Walking up W. Chase Street the other night, we noticed that Leon's Leather Lounge was now called Steampunk Alley. Actually, we noticed a few days ago that there was a sign up for Singer's, which is what the bar was called before it became the leather lounge. Now, however, there was this sort of rustic-ish steampunk-y sign. Though we love the retro-futurism of "Blade Runner," we're not big on the whole steampunk concept. But stil, we were curious.
First of all, there was a "stop work" notice on the door, which may have explained why there wasn't too much steam punk-ish about the place. The circular wooden bar was painted a copper color; the walls were red with a few gold cogs painted on them. There were some empty gold shelves, booths by the window, and a dance floor in the back, by where it still attaches to Leon's. There was also a disco ball and exposed duct-work.
We ordered a Boh ($2.5 for a pint) from the bartender with rolled up shirt-sleeves, a vest and bow-tie, and a mustache that was a bit steampunk-ish. Otherwise, the all-male crowd was pretty much the same as when it was Leon's, or even Singer's—a group of gay men, about equal white and black, which is nice to see. Everyone seemed pretty drunk, but no one told me my hair has a hard-on, which never failed to happen in the leather lounge.
When I asked the bartender about the steampunk concept, he said, "We still have a lot of work to do. It was going to be a deli, and then we decided to go with steampunk at the last minute."
It turned out that the Baltimore Business Journal reported on the change to the venue last month and we just missed it. But, for anyone who is worried about the original Leon's adopting a futuristic Victorian decor, Ronald Singer told them, “The almighty Leon’s can never change.”