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January 12, 2009

Why I like bars with no TVs

pub dogGoooooood Monday morning, all you Midnight Sunners. Did you see the game on Saturday? Oh man oh man oh man.

A couple friends, Amie and I wanted to go out for a late dinner in Federal Hill after the game was over.

But the neighborhood was going a little crazy, considering that the Ravens had just knocked off the Titans.

Then my buddy Crazy Joe said we should go to the Pub Dog (the clunky, semi-new name for the Thirsty Dog Pub, 20 E. Cross St.).

Not only do they serve food late, but they don't have any TVs ...

Sure enough, when we got there, we walked upstairs and there were four empty tables. Four! At 9 p.m. on a Saturday night! Turns out, everybody else was in the bars with TVs, still watching the Cardinals play the Panthers.

And, of course, timing was everything, too. When the Cardinals/Panthers game hit halftime, the upstairs started to fill up. 

But we didn't care. We had some pizza, some beer, some laughs ("hee hee") and called it a night.

The sweet taste of victory is still in my mouth. Did you do anything crazy to celebrate?

(Photo courtesy of


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:25 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


this crazy joe guy is becoming quite intriguing.

i did on Sunday....

I LOVE a bar without a TV. Even better if the music isn't so loud that you have to scream to have a conversation. Yes, I feel like I'm 80 when I say that but sometimes when I go out with friends I like to actually talk to them.

Please, please, please: As this Ravens nonsense seems likely to drag on for weeks now (I am not a football fan, obviously) I need more TV-less bar suggestions!
My friends and I cannot remain isolated in our homes (in Canton -- prime territory for Ravens fans taking up all the parking and peeing on the sidewalks) with earmuffs on to deaden the screaming emanating from local bars during the game.
We need a place to go during games that does not have TVs and is likely to be empty of Ravens fans (we found one quiet bar in Fells last weekend, but 10 minutes after the game, it was taken over by drunken frat boys wearing purple costumes and screaming at each other).
I'm not trying to insult anyone. I'm sure football is a very enriching and rewarding pasttime. I just need a quiet place to have a glass of wine.

Idle Hour, Dionysus, Brewer's, XS, Brass Elephant (basically the entirety of Mt. Vernon), most of the hipster places in Hampden like Rocket to Venus, ... that's probably enough

McGarvey's in Annapolis doesn't have any televisions and they do very, very well. I now hear that the Hamilton Tavern doesn't have any tv's either and that is suppose to be a great place. Whatabout the Chesapeake Wine Company in Canton, that might solve both of your concerns KB.

KB - go ahead and offend someone. I've seen thanksgiving gatherings fall apart by relatives who haven't seen each other in months abandon meals and conversations to watch games like it was only game of the year.
Guys, who's only exercise is the walk from their car to their office, talk about a player's performance like they could take field and show them how it's done.
Taking undue pride in a group of overpaid out of towners who make up the team like they were all home guys they grew up with or were their children.
As enriching and rewarding as an addiction.

Hi KB-

I suggest that during the rest of the NFL season you could go to just about any bar in Nashville and have a nice quiet time.

To KB in Canton... I'm in Canton too, although I'm a couple of blocks away from the weekend evening madness of the square.

I don't think Helen's has TVs at the bar, do they? I wouldn't think Helen's a big football watching bar. Jacks has a couple of TVs, but tends to have a quieter crowd. Same with McGoverns. Helens and Jacks have excellent wine lists, too.

I'd also suggest taking a walk over to Chesapeake Wine. If you are up for an even longer walk, Birds of a Feather is usually a quiet, more mature crowd.

Or, you can continue to do what I do (although I *am* a football fan): Stay home, watch the game on my big high def tv, with my beer, my wine, my friends, and my dog.

BTW - If I catch someone peeing, they don't do it again.

The Laughing Pint in Highlandtown. And they have board games and such.

Today, I was wondering why I never thought of Chesapeake Wine Company ... and then I realized that's because it's not open on Sundays. :-(

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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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