Johnny Rad's to replace Kelly's Tavern
Richard Pugh had been looking for the right place to open a Neapolitan pizza joint for years. His friend Steve Ball wanted to open a pub.
"We got together and said, 'Hey, you want to open a bar that serves pizza,'" Pugh said. "He said 'yes.'"
The result is a pizza pub named Johnny Rad's, which will replace Kelly's Tavern in the coming weeks.
Renovations big and small are under way at the Fells Point space, which should be open in June, Pugh said ...
They kept the old wood bar and bar back, but plan to knock out the square glass windows and replace them with ones that open out onto the street. A new wood door and different dining furniture is on the way, and the bar stools were resurfaced.
"Everything was old and outdated," Pugh said. "The place was covered in nicotine. ... We want it to be much more inviting and welcoming than that old school bar mentality. It’s not 1970 anymore."
Karaoke, which was once a fixture at Kelly's, will be back at Johnny Rad's, Pugh said. The kitchen will have a brick-lined oven, and serve meat, vegetarian and vegan Neapolitan pizzas.
Ball, the former operations manager of Bedrock Billiards, is running the bar side. There will be five beers on tap, from local brews to seasonals, as well as about 40 bottled beers and a dozen or so wines.
Johnny Rad's is named after a lounge singer from an '80s skateboarding movie. Check him out. The singer has a cult reputation among skaters from back in the day, Pugh said. Both Pugh and Ball have been skateboarding for more than 20 years.
"IF you grew up skateboarding in the 80s, you know who (Johnny Rad) is," he said. "If you grew up in the 90s, you heard about him."
(Rendition of Johnny Rad's courtesy of Pugh)