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After 3 Years, A Bar Is Finally Opening Where Santa Fe Cafe Was In College Park

sante fe cafe

Diamondback - New live music bar Terrapin’s Turf has been a long time coming.

For almost three-and-a-half years, an angular two-story building has sat vacant near Ratsie’s Pizza on Knox Road, tantalizing students’ memories with flashbacks of the glory days — when students would party all night to live bands at former bar Santa Fe Cafe. But in May 2010, after years of squabbling between the bar’s owners and code enforcement officials over installing a sprinkler system, the bar shut its doors for the last time.

In the next week, Terrapin’s Turf will open in Santa Fe’s former location, after a year-and-a-half delay while owners worked to bring the building up to code. Owners Salomeh, Yasmine and Mohammad Afshar received their final permit from the city on Thursday, giving them the green light to open their live music establishment.

Let’s just think about how University of Maryland is a ginormous college, but somehow has one of the worst downtown scenes of any university that I’ve seen. When I graduated, there were really 4 bars for the entire 30k student population: Fe if you wanted live music, Cornerstone or Bently’s if you wanted to get drunk and hang out with friends, and Thirsty Turtle if you wanted to have sex with a freshman. Those were the options.

Santa Fe was by far the best bar in CP. And to think it closed in May 2010, the same month I graduated, and nothing had replaced it til today, is absolutely mind blowing. I saw the two worst live shows of all time at Fe: Lit, of “My own worst enemy” fame, and Bloodhound Gang. Lit was simply a terrible band. The usually upbeat and happy crowd at Fe turned on them, including one guy who threw a beer bottle at the lead singer’s face. Bloodhound Gang wasn’t as awful, but the real cherry on top was when the lead singer chugged a pitcher of beer, threw up into the pitcher, rechugged the vomit out of the pitcher, and then threw up onto the bassist. The mood became pretty much like in movies when someone walks into a room and the DJ stops scratching the record.

But I digress, welcome to CP, Terrapin Turf. I look forward to drinking many beers at your establishment in the near future.