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August 12, 2010

The early review: Tavern 101

tavern 101

With a few weeks of summer vacation left and the Orioles actually winning for a change, it's a great time to be a tourist in Baltimore.

For this week's nightlife column, I'm putting together a roundup of two or three downtown hotel bars (no, the B&O Brasserie is not included, because we write about that place way too much).

Instead, I'm writing about Tavern 101, the newish bar in the newish Fairfield Inn & Suites, at the corner of President and Lombard streets. You've probably driven past this place -- it has the SmartCar parked out front. The whole complex was an unused lot just a year or two ago.

Tavern 101 surprised me -- in a good way. Since it's new and it's a hotel bar, I expected Tavern 101 to be sterile and nondescript. Far from it ...

Whoever thought up Tavern 101 did their homework: It has (new!) pressed tin ceilings and, in cubbies in the bar back, for DeGroen's chalices. DeGroen's was the late, great brewpub which, before it closed four or five years ago, used to sit a few doors down from the hotel. Touche, Tavern 101.

Most of the draft beers were $2 last night as part of the bar's happy hour, which runs 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. I had a $3 Victory Prima, and my co-pilot, jmgiordano, had a $3 Clipper City Gold Ale.

The rest of Tavern 101's decor gave the space a homey Baltimore feel: banks of big windows, dark wood trimmings and patches of exposed brick. It even has two ceiling fans connected by a conveyor belt.

Tavern 101 ranks high on my list, as far as Baltimore hotel bars go. You guys have any of your own favorite hotel bars?

(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Fort Charles pub is going to the auction block. Think it will get a bid?

I visited Tavern 101 soon after it opened, and was pleasantly surprised as well. And is memory serves, DeGroen's wasn't just a few doors down, but rather occupied the same site as this hotel.

@Sobo Bob -- My guess is, it gets a bid, but not the right bid.

@Traveler -- You're right! I remember seeing the old DeGroen's mural, but wasn't entirely sure if it was that exact site or next door. I started covering Baltimore nightlife right around the time it closed.

I like George's in the Peabody Court in Mt. Vernon. I miss the outdoor seating though.

my friends live right next to tavern 101 (or as we like to say, The Tav). cool place with a cool outdoor patio as well that you can bring drinks out to:

as for other hotel bars:
Georges in the peabody hotel is an all-time fav as well as the bar in the intercontinental (can't remember the name).

If memory serves correctly, Tavern 101 is actually on the President STreet side of that block - the old Brewer's Park site where DeGroen's would have their spring beer fest from time to time. The brewery and restaurant were on the Albemarle side of the block.

I miss the Baltimore Brewing Company. When I moved here in 1991 I used to make pilgrimages to the place on foot from Remington.

We stopped in for lunch and all was great. Server suggested chicken club sandwhich -it was stacked high and delish! Co worker had tavern burger that was awesome. Nice atmosphere, pleasant service, a true gem for downtown lunch. They mrntioned their different daily specials - we'll try those next week! PS we had Honey Old Bay Wings for appetizer, they we soooooo goood! A must to try! Highly recommend this tavern/dining option!

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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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