“We didn’t start the fire”

The Quarry House Tavern’s wait-staff is clearly beloved.

Since a fire closed three restaurants including the Silver Spring bar last week, concerned patrons and musicians started at least three fund raising campaigns for Quarry House employees. One of them is also benefits employees of Bombay Gaylord Indian restaurant and Mandarin Chinese restaurant.

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A “We Didn’t Start the Fire” concert to “raise rent money for the tipped employees of the three restaurants” will be held at the Silver Spring School of Rock Saturday, March 28, 12 noon to 12 midnight. Featured bands include The Highballers, The Ubangis, Twinkle Lions and at least two School of Rock student bands.

The School Of Rock announcement says it is “opening its main rehearsal room, ‘The Mothership,’ to local bands and our own student bands, who all have played the Quarry House beer storage area, and loved every memory among the cases (and blocking the ladies room) while playing music for the community.”

The Quarry House tavern provided a venue for many local bands in it’s low-ceilinged, narrow back room (with the ladies room behind the stage).

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The sooty, boarded up building housing the three restaurants. Photo by Paula DeGuzman

As Sonny Goldreich reported in his That’s Silver Spring? column, “The Quarry House is one of the region’s few mainstays of local roots music, featuring rockabilly, country and garage rock.”

Last weekend, says Goldriech, there was another employee benefit concert featuring rockabilly star J.P. McDermott, who used to play at the Quarry House. The concert was held at Jackie’s Restaurant a few blocks from the Quarry House. Jackie’s owner Jackie Greenbaum operates the Quarry House in partnership with Gordon Banks.

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Photo by Paula DeGuzman.

The Quarry House 17,” an online fundraising page at indigogo.com was started by Quarry House patrons Laura Alin, Andrew Nazim and Paula DeGuzman.

“This fundraiser is simply the least we could do for the bar that’s given us so much in return.” said DeGuzman.

Her apartment is across Georgia Avenue, she said, and she works about a half mile away, “so [the Quarry House] was always ‘The Option’ instead of ‘an option’.”

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The Quarry House Tavern under the previous owners. The new owners preserved much of the “dive bar” decor. The late, great Richard Jaeggi described the old Quarry House in his Big Acorn column in 2002.

“All the locals go to it. I usually see my old/new coworkers there. High school friends too. I usually run into someone I knew once in a lifetime ago. The place is so eclectic.” she said.

DeGuzman’s affection for the Quarry House is shared by many. As of Friday March 27, donations were close to $15,000 – half the goal amount.