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August 10, 2007

Fab Five Fridays

As promised, here's my list of the five best pre-gaming spots:

1. The Wharf Rat Pub and Restaurant, 206 W. Pratt St.

This was an easy choice. Not only does the Wharf Rat have an authentic 1800s feel, it also has some of the best locally brewed beer you'll find around town. The service is friendly and down to earth, and before games, it usually doesn't get too slammed.

2. Pickles Pub, 520 Washington Blvd.

Since expanding into the neighboring building earlier this year, Pickles has gotten even more wild and crazy before games. In addition to the tents outside, there is now a beer pong table, a larger dining room and that game where you toss bean sacks into holes in a board. And who can resist a deep-fried pickle or two?

3. Mother's Federal Hill Grille, 1113 S. Charles St. 

The polar opposite of the Wharf Rat, this restaurant and bar is party central, especially during football season. They set up a tent out back on the Purple Patio to accommodate all the extra mayhem, and people slam back drinks before streaming down to the stadiums.

4. Downtown Sports Exchange, 200 W. Pratt St.

Since new owners took over this place last summer, they've really cleaned it up. The service has really improved, as has the number of beers on tap and flat screen TVs. The DSX used to be a decent place to pre-game. Now it's a great one.

5. Quigley's Half-Irish Pub, 633 Portland St.

I know, I know, they don't serve food at Quigley's. Yet. But on game days, owner Jim Quigley sets up a grill outside and cooks hot dogs and hamburgers. Quigley did a great job rehabbing the turn-of-the-century building, and the fold-open windows allow for maximum airflow, which is always key. And though there are only a couple beers on tap, they're priced cheap and served quick.


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:48 AM | | Comments (4)


Deep fried pickles are DISGUSTING. But Pickles does have excellent happy hour deals, esp for students. their $5 pizzas are pretty tasty.

how about Club Charles for all your pre-game needs?

Maggie Moore's near the Hippodrome. Good food, good suds, only 4 or 5 blocks from the ballpark, and hardly crowded.

Not exactly a party atmosphere, but you can't beat McCormick & Schmick's happy hour for dinner before a night game. Especially the fish tacos.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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