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January 21, 2010

City Tap House to open in Harbor East

various tap handlesThe City Tap House, a spacious restaurant and bar with more than 100 craft American and European draft beers, plans to open by late August in Harbor East.

A new concept being rolled out by restaurant developer/chain Public House (which also runs the new Field House in Canton), the City Tap House will have a beer sommelier, private tasting lounge, open kitchen and wood-burning pizza oven, according to owner Brian Harrington.

The Tap House, which will occupy the space next to RA Sushi near the intersection of South Eden and Lancaster streets, will seat 175 in the dining areas as well as 60 around the island bar. ...

"Baltimore's going to get a kick out of this one," said Harrington, who went to college at Loyola.

"This is not a knock on Max's. They have an extensive selection. But this is a different animal."

Harrington plans to bring in local and national brewers for tastings, and have the kitchen staff create four- and five-course meals around the beers. 

(Baltimore Sun archive photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:11 AM | | Comments (32)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


So then, what kind of animal is this?

Sounds great, except for one thing: the name.

Remember, Growler's in Canton was forced to change their name under threat of lawsuit because there was a Growler's in the midwest (and Gaithersburg). They changed it to Baltimore Tap House.

How confusing and frustrating for the owner to find a bigger competitor moving in and naming themselves City Tap House.

Enough with the embarassingly generic names. I know that this is another corporate owned mega-bar, but they should at least try to hide it by giving it an original handle.

It sounds like a poor man's take on "RFD: Regional Food and Drink" in DC.

Then again, it is Harbor East, and people who are hanging out there aren't looking for neighborhood haunts.


I think the "different kind of animal" comment must be referring to their prospective customers being different than Max's customers.

If their National Harbor location's website is any indication--

"Sunday and Monday
Bottomless Wings and Coors Light Drafts for ONLY $25

Miller Light Bucket and a Plate of Supreme Nachos for $25! "

Sounds like a very different animal to me.

I got out of Max's on Sunday with:
- 32oz Flying Dog
- 32oz Dogfish Head
- 1 pint of some coffee stout
- 1 bottle of Innstadt Edelsud
- 1 Order Greek Nachos
- 1 Order Buffalo wings

for under $50 including tip. That beats a plate of nachos and a few miller lites any day. I will still probably check out this new place though, but Max's will still be my go-to.

For $25, I'd need to be served my wings and Coor's Light from a bottomless waitress.

well at least their not opening ANOTHER sushi place. I will stay loyal to max's. It's in harbor east so by 'different animal' they probably mean more overpriced

Making that wings & Coors Light special worth it on a Monday might be difficult, but I definitely see a challenge written all over that Sunday deal.

I anticipating sitting at the bar for an entire day with my friends seeing who can eat/drink the most. Awesome.

That is a picture of Muggsy Mug House right there!!! Be sure to stop by February 1st for the beginning of the week of 100,00 Mugs...Sam, you should post something about this...

Hey gang, this food and drink deal you're discussing isn't for City Tap House -- it's for another bar chain called Public House, owned by the same company. I don't know for sure, but my guess is, the City Tap House won't have the same specials as Public House.

@Mugg -- Technically, it's a picture of Clayton's Tavern. I needed a photo with a bunch of tap handles in it, so I pulled that one. Don't worry though -- I'm all over the Week of 100,000 Mugs.

Ditto on what kateebee said about the Sunday night deal...

Variety is the spice of life.. so, I am looking forward to trying out a new place..and if it's sucessful, it can only be a positive for Baltimore and it's economy..

Sam, I know, but a girl can dream, right?!?

Lisa, you are welcome to take part in the (so far hypothetical) competition! In fact, I say we challenge some boys to see if we can beat them. I'm pretty sure I could.

What type of animal is this?

Max's for wine snobs.

Dull name.

All you can eat wings & beer special sounds nice except that they would have to offer something better than Miller Light to get me there.

In fact, why would one even go to a beer palace and order such common swill?

Work out a deal with one of the local breweries or alternate the offerings between several of the more affordable beers. Any old neighborhood bar offers equal or better specials than that. Come up with something that makes one want to venture towards the Harbor instead of a nothing special special.

Beer Deer, read my comment above. Again, they're talking about a special at a different bar.

This animal is the latest attempt to bring DC prices and soullessness to Baltimore!

My mistake, Sam. Sorry.

I think you mean beer snobs, James. And if you want to sit in WT Hampden and drink your Nasty Boh sissy beer made from corn and/or rice syrup, have at it.

"There is no strong beer; only weak men."

No worries, Liquorboarding.

why not just name it "Pretentious Beer Bar"?

Wow, ok, those specials that LiquorBoarding posted are for a different place, that's too bad but let's wait and see what this City Tap House WILL have for specials, and yup, kateebee, let's do it.. : )
Two things I know i can beat anyone at downing: Raw Oysters, and yes, Sushi. Wish those were available bottomless (and good quality) somewhere, but i won't hold my breath.

@SushiGril...I know Alonso's in Roland Park has free Blue Point oysters on Thursdays from 4:00 until they are gone...

"A different animal" ... ???

Explain please.

Gonna take A LOT to get me and many others out of Max's on a weekly basis. Casey can literally get any beer he wants at Max's... not sure what kind of connections Mr. Harrington has, but I'm eager to find out. Best of luck!

LOL at a place that offer more than 100 craft American and European draft beers and then serves horrible swill (Miller Lite) as part of there special. Crass.......

not sure how they can be a different animal than max's with all their different unique weekly tappings and beer weekends, but i am anticipating a joint like churchkey in dc

that said, i am never out on any new beer joints.

i see a list of top ten best mircobrew/international beer bars in bmore:

Baltimore Tap House
Brewer's Art
ale mary's

i know i'm missing a lot, but that's just off the top of my head

Ryan, just your list of beer bars alone is enough to get any beer geek's mouth watering. How lucky are we? Now if only we could get a few more great breweries to distribute to the great state of Maryland.

Sam, thanks for posting this. We just posted a blurb on our site (with a link here) and are in the process of contacting Mr. Harrington to get some beer-geeky nuggets!

You would think they could be unique in name and what they do. But it looks like it won't be. They have "the Yard House" out west. They have as many beers on tap as any place around here and it gets it's name because you can order a beer in a glass the length of a yard. That's unique. This place just sounds like a pricier Maxs.

I spoke tonight with a couple beer distributor reps tonight about that place--while quaffing from a firkin of Cape Ann Greenhorn Double IPA at Max's, of course.

Long story short--they will have to work to impress me. Any number of North American Industrial Lagers above five won't do it.

One can only hope City Tap House is as gloriously generic as Field House. I had high hopes for that place, not really sure why.

I am sure it won't be as nice as the east coasts premier location for drinks on tap.....TAPS in federal hill. Never has a bar worked so hard at bringing in 5-7 of the worlds most fine crafted beers. They also have domestic bottles!

(see what I am implying here)

....that you own/are employed by them, Shill?

ha, no that it sucks. how can you name a bar TAPS and have around 4 beers? max's def takes the cake with drafts from around the world. I was impressed with Abbey Burgers selections as well

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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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