing pool in the front room look like a vestige of the venue’s past more than part of its urban dance club future. But other than that, there was a nice atmosphere at the club as patrons started to file in slowly, some gorgeous girls working behind the bar, and DJ Jewels was spinning a selection of southern hip-hop. He was the kind of DJ who played nothing but great songs, but played so many in quick succession that you’d only get a verse here or a hook there, which got a little exhausting after a while. And the “international” theme of the night was only reflected in a brief set of Jamaican dancehall.

After catching up with Reality’s marketing manager, Missy, she gave me a quick tour of the upstairs room, which has its own sound system and is being set up to host entirely separate events from the main room. So clearly, the staff has some big plans for the place, even if it hasn’t reached the level of activity of the Turntable Club yet. Yuk, a rapper with For The People Entertainment, was billed as the host for the night, so I was hoping some members of his crew would perform at some point on Thursday. But as the night wore on and nobody took the stage, or even did much of anything in the way of hosting, I was happy to settle with knocking back beers and listening to a good DJ.