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August 31, 2010

Hogan's Alley is up for sale

hogan's alleyHogan's Alley, one of the last old-school Fort Avenue haunts, is up for sale.

Sherry "Pinky" Hogan, who owns the place along with her husband, a retired police officer named Girard, wants to keep the building but sell the business, she said.

"I'm tired," she said. "You know how you get worn out? That's exactly what it is. I'm tired and I don't want to deal with it anymore."

Hogan, who used to sell real estate, was showing a bar to some folks from out of town in 2004 when she realized she'd rather buy it herself than let them have it. So she did, and opened Hogan's. ...

The Hogans took over from Ellen Berry, the daughter of Robert Cox, who owned the corner bar from 1975 to  1991.

Cox is the reason why Hogan's doesn't have many windows -- cops caught him in the bar after hours (Cox lived upstairs), and in retaliation, he bricked in all the windows on the first floor. I love that story.

Technically, I like to call Hogan's a new old-school bar. It has flat-screen TVs and a few beers on tap, but there's also an authentic South Baltimore atmosphere.

So far, Hogan has had a nibble or two but nothing substantive. She wants to make sure it's the right person, though.

"This is a good neighborhood bar," she said. "I'm not going to let just anybody walk in here and destroy it."

(Photo by Rob Perry)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:53 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, News


Is that one of the bars frequented in The Wire?

I was wondering the same thing, Tif. It looks like the bar where they would lay out the detectives that died on the pool table to have their sending off party for them. And that would also be where Detective Ed Norris (in the show) had a little too much to drink and went outside and puked in the street.

@Jeff and Tif -- I'm not sure if Hogan's was on "The Wire" or not, but the place Jeff is talking about is the Sidebar Tavern, which became Kavanaugh's for "The Wire." That's where they had the wakes. I've written about this before:

Sherry is an awesome lady, I actually saw her today. Hogan's has a great mix of people inside the bar and the food is really good. Good luck.

Hate to be a stickler Jeff but any true Wire fan would know that Norris did not go out and puke in the street during the Irish Wake. However it was Bunk Moreland played by Wendell Pierce. Check yo' self

Sam you should do a list of bar/restaurants used in The Wire. I know Brewars, Prime Rib, etc. what was the Locust Point bar in Season 2?

The Irish Bar in The Wire (at least the outside of it) was Sidebar, with a different sign.

The interior scenes were likely shot somewhere else.

I think the place they go a lot in season five might be in Locust Point.

@Tif -- Already done, kinda of:

Bill's Lighthouse was in it towards the end.

All the Wire links are broken on your old posts, gotta fresh link to your wire articles?

@ Bunny -- Since it's been more than two years, the links won't work, period. Here is the article in its entirety:

New Haven Lounge

1552 Havenwood Road, Northwood Shopping Center, 410-366-7416

This is the bar where Detective Lester Freamon meets state Sen. R. Clayton "Clay" Davis to threaten him with a federal indictment in the fifth season. The two are having shots and mixed drinks each time they meet, probably because the Haven has no beers on tap.

One time, I asked for a beer there, and the bartender looked at me funny, as if to say, "Why are you here, if you're ordering a beer? Go to a corner bar for that. You're at the Haven. Have a mixed drink."

The lounge is one of the best places in Baltimore to see live jazz. It's been open for more than 20 years and hosts nationally touring acts at least once a week, and the cover charge is usually kept at a reasonable rate.

Outside, it looks like the Haven has been closed for years. The lights in the sign are perpetually burned out, and the strip mall it occupies has seen better days.

Inside, the Haven has murals of jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, as well as comfy booths to relax in. For the shoot, the production crew set up lamps on the tables. Otherwise, they left the lounge as it was, said owner Keith Covington. Now, he wants to buy some lamps like the ones they used.

"It looked good," he said. "It makes sense."

The Sidebar Tavern

218 E. Lexington St., 410-659-4130,

Every time a police officer dies on the show, the rest of the police department throws a massive drunken wake at a bar called Kavanagh's Irish Pub. Usually, the cop is laid out on the pool table while the former co-workers give speeches.

Kavanagh's is based on an old-school cop bar called Kavanaugh's on West Madison Street near Maryland General Hospital. About 10 years ago, it was converted into Coconuts, one of the city's few lesbian bars.

Whenever The Wire folks needed to re-create Kavanaugh's, they went to the Sidebar at East Lexington Street and Guilford Avenue. The Sidebar has been featured in every season, including this week's finale.

In reality, the Sidebar is more of a lawyers' bar than a hangout for cops. Most happy hours, you'll find a few suits sitting at the bar having a round or two before they head home for the night.

The Sidebar is nothing fancy, but part of the basement bar's charm is its low-fi attitude and appearance. Punk, metal and DIY bands play there most nights, often at ear-piercing decibel levels.

How's this for a twist of fate: When Sidebar owner Richard Ashburn was looking to buy a bar years ago, one of the first places he looked at was the old Kavanaugh's on Madison Street. But he decided against it, and bought the Sidebar instead. Now, the Sidebar has been immortalized as Kavanagh's.

"Somebody told me I should get on the Ride the Ducks tour," Ashburn said. "I said, `Nah, I don't think I'm going to do that.'"

Don't you think it a tad bit ironic that the New Haven is where City councilman Ken Harris got killed.

In season 2, the dockworkers used to go to a bar for "breakfast" (a raw egg dropped in a beer). These scenes were shot at the Clement Street Cafe, which used to be on the corner of Clement and Jackson in Locust Point, but which is somebody's house now.

The bar was only marginally recognizable from the show. Interestingly, the crew had to dress the place up a bit to prepare it for its role as a dock worker dive bar.

I know they shot some scenes for The Wire at Fort Charles Pub (now Taps, soon to be something else, thank god).

I went to Hogan's Alley once and was not impressed, and that wasn't because I don't appreciate a good Sobo bar -- see my love for the late lamented FCP.

fun fact: Sherry's ex-hubby is the former owner of Jerry's, aka Don't Know Tavern.

I thought Hull Street Blues was in the Wire, also J. Patrick's? I could have made this up entirely in my feeble mind...

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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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