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Posted at 2:14 PM ET, 03/17/2009

Picking Up Steam at Fado

By Stephanie Merry

12:30 p.m.: The live music was just getting started and every table was spoken for at the beginning of Fado's crowded but not overwhelming lunch rush. Men in suits hung out at the bar with green beads layered over neckties and a gaggle of girls sat laughing in a corner over a plate of chicken fingers and fries.

The four ladies were in town for spring break from Illinois Wesleyan University, and their stop at Fado was the result of an aborted attempt to visit the Washington Monument. Next up: "the zoo after we have some pints," 21-year-old Rebecca Tong said.

The girls weren't the only out-of-towners at the bar. A group of nine cops from New Jersey was also checking out the scene after coming to town for the Pogues show last night at 9:30 club. And this was just the first stop on a bar-hopping journey up the Eastern seaboard, where the guys planned to go to one bar each in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Jersey City and New York before heading home to Tom's River. And not to worry, they had a designated driver to operate their rented van.

Hector Guzman, who works the door at Fado, said things had been getting steadily more busy since his shift started at 11. But how much worse will it get? Saturday saw a crowd of more than 1,450 people after 5 p.m., according to Guzman, and he's guessing that tonight will be a whole lot crazier.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | March 17, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
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