Terps’ New Turf: Bar is finally open

by Nick Kinsley

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On Friday, Oct. 4, College Park added a new option for those seeking a fun night out. The Terrapin’s Turf, a new bar in downtown College Park, is scheduled to open after an extended construction period.

Terrapin’s Turf is located on Knox road next to Ratsie’s Pizza. The building was home to the popular bar and live music venue Santa Fe Cafe for over 25 years.

“[The Thirsty] Turtle may have been more popular, but Santa Fe was hands down the best bar in College Park.” UMD alumni Sean Hayes said.

Students often discuss the glory days of Santa Fe, which attracted big names like the Bloodhound Gang and local bands alike. They praise the food, the atmosphere and above all else, the music.

However, amidst battles over the installation of a sprinkler system, then-owner Mark Srour allowed the lease to expire and the shell of a building that was Santa Fe became legend.

Until now.

The building was then bought by Salomeh, Mohammad and Yasmine Afshar and remodeled to open as Terrapin’s Turf. The new owners ran into the same problem as the last: difficulty getting a permit for and installing a sprinkler system.

Terrapin’s Turf continuously set and reset opening dates after publicizing and subsequently postponing one after another. After many stops and starts, delays and false information and rumors about finally opening, the bar finally seems ready to open its doors to the public.

“It took forever, but I guess it’s pretty hard to open a bar in a college town,” Ben Masters, junior letters and sciences major, said.

Until a week before opening, the restaurant/bar’s website listed unexpected hours showing the bar closing at 11 p.m. on weekends.

Many students were unsure about what this meant for the late-night scene and skeptical that such a model could prove to be profitable. As the grand opening drew closer, the website’s hours were adjusted showing a 3 a.m. closing time–a full hour later than other bars in College Park.

Now that’s more like it.

“It looks pretty nice from the outside,” said senior finance major Shane Repas a few days before the bar opened, “so I hope it will be just as nice inside.”

The owners have said that they plan to take full advantage of the stage and will have a variety of musical acts to support students’ broad musical tastes.

Terrapin’s Turf seems ready to take College Park by storm with its live music venue, late hours and atmosphere–now that it finally opened.


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