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July 14, 2009

The beginning of this year's Dundalk Bar Crawl: Gattus, Gray Manor Inn, Manny's

gattus barLast year, we eased into the Dundalk Bar Crawl by starting at the Hard Yacht Cafe (neutral ground).

This time, there was no holding back.

We plunged headfirst into Dundalk's rich dive bar scene, starting with Gattus Bar (617 S. North Point Road, Dundalk). Gattus is straight-up old school -- wood paneling lines the walls inside, and the sign out front still has Baltimore Colts horseshoes on it.

Same goes for the prices: Five Budweiser bottles cost $7.50. These weren't happy hour prices, either -- this was at 9 p.m. on a Friday.

The bartender asked us all for our IDs, which would be a recurring theme for the night. Just about everywhere we went, the bartenders thought we were a pack of police cadets looking to bust them for serving alcohol to minors. Being 25 (and one of the youngest guys in the group), I couldn't help but chuckle ...

Another recurring theme: At just about all our stops, the regulars were warm and welcoming. A few times, they came over, shook our hands, introduced themselves and struck up conversations with us. Still, yet another recurring theme: Just about every bar had a horseshoe-shaped bar, which I love. So much more inviting than a long, narrow rowhouse bar.

Our second stop was the Gray Manor Inn -- perhaps the least welcoming spot on our tour. It wasn't like a record scratched and everybody stopped what they were doing to look at us when we walked in. But we just got the feeling that we weren't welcome there.

shuffleboard at the gray manor innWe asked for two pitchers of beer, and again, the bartender asked us all for our IDs. Then he served us two of the smallest pitchers I've ever seen.

Each pitcher came with a few 8-ounce beer glasses, like you see in black-and-white movies. The only other place I've seen such small cups is at the Venice Tavern in Highlandtown.

Sure, each "pitcher" only cost $4. But when we looked around the room, we were the only suckers with small glasses. Everybody else had normal-sized pint glasses. Hmph.

The DJ was all over the place, from Fleetwood Mac to Santana to George Michael to some 1950s tune. The Gray Manor has one of the largest shuffleboard tables I've ever seen (pictured). It looked old but was well-maintained.

In order to get the pucks, we had to give an ID to the bartender as a deposit. We did, but we weren't there long. After downing our two tiny pitchers (it didn't take long), we were outta there.

Next up was Manny's. I'd love to give you the address, but I can't even find this place on Google. But it's right across the street from the Left Field Pub (3813 N. Point Blvd., Dundalk). Manny's was a ghost bar.

Nobody was there. It was us and the bartender, a middle-aged woman. Manny's had Formstone on the outside and inside. The only other place I've seen that is Rafter's (620 E. Fort Ave.). Manny's had this Tom Waits meets Charles Bukowski, kinda ominous vibe. A big photo collage with a drawing of an older gentleman smoking a stoagie (Manny, I presume), hung on a wall.

When the bartender shut the front door, we thought it was going to be a scene out of From Dust Til Dawn. The six of us finished our bottles of beer ($2 each) and bounced ASAP.

Stay tuned for part two, when we witness a true blue country bar and one of the best food and drink deals ever ...

(Photos by Andy Shankman)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:38 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


A pitcher of draft beer SHOULD be served with 8 - 10 oz. glasses. I think all this "pint" glass crap started in the late 80s. Why would you want to drink out of something you'd drink iced tea in?

@ Hugo Suhr,

'Cause its America and these colors don't run!

whoa u guys went to dundalk thats cray cray even more than drinkin in the morningtime

Nickleback sucks

Nickleback sucks

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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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