Collecting College Park: The Weekly Link Roundup

Welcome to Collecting College Park, a new weekly feature here at Rethink College Park. On Friday mornings, you can expect to see this weekly news roundup of stories relevant to development, planning, transportation, and quality of life around the city and the campus.

This week saw plenty of coverage on the rise and fall of the Thirsty Turtle. See the following links for details:

  • Thirsty Turtle Surrenders Liquor License (Patch): “According to a representative from the liquor board, the attorney representing Turtle owner Alan Wanuck submitted a three page letter citing the reasons for surrendering the license. The representative declined to release the contents of the letter before the hearing tonight. The College Park City Council voted 7-1 Tuesday night in favor of revoking the bar’s license.”
  • The Whipping Boy (Diamondback): The student newspaper editorializes on Turtle’s closure: “Although reaction to the liquor board’s decision has been split, with some students mourning what will likely be the bar’s demise and others lauding the decision as an act of justice, both sides seem to miss the broader point. While other bar owners, such as Mark Srour of Cornerstone Grill and Loft, may lambaste Turtle’s recklessness or crow the fall of a major competitor, it would be naive to think that other city bars are any less guilty than Turtle. Both Cornerstone and R.J. Bentley’s passed police’s test with “flying colors” and have not been issued liquor citations in more than a decade, but it is no secret that each and every bar that has ever made a dime in this city has done so with the help of underage patrons. And while bar owners may deny such claims as hyperbole, students know it to be true. Yet despite this equal claim to guilt, Turtle has become the scapegoat for university and local officials. To single out Turtle alone for somehow being the kingpin of underage drinking in the city completely ignores much larger issues.”
  • Thirsty Turtle Closed Last Night After Stabbing, Repeated Violations (TBD): The closure’s ripples have hit the DC news outlets, too. TBD’s four-page story on Turtle (tweeted as “the short, brilliant life of the Thirsty Turtle”) is, perhaps, a cultural history of the bar: “Turtle, located at 7416 Baltimore Ave., didn’t make it to its third birthday. It closed Wednesday, less than a month short. It’s odd to think of a such short-lived business as leaving a legacy, but Turtle did. It’s a complicated one, too: For some Maryland students, it became a mecca. Others considered it a bar of last resort, a place so disgusting nothing could drag them there. For adults, Turtle was a nuisance. The students who loved Turtle went there to fulfill their God-given right as college students — to get irresponsibly drunk and make the types of poor decisions irresponsibly drunk people make. Via cheap drinks and an anything-goes vibe, Turtle served up the fun, stupid part of the college experience. The objective behind a visit to Turtle was to get drunk, laid, or both. Providing a place to do that was the essence of Turtle’s appeal.”
  • Jamaican Restaurant Moves Into Perk House (Diamondback): Has all this talk of the bygone days of $2 pitcher nights exhausted you? Maybe some jerk chicken is the solution. About a mile past campus up Route 1, Jamaican restaurant The Jerk Pit has relocated to the former site of the College Perk coffeehouse. If you’ve got a craving, go ahead and make the trip—it’s a less visible storefront than the restaurant’s former strip mall digs. “The Jamaican restaurant is moving nearly a mile north of the Campus Village shopping center to the building at the corner of Route 1 and University Boulevard. That location was once occupied by the College Perk until its owner lost the property to foreclosure in January 2009. The restaurant, whose original storefront closed Sunday, will be reopened by tomorrow or Friday to offer its Jamaican jerk chicken dishes to walk-in and delivery customers, said Lisa Rose, who opened the restaurant in 2005. The new facility will offer a 50-percent expansion, a more visible location, a private dining area and outdoor porch, she said, providing patrons with a more authentic, laid-back island feel.”

That’s it for this Friday! If you’ve got tips, suggestions, or pointers for next week’s edition of Collecting College Park, leave them in the comments or email Alex at

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