« Pick your favorite custom XLerator for Pub Dog | Main | $.99 Natty Bohs at Singer's »

April 15, 2010

An ode to the early morning drinker

Zissimos in the morningAt 7 a.m. today, there wasn't much action on The Avenue.

A few cars whizzed by empty Hampden sidewalks as the morning sun began to burn off last night's dew. The shops were shuttered, and most of the restaurants deserted -- except for one.

The door to Zissimos hung wide open, an invitation for folks to skip the coffee and go for a stronger morning brew. But no one had taken the dive bar up on its early morning offer.

Zissimos sat empty, its bar stools begging for company. I wasn't about to oblige them. But it was nice to know that if I wanted to, I could trash today's plans and spend the morning with a few Buds.

Have you ever done a dawn bar crawl? Its been more than a year since my last one. Jmgiordano and I hit up Hogan's and the Locust Point Tavern at 6 am one weekday. It was an eye-opener ...

Yes, there are people who start drinking before the sun comes up. Old folks, mostly. They'll nurse a few cold ones until mid afternoon, go home, take a nap, get up and go right back to the bar. They're devoted. Some might think that's sad, but I have another idea.

In my mind, these are guys who worked hard labor their whole lives, dreaming of the day they'd be able to sit on their butts and drink beer from sunup to sundown. So there they are, perched on bar stools, tossing back cold bottles of Bud Light while most people haven't gotten out of bed yet.

Do you get a hangover if you drink all day, every day? Or does your body accept a certain level of drunkenness -- that is, of course, before your liver gives out?

It doesn't take much to get a good buzz going if you start extra early. After only two Buds at 6:30 a.m., I was feeling just fine. Unlike the other early morning drinkers, I was back in bed by 8 a.m. My body wasn't set for swilling so early, it seems.

When I walked past Zissimos at 7:45 a.m., it wasn't empty any longer. A couple patrons leaned over the bar, relaxed and ready to greet the day.

(Photo by me)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:06 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


As someone who enjoys watching soccer games that are televised live here in the US fairly early, I must say that I think morning drinking borders on the sublime.

Maybe we can have the next midnight sun social at 6am.

Ah, the glory of FIRST call...

Sam, remember:

You don't get hangovers if you never stop drinking.

Back in the day when I lived around the corner from it I stopped into Butts & Bettys more than once pre-8am. Despite the negative connotation, a beer that early tastes damn good.

lol...I was in Hampden this morning, too. I miss living there so much.

Maybe the early morning Hampden swillers started around the corner at Griffith's the morning you went by. I like Sam's point about retired folks drinking all day. Another thing to remember is that there are a lot of folks in this town who work graveyard shifts in factories, at the docks, etc. Going to a bar at 7am is like happy hour to them.

Like Josh, I too enjoy morning brews when catching international soccer matches (counting down to the Cup!!).

I've always been tempted to buy the shirt at Max's that reads "You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning," but haven't broken down yet!

I can see the Zissimo's corner from my front porch. And I assure you, they do start early!

Best breakfast ever: Guinness in my Cheerios served in a frisbee. Go back to bed kids, Daddy's working.

Stop by Sports Cafe across from the Canton Dog Park - they have rotating early morning happy hour specials. The crowd is usually the late night crew getting off work.

Dave the Wave,

Where will you be watching the World Cup?

One night, years ago, I was at a crappy bar on Ft Smallwood Rd. It closed at 2am so we all went to this one dude's house.
Til the bar re-opened at 6am and we went back.
That was awesome

CalicoGal, were you at Rusty's?


I don't have exact locations nailed down yet, but will most certainly hit Slainte for at least 1 full day of games. One of the best times I've ever had watching a match out somewhere was the Italy-Germany match (during the last Cup) at Slainte. Pretty sure the A/C was broken so it was easily over 100 degrees in there. Great crowd & great game made the heat a side note.

I live right by the bar Crossroads on Highland, and that place is a choice destination for the early morning drinker. According to their sign Crossroads is also "Famous for our Sour Beef and Dumplings."

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 "t" 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