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June 12, 2009

As per your votes, Canton's best neighborhood bar is ...

mahaffeys pub baltimoreMahaffey's!

The bar with the neighborhood's biggest beer selection wins. Bartenders comes in second and the Baltimore Taphouse takes third place.

Gecko's and Canton Station tied for fourth place.

After re-reading all 80-some responses, I was intrigued by the heated debates over the owners of Mahaffey's and the Pickled Parrot. Man, some of you guys really took the Pickled Parrot to town.

But I was pleased to see the owners of the Parrot and Bartenders responding to questions and complaints about their establishments ...

It's cool to have everybody reading and responding ...

I'm planning on doing a Best Neighborhood Bar award for a few more neighborhoods in the coming weeks. I'll file away the winners and give them Best of the Best of the Best awards at a later date.

What neighborhood do you wanna tackle next?

(Sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:59 AM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Commenters' Choice Awards


As a Sobo resident, I say Federal Hill/Sobo aka The Fed Easy...but the other obvious choice would be Fells Peasy


Sharp-Leadenhall. >;-D

Brooklyn. I DARE you.

Fairfield. Dickeyville. Sudbrook Park. Edmonson Village. Orangeville.

And, of course, Pikesville.

My new neighborhood, Oakenshawe?

haha, the answer would probably be CantonKate's future apartment.

I'll vote Charles Village/Hampden so I can get some tips for places to check out.

looks like i'm in the minority, but whenever i go to canton i try to make it to pickled parrot. They have really good mussels and gumbo and a great beer selection for a bar so close to the square. one afternoon it was just me and the bartender and we had a great discussion about microbrews/belgium beers.

i also love the taphouse and mahaffeys...but why all the hate?

Wait... there are actually decent bars in Brooklyn? I've been living there for 3 years now and have yet to find one.


I would first like to thank Sam for coming up with such a great topic. I will then say that as a bartender and owner it is nice to see that so many people feel so strongly about their neighborhood bars. Baltimore is certainly a city of diverse neighborhoods and I think without a doubt that neighborhood watering holes add to a sense of community.
I must also thank all of those who piped in for Bartenders and reiterate that without you and all of the other Schmoes we would just be four guys with a heck of alot of booze and pizza doughs on our hands. Henceforth we would just be more drunk and fat than we already are.
I'm happy to have been a part of the debate. As for the next neighborhood, I'd have to say that the old stomping ground of Fed Hill would certainly cause a contentious response riot.
Happy F-R-Y-day everybody, Come in and ....Drink with us.
Dave Spence

Baltimore-Linwood and Highlandtown.

Hey Sam, '

'What a great idea. I am the owner/bartender at Elliott's Pour House in Brewers Hill. You should check us out when in the area.

I vote for Union Square or Cherry Hill.

Edmondson Village

Locust Point! Not just bars on Fort either.

I am completely biased as it is the closest bar to my house, but Elliotts Pourhouse in Brewer's Hill is my bar of choice. It has all I could ask for from a bar, great service, good beer and music, and an avid following of Baltimore sports. It is also the only bar I have ever known where the locals get together not only at the bar but outside of it to go to events be it sporting or wine tasting. It has a great local following and is a hot spot late night just about any day of the week.

If you haven't checked it out yet, Elliott's Pour House in Brewer's Hill is well worth the visit. You'll quickly see the great place that Jeff Mason has created. He even has field trips! That bar is going places fast. Don't miss out.

Owings Mills

Elliott's is a good bar, but how bout taking a look at some hidden gems in the county - like in Sparrows Point or maybe Pasadena. And when I say hidden gems, I mean ridiculously cold and cheap beer.

Elliotts has my vote. Their drink specials and draft selection is amazing. Great combination of old Baltimore neighborhood bar feel, with new Brewers Hill crowd and excitement. Three cheers for bartenders Mike and Sparky and owner Jeff too.

Hmm, Sam, has it gotten shilly in here or is just me?

Somebody close the window!

Best of the Best-

Annpolis - McGarvey's
Brewer's Hill - Elliott's Pour House
Canton - Bartender's
Federal Hill - Mum's
Fell's Point - John Steven's
Pasadena - Vistory Lounge
Chico, CA - Normal St.

This is my list.

There are a few establishments that seemed to have been skipped over. Sandman and Knotty Pine are both down to earth bars with very friendly service.

Elliot’s Pour House tops my list. Who can beat $1 beers during O's games? The bartenders are easy to have a conversation with and the patrons are friendly. Draft selection is seasonal but always impressive. If you are looking for a crowd, it is hit or miss. Business seems to pick up as it gets later in the night. Theme nights are pretty fun but rare. This is one of my favorite places that is within walking distance from home.

Hey, how come no one has mentioned Grundy's?

Jeff Maon -

Elliot's is great. Mike behind the bar is awesome. My brother lives on Foster in Brewer's Hill, and sometimes we'll be walking to the Square and stop into Elliot's for a drink...and stay all night! Keep up the great work.

Maybe you should ask which is the best neighborhood bar in Butcher's Hill? I wonder who is going to win?
Does anybody have any suggestions?

Not sure if you're being sarcastic here but the only bars I know of in Butcher's Hill are Life of Reilly and Salt. I wouldn't consider Salt a neighborhood bar. It's definitely a restaurant with a bar. So by default, I would say Life of Reilly wins. That is unless I'm missing another bar.

Cardwell, I think Jason had his tongue firmly planted in cheek with that one.

Cardwell, I actually messed up my own joke, I meant to say Brewer's Hill.

Too many hills in this town.

How about nominees for the Patterson Park area? There's Sharky's on the south side and Three...which might be lumped in with Salt in that it's more of a restaurant. And my personal favorite, Horsefeathers. It's a little gem on the corner of Streeper and Fairmount Ave a block north of Patterson Park. I personally enjoy having to be buzzed in in the evening hours and separated from the package goods section by bulletproof glass. Class, class, class!!!

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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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