Surf City Closed, Future of Structure Unknown

The Perry Hall bar and restaurant locked its doors over a week ago.

has officially closed, but the future of the historic structure at 9654 Belair Road remains unknown.

Bill Ruppert, who has owned the property since about 1985, confirmed that Surf City closed more than a week ago and he is speaking with potential tenants.

Major changes are anticipated for the former restaurant and nightclub. "If it goes the way I hope, and the way I try to influence it, it will be severely remodeled," Ruppert said.

For now, however, a sign on the front door reads, "So sorry ... Doors are closed. We will miss you all ... Thank you!"

Two would-be patrons in the property's parking lot, as well as a nearby office worker, recently expressed disappointment over the closure. Each declined to be identified by Patch.

Surf City was one of few in the Perry Hall area and regularly hosted live music and special events, ranging from to an .

Surf City's former manager declined to comment on the reason behind the closure.

The building itself has a storied past.

Prior to becoming Surf City, it was known as the Perry Hall Inn & Pub, and before that, according to Ruppert, it belonged to former State Sen. Thomas Bromwell, and was called Bromwell Inn.

Previously, the business was owned by the locally prominent Kahl family, Ruppert said.

According to a 2002 Baltimore Sun obituary, Kahl's Inn was first established in 1900, and remained in the family until it was sold by Marie J. Kahl and her husband Lawrence Kahl in the 1970s.

"The restaurant, said family members, was known for Mrs. Kahl's homemade backfin crab cakes and fried chicken, and once had been home to the 11th District Democratic Club," the article stated.

Share your Surf City memories in the comments.

What type of business do you think should replace Surf City? Tell us in the comments.

Lance Beasman July 30, 2012 at 01:00 AM
i heard that Mickey C (98 rock) and an investment group are going to fix it up and run it.
Jake Taylor August 05, 2012 at 02:04 AM
This place was great when Mary and Tom owned it. It was professional all the way around. Then then she and Tom wanted to movie it where Santoni's was when it closed because it would be all on one floor with lots of parking but they couldnt get the liqour liscence to go with them it stayed with them where they were. So they stayed put as long as they could. This was back in 99 and business was still very good. Lots of parties upstairs, respectable bartenders, (I mean a Calvert Hall teacher bartender there on the weekends who is now an assistant pricniple for pete's smith's sake!) and hot college girls working as servers. There would be many kids there for prom, and moms on mothers day where they all got flowers. The after church crowd. The upstairs had been the same for the last 20 years as far as everyone i know says. Slowly the good cooks (Rick, Carlos ) took better paying jobs else where when Geroge Balog took over as "the bearded bumbler" as the staff and customers called it. Some people loved Mr. Balog and he treated those who were loyal to him great. Sure he may have not had a good business sense, I mean the guy had told tables to "eat and get the hell out" after complaining about a temperature of a steak, "I don't need your money!" Mr. Balogs real reasons for buying the restaraunt prolly had more to do with his embezzelment charges he had when he ran the city with Schmoke, more than anything else He sold it to Eric Uttenrither, a drunk.by 2010 S City was a only a shell
Jake Taylor August 05, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Eric killed off the business that Geroge had on life support since 2003. Its amazing that it held on as long as it did really. The only constants were the bar crowd, and few loyal restraunt employees. It was still a great social place during this time. I can clearly remember at 7 o clock the news channels 13 would get turned down, and the Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden would get turned up. It wasn't uncomon to hear WHFS on in the bar during this time and was a really enjoyable play for young people. Unfortunatly, Ruppert put no money into the building and Mr. Balog had to pour a small fortunre into the place just to sell it. It amazingly passes inspection (I'm not saying GGB payed anyone off. I'm not saying....)! The real problem was the buliding was falling apart, and there was so many diverse crowds that were so different. to the older generation in the day it was thier vodka tonic place or whatever. By night fall it was an alternative rock crowd who wanted to escape the rap music at bj's pub down the street. But slowly during this time most of the quality staff that remained finished college, (hot college girls replaced by over the hill 40 and 50 yr old severs stuck in the 80s that hung around because they had nowhere else to go, the good cooks moved on the coorporate positions, and after the restaraunt was sold Eric had a bowling ball behing the bar, a inner city thugs as a kitchen staff, and and owner walking around every day with a beer in hand at 1o am.
Jake Taylor August 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM
So the Perry Inn and Pub both Mary and Tom's Walzenbach and Geroge G. Balogs attracted pretty much the same crowd. When Eric Uttenrither had it he turned it into pee wees play house and partied every day until the money beer and coke ran out. Its sad to say that one man destroyed place so rich in community history. I am personally saddened that it is closed. I grew up there. Met my wife there. Had my grandfathers funeral reception there, and Mister Balog was great and respectful to my family. Like I said, he was a brilliant lawyler, and he had a huge heart. Its just that Geroge was so tierd from being up to 4 am every night after doing the money and emptying the machines every night. Then being there at 9 am again to open. On a man in his 60s this takes its toll over the course of 4 years. There are many different groups of friends who have fond (and not so fond!) memories of the Perry Inn and Pub. It is a part our lives in perry hall. But I am personally glad it has closed. Its a chapter of my life that is now in the past, but man that place has so many memories and strong feeling attached to it. Met so many friends there- that was the motto back in the late 90s "where old friends meet new friends" and it was so true. Surf City was blue paint slapped on and cheap sign, fish tanks gone, restaurant now gutted,but no bearded older gentleman. good outlet for rock music sure, but the heart of place the good people- had moved on with life. Surf City? NO,this is the P.I.P!
CRAIG HORLACHER June 10, 2013 at 04:38 AM


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