« Cosmopolitan in Canton is sold | Main | Nissan Pavilion renamed Jiffy Lube Live »

January 11, 2010

Were most bars semi-empty yesterday?

ropewalk tavern baltimoreSince it's so much cheaper to watch Ravens games at my friend's place (he has a giant flat screen), I don't usually go out to bars during the regular season.

But yesterday, I wanted to be surrounded by fellow Ravens fans, cheering on our team as they took on the Patriots. 

A couple friends and I decided to meet at Ropewalk Tavern around noon. I got there first, and didn't believe what I saw: The bar was less than a quarter full, an hour before the game.

I thought it would have been packed by then. ...

We claimed three seats at the bar in the McFaul's room, no problem, and started knocking back beers. All drafts except for Arrogant Bastard were $2.50, and a few cold Peronis were just what the doctor ordered.

By halftime, Ropewalk had filled up some, but not much. The upstairs was closed, and while the tables and bar seats were full, there weren't many people standing around. I didn't even see anybody in the pool room at all.

I heard from a friend that Little Havana was offering $15 for all-you-can-drink, which included an entree. I'm not sure if that was true or not, but I'm not surprised.

In yesterday's paper, I helped out with a story about how expectations were low in Baltimore going into yesterday's game. There aren't as many purple lights or Ravens flags around, and people seemed pessimistic about the game.

Needless to say, this weekend's game is going to be outrageous.

But I wonder -- were most bars as semi-empty as Ropewalk yesterday?

(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:09 AM | | Comments (31)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


O'Donnell Square bars seemed to fill up after halftime. My guess is that some folks watching the game at home decided to get out of the house to be around other fans to witness that great victory. Being up 24-7 at halftime was reason enough to celebrate. And, if the Ravens had blown that lead, they wanted to commiserate with others.

I've heard estimates that each Ravens playoff game can mean up to $1 million in extra revenue for City bar and liquor store owners.

It is a fact that suburbanites want to come into town to watch the game for a more energizing experience. This is exactly what bars need right now. Beat Indy!

Get ready for bar mayhem on Saturday night, whether the Ravens win or lose.

The Hill in Federal Hill was pretty dead, maybe because its relatively new. They handed out a free shot to everyone though, which I thought was a nice touch.

I was at JA Murphy's in Fells Point yesterday afternoon. The small main room filled up pretty nicely by about 2pm, but it wasn't packed, and the dining room remained pretty much empty throughout. They were offering $1 shots at halftime.

You should have ventured out and about Federal Hill a little more then. Mothers was packed! Mad River had a big crowd. I ended up going to the Abbey to get a burger and watch the 2nd half and they were fairly busy (but not overly busy like Mothers). Ropewalk is not a place that I would think of if I wanted to watch a Ravens game with other fans.

I was at the Fieldhouse in Canton (the new place in the old Ray Lewis grill space) and it was absolutely packed, standing room only.

Midtown was packed before the game started, which meant I ended up watching it at a friends.

I stopped by a certain bar to get a photo right after the game had ended, and it appears that all the Ravens fans bolted the second the game ended--I saw lots of purple walking the streets en route to said bar. A clue to the mindset: I asked the proprietor who wan, and he said "Ravens, baby!" I rolled my eyes and said, "oh, lord....." and he said with a laugh, "So we get another week to be positively insufferable, right?" He had it right, and I'm laying low until this all blows over and I can go back to good beer.

I ended up at watching the game at the Green Turtle in Laurel--long story--The place was packed with Ravens' fans.

On a side note, Laurel used to be Redskins country, but obviously, no more. The purple is creeping ever-South.

City Limits in Locust Point was packed. They even moved the pool table and added a few more folding tables (with white linen table cloths!) and chairs to pack as many in as possible. They had extra bartenders on duty too though, so service was still pretty quick and friendly.

@tomvons I was in that unruly group at Midtown, the group of 20 with the 2 poor Patriot punching bags at the end of the table. I've seen the Yatch Club a lot more crowded on MNF than yesterday. I went by Clutch for the second half and was easily able to cop a squat so you may be on to something here.

turps was filled to the max. with people standing two deep around the very narrow bar area.

apparently UB was also having their graduation ceremony near by and on a couple of occasions a new grad would walk in with cap and gown on and the whole bar would clap for them, pretty cool.

Midtown Yacht Club was pretty full, too. (They had a carving station!)

We had a very good Sunday night, post-game celebrants, I guess. I suspect that Saturday will be a miserable bar night for us television-less establishments...

We were CRAZY busy @ Mother's. I made the mistake of trying to use the bathroom during the 3rd quarter. It took me 10 mins to get from the back bar to the bathrooms just fighting through the crowd. You couldn't move. Saturday night is going to be INSANITY! Can't wait. What a freaking great game.

All 3 Looney's were wall to wall

I'll check out Mother's'on Saturday night, per your tip, queen_coleen.

Little Havana was, in fact, running a $15 all you can drink mimosa and bloody mary special with an entree. They run it every Sunday. It's their brunch deal.

And they were packed.

Based on talk radio's reaction today, I can only imagine how wild the city will go during next weeks game.

Jiffy Lube Live was stretched wide with Redskins fans!

Maybe people are getting sick of having 5000 screaming flat screen televisions surrounding them everywhere they go to lift a glass to your lips or eat a hamburger. Really, turn that horrible garbage off just for ONE NIGHT. Please?

@ johnnycat - SHHHHHHHH for once!!

Sam, you should have a post about bars having deals and specials on Saturday night for the Colts' game. Given the time, they might be few and far in between.

Why don't we all (w'all?) stop mentioning how many "fuh-lat screen TeeVee's" (yes, notice the apostrophe) we come acros's in public?

Even the smallest, most yokel-est places all over town have 'em.

Most people don't even camp out for them after T-Day lunch anymore.

I'm thinking that maybe Sam was at a place that really isn't known as a big Ravens hangout. Based on the multiple responses from posters at various locations, there seemed to be many other bars that were packed/crazy busy/wall to wall/pretty full/filled to the max.
Expect more of the same across the city on Saturday night. Actually, Saturday will probably be worse because it's not a "school night."

In other words johnnycat, find a bar without a TV. You can drink with the bartender and be miserable together.


@johnnycat- ARE YOU SERIOUS? This is the Ravens in the playoffs. What planet are you from? Wow.

@queen_colleen -- johnnycat is the resident debbie downer.

OH WOW! THE RAVENS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS! WOW! BFD! What/How/Why is that exactly supposed to affect you, me or anyone in Baltimore? Why should anyone care about "The Ravens" in general? They don't care about you. All they care about is those millions of dollars they make every year, and you all just keep pattin them on the back like the good little sports fans you are. "Good Raven, you made 10 million dollars this year... good boy". I don't give a fat rat's ass about them, the "playoffs" or any other poor taste disruption of such magnitude. I mean for Chrissake, does it have to be everywhere we go? I wouldn't mind it half as much if they didn't have to pump that fake crowd noise into the audio. I was in Home Depot the other day, and I literally had to wait for what seemed an eternity to get the attention of Mr. Orange Apron because he was so engaged in verbally masturbating his favorite player with a co-worker. I'm sick of not being able to read signs on buildings because of the puke-purple lighting every company in town deems it necessary to install. What's next? A purple Best Buy logo? Really, I just can't wait for it to be over.


And another thing, You kids stay off my lawn!

When I was youngster all we had to do was stare at the Sun ... and we liked it!

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "x" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected