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March 22, 2010

Porter's to reopen tomorrow

porters is reopening. there really isn't much more to say here.According to this sign posted on the front door, the Federal Hill neighborhood bar/restaurant Porter's will be back in business tomorrow.

If you recall, Porter's closed suddenly last fall, and sat idle for a few months.

Then, in December, we heard that a guy named Kevin Cooper had taken it over and planned to reopen it under the same name, hopefully around February.

Now, it looks like Cooper's come through.

That's a great location, with a lot of foot traffic. I live in the neighborhood, and went to the old Porter's a few times, but was turned off by the sloppy service.

If the new Porter's can solve the service problems, it's sure to be a hit.

(Photo by me) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:50 PM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Congrats and best wishes to the new owners! One thing though...they couldn't have done a more professional-looking sign than that?

Great news! I'd had experiences there similar to Sam's, but I'm very optimistic about the "new" Porter's. At least I know the food will be awesome...GREAT talent in the kitchen!

Judging this bar by it's signage: it'll be closed within a year. I can't imagine putting less effort, less professionalism into something.

Geez Randy, give them a break. Maybe they didn't want to put money into a sign annoucing they were opening; neighborhood places need to depend a lot on word of mouth. And a few people walking by, seeing the handwritten sign will pass the word through the neighborhood. I'd rather see less frills and better value then money poured into a "we're opening Wednesday" sign.

Anon -- I don't think a business has to spend hundreds or thousands on signage. Simply get a hold of Microsoft Word and there ya go. Anything looks better than a hand written sign.

The sign cracks me up. I'm not going to make a sweeping generalization on what it means for the future of the business, but yeah, seriously, Times New Roman or even a a Sharpie would have looked a little better.

Best of luck to them!

Can't wait! I live down the street from Porter's and appreciate having a nice, cozy spot so close. My complaints about the old Porter's were that the food wasn't great, the waitstaff was generally rude and slow (and often screwed up orders), and the lack of happy hour specials (and generally overpriced food). I am excited for the new Porter's to open and hopefully resolve these issues!

I like the sign. It's a neighborhood bar and the handwritten sign is friendly and neighborly. That's the kind of people that Porter's wants to attract. If you're not into it, go to PowerPlant or Mad River.

Some people are so critical - geesh! They have been nice enough to give us not one but a few updates about their opening and their snapshot menu was nicely typed on the door for quite some time. I hope this means they are a laid back bar and that their lack of effort in putting a typed updated note means that effort is going into opening soon, with great food, prices and service. I'm excited for the new Porter's!!!

I'm psyched. I've been in a state of hibernation since (old) Porter's closed. Short of the former owner occasionally seeming grumpy we never had a bad experience, per se.

Hopefully the new owners will have better taste and make it a Red Sox bar!

I couldn't agree more with Mr Anonymous. If you are worried about the sign, you should be heading towards PowerPlant or Hooters! I hear they have good wings. I think the sign is HOLARIOUS! We needed updates and there ya go!!!

Does that sign say, "I wrote this in pencil!" ?

They posted their menu a few months back and I was not pleased. Then word of mouth said it was being reconsidered after complaints. Few weeks ago revamped menu was posted and it looked a lot like the one folks complained about. More frou-frou, less comfort food. The food @ Porter's when Joe ran it was excellent with a nice blend of food available. I'll try the new Porter's, but the menu currently is not one I find attactive.

The sign is sad.
They should have hired an interperative dancer and a mime to get the word out.

If the sign is any indication of the future it will be another "wing and burger joint" in a year. Did they get someone from the neighborhood elementary school to write that sign?

Personally, I am excited for their opening.

Within in two weeks Federal Hill has 3 places opening.

1. Porter's
2. Centro- on Light Street
3. Blue Grass- on Hanover Street

I seriously cannot remember the time I have heard something as ridiculous as people judging a new bar's potential by a note (not a sign) by the owner letting them know when they are opening. I think hand-written actually is more personal for a neighborhood place (ie in the middle of federal hill-proper and not charles and cross-vegas sts.) Its not like they hand-wrote the Porter's sign, or worse-yet didn't hang one like that shade basket across from Little Havana...

I kind of can't believe I'm even debating this. Don't go. Because of the sign.

There were many hand-written signs posted in the window as the status of the opening changed over the last few weeks and months. It's no big deal guys. I recently hand wrote a note to the Hall Alley dog poop bandit that I think will illustrate my feelings the same as a super-duper mega sign would. Nobody really cares how the note looks...

Anyway, last night was the grand re-opening - I went, and had a great time. I LOVED Porter's when Joe was running it, and think I will love it now that Kevin and Dawn are in there. The changes that've been made to the bar are subtle... not offensive; it still feels like home. I could live without the white tablecloths, but that's just me resisting a change.

So here is the skinny on last night.

The place was PACKED. Porter's isn't a huge bar, so it was a little cramped inside, but all in all, everyone was happy. The crowd was a mix of Regi's patrons, and legacy Porters-goers. It was nice to see some old faces (including Anny!), and sit in the old booths.

The beer is priced reasonably. $3 for a MLB, $4.50 for Magic Hat, and $5 for a Guiness.

The food was great, and the menu was much less fu-fu than I'd anticipated. The meatloaf sammy was good, the burger was OK (too much char), the fries were good and the buffalo and bleu dip was great! The show stopper though was the PB and Chocolate mousse. Holy freaking cow; lick the bowl, bowl lickers.

A few of us stayed late into the night, and once the bar was near empty, that old familiar feeling at the corner of the bar and shooting the [stuff] was definitely back. A few guys got overly festive, and I was quickly reminded how close Riverside is to Light St - but hey... you've got to break the place in right I suppose!

wait... hall alley dog poop bandit?? is this the alley between riverside/battery, and if so, what do they do to you???

@curious - Sounds to me like the dastardly fiend is stealing Ken's dog poop

BC... it's the opposite.

My 6 sq' yard seems to have magically appearing dog poop. I wish some "other" bandit would come and steal it; then you would be right, and I would be dog poop free (aka happy).

I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes.

I had dinner at Porter's last night and we met Kevin Cooper, the owner, who wated on us and was very pleasant. It was busy and warm and cozy as i remembered it before.. The service (greatly improved) and food were excellent and we left happy and content; feeling like you do when you spend time with an old fav friend you haven't seen for awhile. Good Luck Porter's and see you soon!

My wife and I always put Porters on the list when we had out of town company and wanted a leisurely paced dinner with a short walk. The slow service was a plus. I'm sure we'll go soon to patron the new owners, but if we feel that it's become a get-em-in-and-get-em-out place, we'll stick to AbbyBurgerBistro.

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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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