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Recher Nightclub Plan Worries Towson Residents

Community leader Paul Hartman said he would have liked advanced notice of plans to convert the Recher Theatre into the Torrent Lounge nightclub.

Greater Towson Council of Community Associations President Paul Hartman fielded calls from residents after news of plans to convert Recher Theatre into a nightclub called Torrent Lounge broke on Wednesday.

"There are legitimate concerns based on the past history with nightclubs," said Hartman, referring to conflicts that arose 10 years ago between community members and Generation Xtremes Under 21 Nightclub, which was housed in the building currently occupied by The Greene Turtle.

Hartman said young adults and teens were constantly milling about on the streets as a result of Generation Xtremes.

"It caused a lot of problems in the area," he said.

Similar to Councilman David Marks, Hartman expressed dismay about finding out about the plans first on Patch.

"It would have been nice to have had advance notice," he said.

Hartman hopes the Recher management team will work with the community throughout the transition.

"The main thing we need to know is what the change in business model entails," he said.

Still, he acknowledged a good relationship between the Recher family and the community.

"[The Rechers] obviously have made an investment in Towson," he said.

Towson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Hafford echoed Hartman's sentiments.

"Brian [Recher] has been a good business owner all this time. It's a perception issue," Hafford said, pointing out that the venue regularly hosts DJs without issue.

She added that she hasn't received a single phone call from nearby business owners complaining about the issue.

"Everyone knows Brian," she said.

The Rechers previously faced controversy after fights erupted outside the concert venue in September 2012. The Baltimore County Liquor Board later cleared them of any wrongdoing.

Elise Armacost, a Baltimore County police spokeswoman, said officers from the Towson precinct, including Capt. Jonathan Trentzsch, met with the Rechers Thursday to discuss security. She said managing a nightclub is "not really all that different from the current use," though it's still early in the planning stage.

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