Saturday Night Club

Mencken Sat Night Club Emblem

The Saturday Night Club met at Schellhase’s Restaurant, which was located at 412 North Howard St (Between W. Franklin and W. Mulberry Streets). The Saturday Night Club met there from 1918 until its dissolution in 1950.

H.L. Mencken, by his own admission, wasn't much of a piano player, but the Baltimore icon gave it his all, especially when his Saturday Night Club convened to make music and imbibe. Mencken's colleagues included fellow amateurs, as well as some pros, among them Gustav Strube, the first music director of the Baltimore Symphony; composer Louis Cheslock, a Peabody Conservatory faculty member; and Adolph Torovsky, band director of the Naval Academy club. For more than 40 years, club members regularly assembled to perform arrangements of the classics and pieces written by colleagues, creating in the process a legendary part of Baltimore's history. It wasn't only those in the Arts that met. The Saturday Night Club also had members such as Dr. Christian Deetjen. Pastor Dietrich H. Steffens of Martini's Lutheran Church played the violin for the Saturday Night Club.

Source: Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun’s classical music critic (Clef Notes) 4-12-2010