By Tara Boyle (WAMU, 1/17/2014)
On a Sunday afternoon, George Ward is out on the dance floor at Blob’s Park, a Bavarian beer garden and polka hall in Jessup, Md. He’s been coming here a long time — since 1958.
“There’s a family kind of feeling to it,” he says. “It’s hard to express unless you’ve been a part of it a long time, but there are not many places like it around here.”
He’s right, Blob’s is an unusual place — a restaurant that can seat up to 968 diners and boasts a 2,000 square foot dance floor.
“I just last night had someone who travels the circles, the dancing circles, who said as far as he knows this is the largest dance floor outside of hotel ballrooms,” says Max Eggerl, the owner of Blob’s Park.
Eggerl is the grand-nephew of Max Blob, the German immigrant who founded Blob’s in 1933.
“My uncle Max had a clubhouse during Prohibition, and when Prohibition ended, he got a beer and wine license and opened the clubhouse to the public. He got an accordion player and charged a dime for people to come in. Now it’s $10,” he laughs. “Things have changed a little bit.”
The final performance of a dance group for children called the Polka Kids, founded the in 1984.
Change on the way
And the biggest change is still to come. The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore owns the land on which Blob’s sits, and last month, Max got the news that the Archdiocese has decided to develop the property.
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