Alewife opens today in West side, testing neighborhood's business health again
A new beer hall will open today in the West side, the city's most punishing neighborhood for new bars.
Alewife, as the bar will be called, will be replace Lucy's Irish Pub -- nee Maggie Moore's -- which was one of a handful of nightlife businesses to shutter last year.
Alewife's success or failure could be a barometer of the area's ability to foster new business.
In July, owner Daniel Lanigan said he was opening the place because "that part of town is an opportunity for revitalization, and we want to be a part of that for a long time."
The West side was in fact primed for development; city officials promoted it as the next Station North. But so far it's nothing but a graveyard of forgotten nightclubs, with most shuttered businesses never making it past their toddler years.
A World of Wings cafe closed there last year. Bedrock opened in 2006 and closed in 2008. And Maggie Moore's opened in 2005, and closed three years later. Lucy's Irish Pub replaced it then, but was out of business by last year.
Lanigan might punt his way forward; he already owns three other beer bars in Massachusetts. But Alewife's soft opening is already a week later than he'd said in July.
The bar will be located at the intersection of North Eutaw and West Fayette streets, across from the historic Hippodrome theater. The building is said to date from the mid 1800s. Lanigan said he's only made cosmetic changes to the interior and facade from the way it was as Lucy's.
The opening is geared towards getting Alewife ready for Baltimore Beer Week and the Baltimore Beer Festival in October. He's also added a New American cuisine, 40 taps, 100
wines bottled beers, and a wine list.
Doors open at 4 p.m. Alewife is at 21 N Eutaw Street.
Photo: Beer in Baltimore