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March 22, 2010

The Atlas Bar: A hidden gem in Charles Village

the atlas barWith all the Preakness action going on last week, I didn't have time to mention the nightlife column in Friday's Live! section.

It was about the Atlas Bar, a cool but comically hidden watering hole in lower Charles Village. Run by Angela Devoti, it's one of my favorite new artsy dive bars. (Here's a link to the column.)

Devoti's got her own term for the spot: A "high dive." Heh.

I've been to the Atlas Bar twice, and it hasn't let me down. Great vibe, great drinks, great hideout. How do you get there? Lemme tell ya ...

The bar itself is in a side room of the Charles Street Carryout, which isn't on Charles Street. It's near the corner of 25th and St. Paul streets. When you walk in, veer off to the left, and you'll walk through a doorway to the Atlas Bar.

Angela was telling me that during the blizzard, thieves broke into the carryout, ate some cake, discovered the bar, drank some tequila and nabbed the big flat screen at the end of the bar. She used to keep it on the Turner Classic Movie channel with the volume all the way down.

Losing the TV made the place cooler, I tried to tell her, but she seemed fixed on getting a replacement.

Angela scored this sweet mini-claw game, which she's going to fill up with scraps of paper with bar specials on them so patrons can play. Awesome.

I wanted to be selfish and keep the Atlas Bar to myself. But a place this cool needs to be shared.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:34 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Not to split hairs, but that is The Charles Carryout, as in Charles Village - no Street in the name.

Thanks for shining a light into that hole - I didn't even know what it was about! The paper signs on the glass were enough to keep me from being too curious. That has now changed...

I brought a friend and his new girlfriend to Atlas. She's been in Baltimore a year, living in Hampden. After five minutes, she said, "This is my new bar."

Meanwhile, I have not been a bar regular in 3 or 4 years. Atlas has made me a bar regular.

oooooh, i am very much looking forward to checking this place out!

I too have been to the Atlas bar twice now, and I too said "This is my new bar" during my first visit. The place is everything Sam says it is, along with these nice touches:

Since it's inside the Charles Carryout, it's got a built-in kitchen that serves pizza, sandwiches and Indian food, among other things. That's a great bonus.
Angela says they'll soon have free wi-fi.
Angela showed us a little fenced-in back yard she plans to spruce up for the summertime.

Also, they're using the same philosophy that Bad Decisions does: Instead of focusing on drink specials, just keep the prices low. The drinks at the Atlas are nearly as dirt-cheap as they were at the defunct Kitty Kat Bar.

And, as an added bonus for me, it's two blocks from my house. Expect to find me there often.

great find. gonna have to venture up there sometime soon.

You know what Sam? We were gonna go in there, but on second look at that little photo, we actually dated Angela for a hot minute a few years ago.

We will definitely NOT be drinking there anytime soon, and we'll leave it at that.

I don't know if it's a shame or an honor that you probably can't name a bar I haven't been to.

wow, I less than two blocks from there and never new it existed. I'll check it out!

wtf "we"?

WTF cheap drinks? Natty-Bo should be a buck a can. The liquor store next door is just 7 for 12, imagine buying wholesale! We were the only people in there and trying to get a beer was like pulling teeth. What would happen if Angela was busy? We will not return! It'd be real if this post makes it on the board.

Liquors stores tend to get discounts on items like Natty Boh by buying them in 20 or more case intervals, knocking the price down much lower than most small bars pay buying just a few cases at a time. That's why you are able to buy a case of boh at most liquor stores cheaper than a bar can buy them for themselves from the distributor.

If you want cheap beer, go drink at home. There's a reason drinks cost more at a bar.

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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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