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March 16, 2009

What is this place called?

?I drive by it from time to time and always wonder.

It's either HJ's Saloon or JH's Saloon. I believe it's on Eastern Avenue.

Even after reading the sign out front, I'm confused.

But it seems like this is one of the last old-school Fells Point bars where really low-key drinkers can camp out all day and all night.

Am I right?

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:04 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I lived a few blocks from this place on and off for years and years, and have walked by it a thousand times (at least half of those times Bon Jovi seemed to be blasting out of the front door in the middle of the day). But yeah, I haven't the slightest clue what it's called.

that place has the charming feel of a halfway house....

On a random Sunday years ago I walked inside with some friends of ours on the way back from brunch. The best way to describe it (the bar AND its inhabitants) is a David Lynch film come to life. There were unusual food products for sale (pickled eggs, off-brand candy) and the patrons inside seemed to literally recoil from the sunlight as the door creaked open. We kinda said "hello" and quickly moved on lest we be abducted for use in some weird Hostel-style torture club.

I swear they have a gimp.

On a beautiful tues evening - my roommate and i decided to stop on by for a cocktail on our way to the classy chubbys gentlemens club - so we slipped into the bar and passed a few crack addicts and a few patrons that were sleeping on the bar. The bartender looked like she just cashed in her marlboro miles for the year and was old enough to be my grandma.

No clue what it's called, but this not far from my house, and you're right - it does seem to operate round the clock with a loyal following of regulars (likely Cats Eye rejects).

The 'No Loitering' sign is especially humorous, since you can find any number of shady folk standing around outside this place at any time, any day.

I'd like to nominate this as the site of the next Midnight Sun get-together ... what say you, Sessa?

I heard the 7-Up bar was closing.....

Your next Fells Point mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out if the place at the northwest corner of Lancaster and Regester 1) is ever open, and 2) if it has a name besides "BAR". Un-be-freaking-lievably, I'm told by more senior Fells Point historians that said bar was THE original Fells Point music club, Harry's Bar, back in "the day" (probably meaning "before Sam Sessa was born").

Bar on Lancaster is the best bar in the city of baltimore. Period. No questions or arguments will be considered. Thank you & have a nice day.


Bar is named Bar. It's open when the owner feels like it.

Bar is called Bar. Vicky opens it when she wants. Please don't go in there with a popped-collar and give her a hard time about serving you canned beers. It's not cute. In fact, it bores her ... and the rest of us. And yes, she accepts only cash. None of daddy's credit cards will be taken.
I've seen ignorant, spoiled people be horrible to her ... which is probably why she only opens when she gets a good feeling about the day.

Sam, can you get veteran Sun writer Jacques Kelly or Fred Rasmussen to give some historical facts on the Bar? Looks like I'm not the only one who is curious about the back story.

I've tried, other reporters have tried. She doesn't want to talk, apparently, unless you're at least 60 years old and have the same temperament as Moe Syzlack or Groundskeeper Willie. There's hope for Jacques or Fred, but it still might have to wait for some obituary.

I also live by the 7-Up bar and its one of the more interesting little nuggets in that area. Interested in getting hit on by a 65 year old man sitting in the gutter smoking? Walk right by! Wonder what its like when two drunken senior citizen women are fighting about "bringing up the past" at around 2:30 in the afternoon on a wednesday, stop by! How about seeing a man outside having a smoke, drunk with his shirt tucked into his adult diaper? The 7-Up bar has it all!!!

This place seems like a great place. If anyone is heading out from the essex area let me know, I wanna go.

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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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