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January 26, 2009

Wharf Rat to close for renovations

The Wharf Rat (206 W. Pratt St.) will close this Thursday for renovations, according to new owner Justin Dvorkin.

Dvorkin and general manager Justin Damadio took over the downtown brewpub last fall. They plan to reopen the place with a new name and slightly different look March 10.

The changes include a new draft beer system, HVAC and a fresh coat of paint, Dvorkin said. He also wants to add a bar on the second floor, bring in live music on semi-regular basis. They have kept the same Oliver Ale recipes, as well as the same brew master.

Dvorkin also denied online rumors that he plans to make the Wharf Rat a Yankees bar.

"We got this place cause it's in the heart of Baltimore," Dvorkin said. "We wouldn't be so foolish as to make this an out-of-state bar in the heart of the city. It doesn't make any sense."

(Photo from Sun archives)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:32 PM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I hope they don't change it too much. I really liked the whole dark atmosphere they've got going in there.

And as far as the out-of-state bars go, I've never heard of an Orioles / Ravens bar outside of town in the same scale that Magerk's is a Philly bar. Anyone know of any out-of-state Baltimore bars?

LOL We went there (under the old ownership) dressed in our Red Sox gear before a game and got the worst service. We didn't tip and never went back. We ended up giving our tip money to little leagers standing outside Camden Yards collecting for their team. I hope if the new owners are going to cater to any out of state team that it would at least be the Sox :-)

Fells Wharf Rat is staying put though, right?

I haven't seen any out-of-state Baltimore sports bars, although during the Super Bowl weekend in Tampa when the Ravens were in it, Whiskey Joe's was the spot.

And some other place I went to in Ybor City (Tampa's version of Fells Point) was a Ravens hangout as well. After getting apple liqueur poured in my mouth all night long from scantily-clad barmaids walking on top of the bar the night before the game, my memory is foggy. I do remember that outside, Three Doors Down was playing a free concert and it was an awesome atmosphere.

Now Steeler bars are everywhere. There is even one down here. Its a shame because the place serves great Cajun and Caribbean food. I won't go in there until summertime.

Glad to hear the Wharf Rat is overhauling their draft beer system. The beer lines there were not cleaned regularly, and their Oliver beers became undrinkable.

There's a restaurant in St. Pete's Beach that everyone called the "Baltimore bar" but I can't remember really seeing anything Baltimore-ish inside except a few Maryland items on the menu (that were actually Maryland style for once!!) I believe the owners were from Maryland. Wish I remembered the name for you guys...the food was awesome.

There's a bar in San Diego that was a Philly bar but became pretty hospitable to Ravens fans.

Love the Wharf Rat and their beers. With a new look and food, it will only get better. I just hope they keep the spbw annual cask festival.

The "online rumor" link is alink to a discussion board that says the new owners are from New York, not that they are making it a yankees bar. Don't believe anything this guy writes.

Come on. Leave the name: Wharf Rat.

So DSX is such a great name??? 'Dis Sux???

fletcher's is a buffalo bills bar. rent prices are killing downtown bars. landlords need to ease up or face total failure.

I have been going to this Wharf Rat location for well over 10 years and recently just stopped going. They need to get rid of the skanky beer (clean the tap lines) and improve service which is slow slow slow. It's a great location, no reason for funky tasting beer and bad service. It also smells bad in there.

If the name-change-sickness somehow follows to the Fells Point location, I will protest the name change there. Standing outside with the sign "THE END IS NEAR."

The Fells Point location is still owned by the Oliver family,so you need not worry about any changes there. They have put a new mens bathroom in the beer tastes better,so one of my favorite bars is even more enjoyable!

RE: "They have put a new mens bathroom in the beer tastes better..."

Man, I hope there is no correlation there.

HAHA!!! Good catch Rick!!

Oh, sure, the fine folks at Fells put a new bathroom in....but, it's as if they simply transported the old crappy single/stall bathroom- one urinal, on pot- to the back pool room. Same bloody bog whose door has no bloomin' lock!

And because the [urinal] is directly behind the door, the pool-playing patrons can get an eyefull of balls of a different kind.

Yet another Baltimore bar succumbing to the mythical demand for live music, enough already.
You don't need a crystal ball to envision 2 part time musicians (one guitar, one keyboard) drowning out conversation with Green Day covers.
No thanks.

Its going to be called Pratt Street Ale House

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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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