Go hard tonight, but save a minute of silence for the Thirsty Turtle, our wonderful namesake which closed down one year ago today.
The Thirsty Turtle opened in November 2007, replacing many businesses that had shuttered there in the past. Owing to an unusually large retail space in the notoriously poor business environment of College Park, businesses struggled to survive at the location in the past. Turtle was different.
They innovated. And they lived.
Within a matter of months, the Thirsty Turtle became known as an underage watering hole. While the bar officially carded all patrons, the standards were notoriously lax. Many students described the pitiful quality of the fake I.D.s they used to gain entry, and in September and October of 2010, undercover cadets of the University of Maryland Police Department successfully gained entry to the bars using their real, underage I.D.s
Beyond becoming the mecca of teenage euphoria, Turtle became a cultural touchstone of the University of Maryland. To this editor, it represented the face of a D1 party school, six months before transferring to UMD.
The Thirsty Turtle was forced to surrender its liquor license in November 2010, following a stabbing incident that involved several of its patrons. The political pressure the bar faced was insurmountable, and College Park lost yet another local business.
To them, it was a bar and a “problem.” To us, it was home.
Long Live Turtle.