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November 30, 2007

Fab Five Friday

We are indeed blessed when it comes to Baltimore bars.

Fells Point has some of the best watering holes on the East Coast. Federal Hill and Canton perfectly fit the bill for the post-college crowd.

But there are still things I wish this city had.

Here are my five wishes for the Baltimore nightlife scene:

1. Better service

I can't tell you how frustrated I get with Baltimore bartenders. If anything about this city's bars and restaurants really needs to change, it's the quality of service.

2. More dance clubs

There are not enough places to dance in Charm City. 

3. More locally brewed beers on tap

I wish more bars had Clipper City (like the one pictured), Brewer's Art and Oliver Ale suds on tap.

4. Better parking

No one wants more parking garages in their backyard, but Fells Point and Federal Hill get tied into a knot on some Friday and Saturday nights. That needs to change. 

5. More horseshoe bars

I know the layout of most rowhouses won't allow it, but I really like wraparound bars. They are the only thing I like about chains like Applebee's. J. Patrick's in Locust Point has one. Horse shoe-shaped bars give a place more of an intimate feeling. I like that.

(Linda Coan/Sun Photo) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:02 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Fab Five Fridays


I hate to disagree, but there seem to be garages. I just think people (including me sometimes) in Baltimore don't want to pay to use them (the one on East West St. in Federal Hill; Central/Bank in Little Italy; Thames/Caroline in Fells Point and another one on Aliceanna) and/or walk 2-3 blocks?

Baltimore bars need better bathroom graffiti. Get creative people!! The only good example I've seen recently is "I'm Your Huckleberry" emblazoned on the wall in the men's room at Friends (Fell's Pt).

Sam-Baltimore bars would be much better if families with rug rats didn't try to move into the drinking hoods and close bars in favor of Chuckie Cheese and Applebees. White Marsh is just up I-95 folks,i'm sure you and your white bread attitudes will fit in just fine..

That East-West lot sucks and appears to me to be the only option save street parking. That parking lot gets pretty filled up, though. And you wind up parking in Fort McHenry. They have cannons.

Greg S. You need to go to the "Cat's Eye Pub" in Fells Point. They have over 30 years of graffiti, and they always have a rockin' band (from blues to zydeco to plain old rock-n-roll).


You are a pile of garbage. those white bread people are the reason the city has had it's latest renessaince. they are also the reason the city hasn't been put under marshal law. Many happy ignorant returns to you, sir.

Sam.. I have to agree with you on most of those, but one other thing would have to be a decent biker bar. Yes I know the two concepts don't normally go together. But give me a place to ride to in Fell's that caters to the fanatics of the 2 wheels and I doubt I would leave. And please don't say iguana cantina. Too young and too many race bikes.

I'm not so sure I agree that our bars need better parking. Maybe less parking even. Or no parking. No parking; no cars; no 2 AM drivers to mow me down on my bike.

Hey Jimmy-First of all genius,it's "renaissance" and it's also "martial law". As for the rest of your screed i would advise you to take a drive through McCanton with it's lovely theme bars and chain Quiznos and Dunkin Donuts as evidence of the white bread,corporate,khaki clad infestation. Character builds a city,my friend,and these people bring nothing but their large bank accounts. Maybe get out more and look around there,huh Jimbo?

My new fave beer is Backfin and it just so happens to be brewed in Frederick. I hope #3 comes true and Backfin tags along with the other local faves on making it to the taps.

I agree about wanting more local brews on tap. Out here in Seattle they seem to have multiple local brews on tap in nearly every bar. However, parking is horrid in almost any major city. It is honestly no better here than in Baltimore. If parking is a concern, just hop a cab. If a cab is too expensive, drag some friends along and split the cost. My buddies and I do this a lot when I come back for visits, and it makes things much easier. But you're kind of preaching to the choir to that one.

I think Baltimore needs more bartenders! We are not a big city. There should be no reason to wait 15 minutes for a busy bartender to notice us.

Amen to the dance club comment, especially for folks older than the "fake ID" crowd...

"Decent" and "biker bar" in the same sentence ?
. . . and if you're looking for friendly service, try venturing beyond Canton Square and Fells Point's Thames Street area and visit some of the great places that are not usually not critiqued by the Baltimore Sun's snobby restaurant/nightlife staff.

I thought you meant a bar where you can actually play horseshoes.

Jimmy - clearly you know nothing about what Don's neighborhood is going through because you do NOT live in the City. Suburbanites who want the culture sucked out of the city and the buildings bulldozed to make parking for their Hummers do not make it a better place.

Cruiser Dan -- have you been to Leadbetter's in Fells Point? The Harley crowd goes there on weekends.

TD -- I'm with you. Bar owners either need to train their staff better or hire more of them. I'm also sick of waiting 15 minutes for a beer.

LOL, snob....

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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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