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July 16, 2009

What's the best neighborhood bar in Mount Vernon?

mick o'shea'sWe've done Fells Point. We've done Canton. We've done Federal Hill. We've done Hampden.

I love how long this paragraph is getting.

Now comes a real challenge: What, in your opinion, is the best neighborhood bar in Mount Vernon? And why? Everybody gets one vote.

For the purposes of this contest, I'm defining Mount Vernon with these boundaries in mind: Guilford Avenue to the East, Fayette Street to the South, Howard Street to the West and Mount Royal Avenue to the north ...

This is a tough one, because Mount Vernon doesn't have nearly as many neighborhood bars as Fells Point or Federal Hill. A couple years ago, my vote would have been an easy one: Liam's Pint-Sized Pub. Alas, Liam's is no more. At least not for a while.

I'm going to have to cast my vote for Mick O'Shea's (328 N. Charles St., pictured). I've had some not-so-wonderful experiences with servers there. But when I think of a great neighborhood bar in Mount Vernon, Mick O'Shea's is the first place that comes to mind.

Plus, you can't beat their Monday night burger special ($6.99 for a burger, fries and a beer). I order Resurrection as my beer. Booyah!

What makes a neighborhood bar a neighborhood bar? Dig it.

Now, what do you think is the best neighborhood bar in Mount Vernon?

(Baltimore sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:00 AM | | Comments (61)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Commenters' Choice Awards


Midtown Yacht Club

Dig What?

oopsie! anon, it's fixed. dig it now.

My vote goes to the Mount Vernon Stable and Saloon. I also love Dougherty's Irish Pub. The Mount Royal tavern is cool as well, not sure it's within the boundaries though.

Jeez I almost forgot the Brewer's Art. I would actually put them in a tie with the Stable. Odd I know, but then again so am I.


I abstain from voting.

Gotta be The Brewers Art, home of the Nectar of N. Charles St.

I know some will say Doughtery's or Cobbers, but how could the great minds at Esquire be wrong?

All flippancy aside, that bar is one of my top 5 favorites on the three continents I have visited, including:

-Ye Olde Chesire Cheese in London, where Dickens, Voltaire, and Thoreau knocked back brews

-McSorely's in Manhattan

-Das Kamer in Amsterdam

-Toronado in San Fran

Brewers is indeed in their company...

You can be in there in a tuxedo, shorts and a t, head-to-toe leather, and nobody looks at you twice...brewers has the indesribable of a bar

On a side note, I can't believe Muggsy's was even MENTIONED in the best Federal Hill/Sobo bar...that place is so amateur its laughable.

A no brainer -- MTYC. Free peanuts and large beverages.

Make mine Brewer's Art.

I would vote for Brewer's Art, but I've never got the warm fuzzy welcoming feeling from their bartenders or staff. Honestly, I've never got that feeling from any bar in Vernon. Soooo I guess I'll go with Mick O'Shea's.

Babs -- Mount Vernon bartenders have lost that lovin' feelin'. Woah that looooovin' feeeeelin'. THEY'VE LOST THAT LOOOOOOOVIN' FEELIN' now it's gone. gone. gone. Woah-oah-ooo.

I would have voted Midtown, but ever since the city went smoke free it hasn't been the same. Therefore my vote goes to Brewer's Art.

I say Dionysus.

Although Midtown would have it in the past, it would have to go the Brewers.

If Cobbers was still around though...

The Stable. Brewers always gets all the attention, but to me it doesn't have the neighborhood feel.

hmmm...this is a tough one for multiple reasons. at first thought i would say brewers: i's my default bar to go to, i know most of the staff by name and they are always good to everyone i see there regularly..but the problem is just that: people that go there regularly. Because brewers is on every best of list in the city (and apparently the country now) you never get that neighborhood bar feel because it's a hodge-podge of customers from all over.

my second thought would be a tie between o'sheas and the stable. although o'sheas i seriously consider being too south to be considered part of mt. vernon.

SO...with that deductive reasoning now complete, i vote for brewer's art sunday - thursday

and mt. vernon stable friday and saturday

i know...i'm that guy, sorry sam.


Dionysus, easy. Laid back vibe, good food.

I do like Dionysus, but they play the Beastie Boys waaaaaaaaaaaay too much for me

Well, if I can't choose daugherty's because it's outside the bounds I might have to say Mt. Vernon Stable. I would say brewers but that has become less of a neighborhood bar.

Brewer's Art definitely. The Owl Bar is great hangout too.

Mid-town Yacht. Brewers is too croded and loud.

Midtown Yacht Club. No question. That place is the definition of neighborhood bar. I can't tell you how many times I've walked in there and come out with a new friend or 5.

My vote goes to the Mt. Vernon Stable, with Brewer's Art a close second.

My studio is next to O'Sheas and I wouldn't consider it to be in Mt Vernon... I would say Daugherty's. I wouldn't have said Liam's even when it was open because it was just too small... though I wish it was still open.

Midtown Yacht Club! Hands down. Great people, casual atmosphere. The bartenders really know how to treat their regulars. Jukebox is a plus and Thursday Karaoke Night is awesome. I'm also hearing rumors of an upcoming regular trivia night...

no doubt - Midtown Yacht Club - do they still do karaoke? - free peanuts and cold beer = neighborhood bar

Midtown is THE definitive local bar as far as I'm concerned.


Brewer's Art hands down (and not because of Esquire).

Owl Bar is good too but the food is terrible.

And if you haven't tried Midtown Yacht Club's wings, your'e definitely missing out.

Historically, Brewer's was pretty exclusive. James played very little music downstairs besides death metal (which ruled), and this kept it from devolving into a meat market. But that was nice. It's still fun to go there, but it's difficult to say there's much of a regular crowd there now. It's too hard to find a seat at key times, and the bartenders see so many different people that they don't even really remember you from one visit to the next, even if you're pretty regular.

Mind you, Dionysus (where James moved after Brewer's) is missing the death metal before the restaurant closes, and is still kind of sterile, and less welcoming than Brewer's is now, unless you're tight with the staff or willing to wait until the food service ends for the music to get good.

The reality of the situation with "neighborhood bars" is that whether you feel welcome despite there being an established "regular crowd" is wholly dependent on you, and what you like in terms of atomosphere - music, lighting, cultural vibe, etc.

In Mt. Vernon that's a tough thing to come by because the neighborhood is such a nexus of different kinds of cultures that make it difficult to make a real statement with the criteria you've laid out.

Within the geographical boundaries and based on the criteria you list, whether you're gay or not, the most "neighborhoodly" of bars in Mt. V is probably the Drinkery, with Dougherty's a close second.

I've got to vote for Midtown Yacht Club. Brewer's Art is the BEST bar, but not the best neighborhood bar in my opinion...

Dougherty's is far and away the best neighborhood bar in Mt. Vernon. Quiet enough that you can talk , easy to get a seat, good food, friendly regulars.

Midtown would be a close second, but, jesus, their beer is expensive compared to the rest of the neighborhood bars.


The Drinkery hands down! It's a great place to take a date and has awesome drink specials! It's very affordable for you to chill with friends....;)

Brewer's has great beer but leaves me cold.
Mick's has great food but not a great bar setup.
Midtown Yacht Club wins it for me for what I think of as a bar- casual, affordable, plenty of seating, great bartenders.

Brewer's Art is a nice place to go sometimes, but it's way too expensive to be a neighborhood bar. Midtown Yacht Club fits the bill. They have decent pub grub, plenty of drinks to choose from, reasonable prices, a crew of regulars, and John Hill.

Midtown Yacht Club.

I like Mid Town Yacht for best neighborhood bar.

Midtown Yacht Club!
Even though Dionysus has Abita Turbodog on tap....


Stable followed by sapphos.


-I'm surprised that the Mount Royal Tavern dosen't even get an honorable mention, it's the best place to go to not be seen and put 'yer Nick Nolte face on for little money.

For a neighborhood bar I have to go with the Stable. Brewers has great food and brew, but it's more of a place to go every now and then or to take visiting friends. The Stable is a place to hunker down with a group of neighborhood friends and waste the night away on beer, music and pinball. That, and the Brewers crowd is fairly standard, but with the Stable you never know quite what representation of the neighborhood you're going to get.

Gotta go Dionysus for a lot of the reasons mentioned. Some of the only outdoor seating in town, too. Brewers is definitely best in town, but not the most neighborhoodish.

Brewer's Art still #1
(2 - Dionsys; 3 - Dougherty's; 4- Owl Bar)

Hahahah Badminton's

I hope like heck that's what they name it, Ray Ray.

I hear Eddie Vedder is gonna stop by their grand opening.


yo Baltimore Liquid... I'm surprised someone knows of the cheshire cheese. They have catacombs down in the basement which lead to London's canal system. Which, allegedly, you can still reach till this day. But i prefer the small room of to the side when you first walk in. Plus, it's one of the few pubs in London that serve Sam Smiths.

oh and the best bar in Mt Vernon is Tusk Lounge in the top of the Brass Elephant.

Yessss, Tusk Lounge after work (tiffany glass, waterford crystal) and Brewers downstairs for after dark.

I really don't see Brewer's as a neighborhood bar, as much as I love that place. You can't even watch the Os at Brewer's Art. Midtown gets my vote!

LL -- I think you would get kicked out of Brewer's Art for even suggesting they televise a sporting event!

@ Paul_d: "I'm surprised that the Mount Royal Tavern dosen't even get an honorable mention, it's the best place to go to not be seen and put 'yer Nick Nolte face on for little money."

the tavern doens't have friends who read this blog and plug their bar. They don't NEED to be on here. They will aruond long after these yuppie bars have gone away.

Dionysus - great food, great tunes, great beers!

"LL -- I think you would get kicked out of Brewer's Art for even suggesting they televise a sporting event!"

haha - i would have thought that too, but a couple years ago, the nba finals were on and their portable tv they had behind the bar had run out of i ran to 711 and picked them up some.

so, for what it's worth...

Mt. Royal Tavern...can't hurt to plug the Foodscape exhibit now hanging at the Tav.

Brewer's Art, hands down.

Dionysus is just cold. MTYC has a crazy rodent problem, both eating the shells and working there. The Owl Bar just sucks for several reasons.

Midtown. Hands down


This one is a bit odd - but - I think that the Aloha Bar is the best place in Mt. Vernon. Everyone should already know Dionysus, Stable and Brewer's Art; however, Aloha Bar is a hidden gem.

They have great drinks (also fairly large), cozy atmosphere, and cheap sushi (yay for fish!) Now, I'm not a sushi connoisseur and therefore my taste may not stand up to your scrutiny - but I believe they make some pretty decent sushi, especially considering the price.

And it is a hidden gem, because there aren't that many people there usually. Maybe it's my introvert nature, but somehow I don't find it fun to visit Brewer's Art or Dionysus and not be able to carry a conversation over the noise or find seating in the dense crowd.

I dare you to try it- you will be pleasantly surprised.

We prefer down at the heels bars like Mt. Royal Tavern, on the rare chance we're able to go out.

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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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