Fab Five Friday
Here it is -- my list of the five best Baltimore dive bars.
Remember -- I went for places that you won't find in travel books or city guides. These places are the real thing.
1. Rendezvous Lounge, 136 W. 25th St.
The only bar I've ever fought in. A guy I was drinking whiskey with took a swing at me, and we wound up wrestling on that nasty floor. Nobody seemed to care. When the scuffle was over, we went back up to the bar and ordered another shot of whiskey. They make you put a $5 deposit on the cue sticks for the pool table, in case you're thinking of breaking one over somebody's head.
2. BAR, 1718 Lancaster St.
Here, the "wine list" is 1. White and 2. Red. The fan only has two prongs left and the pool league has been dead for years (just like the roses in the vase sitting on the bar), but BAR is still there, by God.
3. The Venice Tavern, 339 S. Conkling St.
A this basement bar, they still serve beer in those tiny 8-ounce glasses you see in black-and-white 1940s movies. The back walls by the pool table are a shrine to old boxers, including Vince DeSantis, who helped run the place back in the day.
4. Muir's Tavern, 36 E. Fort Ave. (pictured)
This place is also a packaged goods store. One time I went in there and asked for a six pack of Yuengling to go. The woman behind the bar grimaced and said, "We don't serve imports." Enough said.
5. Locust Point Tavern, 1515 E. Clement St.
The only bar I've ever been to with a screen door. From the outside, the place looks like a bar/house hybrid. Step inside, and you're hit with a musk that could only come from decades of spilled beer and cigarette smoke.
(Elizabeth Malby/Sun Photographer)