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Creative Alliance Toasts New Lounge

The Creative Alliance at the Patterson will toast a new bar May 14 expected generate more revenue for the performing arts venue and bring more commercial activity to Highlandtown.

Known for its quirky and eclectic programs that have included everything from African drumming to music from Appalachia, the Patterson has been an economic engine driving the revitalization of the East Baltimore neighborhood.

The Marquee Lounge will seat 16 at its white marble bar and contain 10, two-seat tables in a space that formerly held storage. The $200,000 to build the lounge comes from city bonds and the Creative Alliance, says H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson, chief development officer of the Creative Alliance.

Initially open just on Fridays and Saturdays, the Marquee Lounge will eventually extend its hours and serve food by next year, lounge manager Andre Mazelin says.

The second Thursday of each month, the Creative Alliance will host a local supper club called Food = Art. Highlighting a different chef each time, the event is organized by Puffs and Pastries' Anisha Jagtap and Baltimore tech entrepreneur Heather Sarkissian. The dinner series will hopefully serve as a launching pad for more events that showcase the art of making food, wine, and beer, Creative Alliance Program Director Megan Hamilton says.

The bar's opening will hopefully make the Patterson an economic and cultural anchor in Highlandtown, she says. "It will add to the vibrancy of the Highlandtown commercial district."

As a former bartender, Hamilton says she thought that drinks were a good way to bring income to the nonprofit. Designed by Kroiz Architecture and PI:KL Studios, the bar is expected to initially bring in $50,000 a year in revenue.

The nonprofit Creative Alliance reopened the Patterson, a former movie theater, as an arts center in 2003, The facility hosts gallery exhibits, a media lab, a 180-seat theater, a media lab and arts workshops.

Sources: H. Alexander Satorie-Robinson, Megan Hamilton, Andre Mazelin; Creative Alliance
Writer: Julekha Dash

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