« The next Fab Five Friday | Main | Ssion at Metro Gallery »

February 5, 2008

Cat's Eye Pub owner dies

Tony Cushing, co-owner of the Cat's Eye Pub on Thames Street in Fells Point, died early this morning of a heart attack.

He was 62.

"He was an incredible person," said Terri Rychlak, who has managed the pub for more than 20 years. 

"He always did this Houdini thing -- he would never say goodbye," she said. "He would just leave. You would turn around and he would be gone. This morning I turned around and he was gone."

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:32 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music


One of the truly nicest people i've ever met in a bar...or outside of one. Always had a smile on his face. Tony bought me a drink about a month ago..i guess i'm always going to owe him one. Thanks for the good days,Tony.

Tony was one of the last great pub owners in Fells Point. He will be sorely missed.

Tony, TONY he owes me $50.00 bucks !

Tony was a brilliant, thoughtful man who never forgot how to be a regular human being or how to have a good time. He was generous and good-natured. He was a gentleman. He was a friend. He was a man who mattered to friends, business associates, and casual acquaintances. He was and is loved. He will be missed.

I worked for Tony at Cat's Eye in the mid nineties as a doorman and barman in training, if there was such a thing. Tony was not what I expected when I came to interview for the job.

There was almost a "secrecy" about getting a job there, and one had to be invited or vouched for just to get in the door. My "in" was Skip the bartender, and when he took me to meet Tony, I had almost expected a dark, brooding man of the underworld.

But what I met was an affable character wearing flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt draped over his slim frame - rushing from place to place. He was the exact opposite of what I had expected, and as such, seeing him for the first time nearly struck me dumb. I had no idea what to say. But Tony did. He saw my nervousness and hesitation and welcomed me into the Cat's Eye family with open arms.

The work was hard, but fun, and I made many new friends along the way. Even though I only worked for Tony for a year or so before moving on to the heat and humidity of Georgia, Tony always greeted me as a long lost friend when I came to town. He would take time to sit down to talk with a candor that always made me feel at home. Tony always looked out for me, and for others, and had a heart as big as Broadway Pier.

I can still remember those sticky summer nights, standing outside, checking ID's and chatting up the passers-by, all the while stealing moments with Tony, having a laugh, enjoying the evening, and listening as he taught me about Fells Point and the bar business.

I'm going to miss you Tony. You're a bit of home that I'll always cherish, and a friend that I'll always hold dear.
Joe Severns

Baltimore has lost another irreplaceable, wonderful and quirky character who helped make it Charm City. Tony, we will miss you dearly.

any type of service---sorry Anna. Tom

What a terrible loss - my prayers go out to Ana and Little Tony.

I spoke to him just this last Sunday. What a shock. Tony was one of a kind. Without a doubt, the most pleasant and easy-going bar owner I have ever met (or, perhaps, ever existed).

Tony was a wonderfully gracious man, who welcomed me with open arms when I first arrived in Baltimore and at the Cats Eye back in the early 80's. Quickly, he and the entire Cats Eye became my "family", always willing to lend an ear and a son used the pay phone in the back bar to call the Army and enlist the day he graduated high school. The Army personnel showed up and sat in the back filling out the paperwork. Tony and the crew gave me hugs and let me cry momma's tears at the notion my boy was grown many wonderful memories wrapped around Tony, Ana, and the entire Cats Eye crew......he is deeply missed and it is truly the end of a wonderful and charming era........

Tony spelled backwards is Y Not. Tony was a man that believed anything was possible. He never asked why....he always asked why not. I will miss him immensely and forever hold his love for me dearly in my heart.

Not being much of a night owl I would mainly see Tony in the morning as I hit the Daily Grind for a cup of courage. He always said hello, even when he was busy cleaning out the mess from the previous night's fun. He was a nice man and a Fells Point original. He will be missed.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "t" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected