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September 21, 2009

My thoughts on Turp's

turp's baltimoreAsk and ye shall receive.

Well, we asked for a sports bar in Mount Vernon, and lo and behold, we got one.

After visiting the new Turp's (1317 N. Charles St.), I have to say -- overall, I'm pleased with Mount Vernon's one and only sports bar.

Sports bars are the comfort food of the nightlife scene. You want to know what you're getting: Flat screen TVs, buffalo wings and decent beer prices.

I didn't try the buffalo wings, but Turp's came through on the other two. ...

Turp's has orange walls, a few flat screens and a big chalkboard along one wall with food and drink specials. It's a comfortable place. Considering Turp's is near the intersection of Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue, it should get some decent foot traffic, too.

We went at 10:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, and ordered a pitcher of Yuengling for $6.50. I'm not sure if it was a special or a standard, but that's a great price.

My only real complaint with Turp's was a familiar one, given this city's bar scene: poor service. I've heard this from other people, too, about Turp's.

Our server started fine, recommending the pitcher over two pints of beer. But once we were finished the pitcher, she disappeared. We wanted to get our check and leave, but had to wait for her instead.

Studies have shown that the worst thing a server can do is leave customers hanging when they're waiting on the check. And our server left us with a bad taste in our mouths. But since Turp's is new, and I'm sure they're still working out the kinks, I'm not going to let that keep me from going back.

Should you go out of your way to try Turp's? Nope. But if you're in the area and you want to watch the game with some friends, Turp's is just the spot. And that's all you can ask of a good neighborhood sports bar.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:50 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I would like offer my own humble opinions regarding Turp's, having eaten some very inexpensive nachos there a week or two ago.

First I'd like to establish that I and everyone I was with that night had decent service. But then again a lot of people are talking about poor service experiences there so I can't really call it a fluke.

At any rate, I thought one of the best aesthetic choices the owners have made was to make the flat panels recessed into the wall, giving them almost a 'moving painting' effect. They aren't obstrusive or loud, and if you're standing to the side somewhere you won't even notice them for the most part.

Second, I think the daily specials are ridiculously good. Half price pizzas, half price nachos, burgers, etc, 5 dollar buckets of PBR tall boys (the 16 oz kind), crazy.

Third, the food is pretty great. The pizza is made by Viccino's and an 18" pie runs about 11 bucks. For bar food, the quality is just slightly a cut above in quality especially given the price - and say what you want, but I think it mostly stems from the fact that the kitchen is run by the same people that run XS sushi and Viccino's pizza (natch).

Fourth, putting a sports bar in that location is nothing short of genius. It's the only sports bar in the area, and it's right next to university of baltimore which just recently started their four year program for undergrads. I mean, it seems like a no brainer to me, having a sports bar within walking distance of a commuter-centric four year university. Granted the cultural tapestry of the area might clash with the idea in pretty much everyone's minds, but there's definitely a college student market there that hasn't been tapped up to this point.

...that's all I got

Based on what I see in the picture and from the experience you had... For those that miss Bert's in Charles Village, we now have Turps.

What the hell is that first character in the upper left-hand corner of the menu board supposed to be? What typeface family is that one in?

Yeah, why is service in B'more so inattentive sometimes?

@johnnycat that's an ancient Viking Rune put there to make the business successful. Wipe it away and you destroy the business.

All I'm saying is, do it right, or don't do it at all.

Reminds me of PJs Pub in Charles Village with that chalkboard on the wall. Also, Monday night wing special is similar to PJs.

So nobody else thinks this place is typosquatting the Terps?


It's actually font-squatting :)

@Chris- The manager's name is John Turpin. They call him Turp, I guess.

jmgiordano, i wanna run in there with an eraser, wipe off the rune and laugh maniacally as the bar disintegrates around me. FULL THROTTLE!

also, typosquatting is a pretty awesome word.

Also also, I'm standing behind my idea to extend the name of this bar to Turp's Slurp and Burp.

Slurp and Burp is my nickname for Sip and Bite.

Sorry Sam, Slurp n' Burp is already taken. It's been the nick for Sip n' Bite on Boston Street forever.

Let's go over to Turp's and I'll bring the eraser.

I always thought that TURP stood for Transurethral Resection of the Prostate.

The flipped "W" is actually a pretty clever Baltimore sports reference.


That's not a flipped W. If you flip a W it is still a W, assuming of course you're not retarded enough to flip it on its horizontal axis. I have no idea what that character is, or what they were trying for. Stop trying to be clever. Just stop it.

Oh, I'm sorry, you're right. The "W" is not the same typeface as the Memorial Stadium "M", just flipped 180 degrees. It's not... you're right.

5 out of the 6 times I have been there the service has been great. The one time I did go and it was bad, just seemed like there was a new server. It took us forever to just get a bucket of beers.

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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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