Open (Art)House

The Clarice, Philadelphia Group Open Downtown Performance Venue
By Lauren Brown | Illustration by Jason Keisling

Whether they’re scanning the menu or the schedule, guests at College Park’s new dining, art and performance venue will discover something eclectic.

MilkBoy ArtHouse, a collaboration between the Philadelphia entertainment firm MilkBoy and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, has transformed the former Barking Dog (or Thirsty Turtle or Terrapin Station, depending on your generation) on Baltimore Avenue into a funky, contemporary space.

Part of the Greater College Park initiative to expand academic, research and residential amenities, MilkBoy ArtHouse is partnering with campus and community groups, from TerpPoets and WMUC to the College Park Arts Exchange, and will feature live music from regional bands this fall.

Let’s open the doors and peek inside this space celebrating artistic creativity:

1. Gallery space: The front-facing area has rotating display of curated visual art from regional artists. It has seating where guests can look out over Baltimore Avenue when the garage doors are up.

2. Three bars: Three are positioned throughout: one in the restaurant, one in the lounge and the 53-foot-long one upstairs.

3. Second-floor performance venue: At nearly 3,200 square feet, this standing-room-only area will accommodate bands and an audience of up to 400.

4. Garage doors: These open whenever the weather permits, giving the space an indoor/outdoor feel.

5. Restaurant: The menu features “elevated” American comfort food, from mac and cheese and Philly cheesesteak (of course) to duck flatbread and Korean barbecue tacos.

6. First-floor performance venue: The intimate lounge, ideal for spoken word poetry, jazz or film screenings, will seat up to 100 when it opens in the fall. Guests can be served food and drinks in their seats.

7. Design: Design students Katie Stepanik MFA ’17 and Sanaya Forbes MFA ’17 worked with The Clarice and MilkBoy to determine the interior design of the space, including furniture, lighting, seating layout and permanent wall art.

8. Staffing: Students will fill many of the jobs, numbering at least 55.


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