The early review: Johnny Rad's
Johnny Rad's, the new pizza pub where Fells Point meets Highlandtown, is the only Baltimore bar I've seen that pays tribute to the skate punk culture of the '80s and '90s.
Given the number of skaters, skate rats, skate punks which grew up then, you'd think there would be more bars like Johnny Rad's, which opened last week.
Done in black and red, Johnny Rad's is a drastic 180 from Kelly's, the dark, old school bar which used to be there. The owners knocked out the old glass blocks in front and installed proper windows and overhauled the interior.
Johnny Rad's honors the skate culture without seeming gimmicky or patronizing. The bar's sign is an appropriation of the Black Flag logo, and street signs and skateboards (sans wheels) hang inside on the walls ...
The beer list is small but mighty. I had a draft Acme IPA, which cost $3.25 at happy hour. There are five drafts, and all of them are good: Victory Prima Pils, Oliver's Blonde Ale, Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat.
There's an old Wurlitzer jukebox in the back, wired to the rest of the overhead sound system. Last night, they were playing Arcade Fire and the Postal Service.
Normally, I don't generalize, but I'd like to think Johnny Rad's would appeal to all the folks who spent time skateboarding in Broadway Square in the '80s and '90s (when you could still do that) and then put roots down in the surrounding community. They're older now, but they're always game for a funky little spot to sit and sip good brews. Johnny Rad's is just that.(Photo by me)