« Get Out: B.I.M.A. Fest kickoff | Main | Get Out: Trey Songz at Pier Six Pavilion »

August 27, 2010

Ropewalk Tavern manager buys Taps at auction

marc mcfaulMarc McFaul (pictured), the manager of Ropewalk Tavern, bought Taps at an auction earlier this week, he confirmed yesterday.

McFaul paid $450,000 for the building and liquor license -- the whole shebang. That means McFaul and family (I like to call them the McFaul clan) will now have three South Baltimore bars (Stalking Horse, Ropewalk and Taps).

But McFaul isn't sure what he wants to do with Taps, he told me. He might transfer the liquor license up closer to Cross Street Market, or he might keep it at the corner of Fort Avenue and Charles Street.

In fact, McFaul wasn't expecting to own the place at all ...

Before the auction, McFaul planned on bidding $450,000, tops, for Taps. He put in a bid, and then bidding just stopped, he recalled. So he wound up with another bar. (The reason there aren't any direct quotes here is because McFaul called me while I was walking down the street in Washington.)

McFaul isn't sure about his next step. He said he doesn't want to rile up the neighborhood by running a loud and rowdy bar, but he doesn't have a building near Cross Street where he could transfer the liquor license. When McFaul makes a decision, I'll let you know.

(Baltimore Sun photo of McFaul in 2005 by Kenneth K. Lam)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:58 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, News


transfer the liquor license to Pigtown!

HA! Leave it to Marc to "accidentally" buy a bar

Figured it was going to be Mcfaul or Mccombs' group

He's right about the bidding, he put his hand up around 430k then all of sudden it stopped. Everybody was looking around to see if it was going to go up and it never did. The license will be better used closer to Cross Street, and if you have a license a building will appear. McFaul seems to know what he is doing. Should be interesting to see what happens with it and all the chaos that will be created in the community. Best of luck to the McFaul clan!

I'd like to see him keep it where it is. It's a great location. If he's got Stalking Horse [little cheaper/younger] Ropewalk [midrange] maybe go a little more upscale with Taps with some higher-end food drinks. Although Bluegrass is already doing that just a block away.

You should call in The Clan McFaul.

There can be only one.

Here's a bold suggestion: create something the neighborhood will embrace and sustain. If this guy can only envision a bar overcrowded with loud young drunks, he will surely fail -- he got a steal for the building and license, and I hope he won't be so myopic as to see the need to separate the two.

Private social club Marc! Trust me on this! I'll run it!

(into the ground)

to my knowledge, that license is transferable or at least liquorboarding would know. If it is then it will find a home on Cross Street. Good for them. The McFaul clan has been very successful and I am sure he knows more than us. That building looks big and even historic, tons of opportunities for it, but a bar without parking isn't one of them.

Sounds fishy to me.

Don't forget, these guys have a place up in Bellll-AIR, because many of their constituents will never need set foot south of the Harford County line. That's way to close to the city, Whaew! Thank Gawd!

Did you ever wonder why the police winnebago camped out in front of Ropewal/McFails for over a year? Just wonderin...

someone wrote when they found out that taps was closing that they should open a specialty grocery store--like whole foods but smaller and cheaper. i think that's a fantastic idea.

@JoJo -- I believe the Ropewalk in Bel Air was sold to the MaGerk's folks and then bought back by the McFaul clan and renamed the Dark Horse Saloon. I'll confirm this with Marc today.

@DDM3721 -- That sounds like a great idea, but Harris Teeter is supposed to be opening down Fort Avenue in the next several months. I think that would put any other local specialty grocery stores out of business.

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 "x" 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