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August 13, 2010

Three hotel bar reviews

diamond tavernToday, my review of three -- not two, not four, but three -- hotel bars.

Dig it.

They are, in no particular order, Tavern 101, Diamond Tavern and Explorer's Lounge.

Two out of the three were great. One wasn't. Guess which one. Take a guess! Do it! Or just read the story and find out, I guess.

Of all three, I liked Tavern 101 best. The Explorer's Lounge's reputation preceded it, so I knew what to expect. Tavern 101 caught me off guard ...

I got the impression the Diamond Tavern wasn't even trying. They're right next to the stadium, so I'm sure they get a ton of walk-up traffic during Yankees and Red Sox games (that's about it). Zink! 

But our bartender's shirt was dirty. I get a little neat-freaky about some things, and I don't like it when a server's shirt is dirty -- especially in a semi-upscale setting. It's unprofessional, and un-Hilton. Am I alone here? He didn't even keep much of an eye on our glasses, either. Shameful!

(Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:03 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


It's unprofessional, and un-Hilton.

No doubt the beverage manager at the Hilton is going through the Hilton spanking machine right now. Thank you sir, maybe I have another?!?

I used to work as a banquet server, and we had to buy out own tuxedo shirts. Since I wasn't exactly raking in the cash, I wasn't too eager to shell out much money on ugly work uniforms. I preferred spending what I made on things like rent and food! I rotated between just a couple of shirts... so even though I washed them, over time they became less than pristine.

Point being... if places want to make sure their low-wage uniformed staff look good, they need to step up a little...

The wife and I waited about 30 minutes at the Diamondback Tavern before last's years Chelsea/ACMilan match.

Yes, it was crowded, but every two minutes, the same bartender came up and said to us "You're the next person I serve!"

20 minutes later, we decided never to return.

Their loss is PSt.AH's gain.

A dirty shirt at a Hilton? Well, that's just a darned crime. Cleanliness is next to godliness. I never leave the house without a clean white shirt that Barb or Nicki or Margene wash and press for me. I just don't understand the lack of respect this younger generation has for their appearance.

That dude's shirt was filthy and ill fitting as were his pants. Diamondback should change it's name to Nickelback...wait...what?

I also went into the D-back before an O's day game this year. Kept an open mind. Expectations were low.
And I had a similar experience.
The place was largely empty except for tourists (who considered me their concierge since I had on an O's cap). The beer selection was terrible, the bar tender was even worse. We had one beer and left. Gave it a chance and it stunk. Its a shame considering the potential for a good bar there.
I'll also second the review of the Explorer's lounge. They do upscale the right way. But they're not so uptight that they won't let you hit the asian gong at the entrance once you get a little drunk.

Good reviews!

The first week of Diamondback was amazing- every one of the 200 employees at the Hilton spoke, smiled, and opened doors for you. Next time I came some drunk fratboy and friends coming from an O's game stole my phone off the outdoor table and ran. Now a server with a dirty shirt? Things keep spiraling downhill like this someone will eventually get shot at the Hilton.

The hotel is owned by the city, what do you expect?

Most of the bars around the stadium are horrible unless you venture into Fed Hill - the only exception is maybe Pratt St. Ale house but their food is pretty bland

I wandered into the Diamondback during the Otakon fire alarm fiasco. And since I was over 21 and most of the con attendees weren't, I was a bit smug about it...right up until I got the $20 bill for only two drinks, not including tip.

Have you ever seen the bartender's pants at the Diamondback Tavern?

They fit like a cheap hotel.

No ballroom.

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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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