Can you believe Ropewalk Tavern (1209 S. Charles St.) is 13 years old?
It's true. The South Baltimore Republican-themed hangout is about to turn Lucky 13, and they're celebrating this birthday tomorrow. Most drinks are $2 and Miller Lites (the staple of any Baltimore liquid diet) are only a buck.
I asked that question because to me, Ropewalk seems much older than that.
Granted, sticking around for more than a dozen years in a neighborhood with such a high turnover rate is no small feat. But because of the turn-of-the-century decor and vintage atmosphere, Ropewalk feels like a classic pub with a few modern flourishes (namely flat screen TVs).
I'll bet if you stop a neighborhood resident on the street and ask them how long Ropewalk Tavern has been there, they'll say it's been open more than 13 years.
This reminds me of one of my first nightlife columns ...
Back in January 2006, I wrote a piece about Crabby Dick's, which was slated to close later that month. Here's how the story started:
Soon after Crabby Dick's opened on South Broadway in 2000, co-owner John Buchheit started catching one of the best compliments a restaurateur ever gets.
"I would sit on the bench out front and hear people say, `Oh yeah, Crabby Dick's -- they've been there forever,'" Buchheit said. "That's what you want to hear."
In a couple of years, Buchheit and business partner Dale Slotter built a Fells Point tourist staple.
After covering Baltimore bars and clubs for more than three years, this still rings true. If a bar or restaurant owner can become a neighborhood fixture, they have a much better chance of succeeding in the long run.
I'm trying to think of other bars and restaurants like Ropewalk and Crabby Dick's that have this same appeal, but none come to mind right away. You got any?
(Photo of Ropewalk Tavern by Sun photographer Gene Sweeney Jr. Photo of Crabby Dick's by Sun photographer Kim Hairston)