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September 4, 2010

Review: Funky Buddha and other basement bars

funky buddhaIn yesterday's paper, I reviewed Funky Buddha, the cool little basement bar which replaced Liam's Pint-Size Pub in Kumari's basement.

The happy hour prices stunned me and jmgiordano, who met me there. Between the two of us, we ordered three appetizers, two Heavy Seas Pale Ales (which tasted like they'd been sitting there a little while and lost some fizz) and two stiff Skyy Vodka and cranberries. The bill -- with tip -- was about $30.


By itself, Funky Buddha is nothing special. But manager Bonnie Roberts' warm, steady presence there pulls the bar together ...

I chuckled at the sandwich sign in the window, which spelled it Funky Budda, and the rinky-dink outdoor table and chairs. But hey, one table and chairs is better than nothing.

Funky Buddha got me thinking about other great basement bars in and around Baltimore. I couldn't think of more than a handful, and profiled three of my favorites: Dionysus, Venice Tavern and Quarry House.

What am I missing? There have got to be more than four or five. Brewer's Art counts, but we write about that place all the time. Can you think of any others?

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:36 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


One of the best basement bars, but in Annapolis is the Sly Fox Pub. I think that there was a basement restaurant in Fells Point but I forget the name right now, It was a high end restaurant called something...ugh

I nominate the ORIGINAL Ram's Head Tavern in Annapolis--before they went 1) brewpub and 2) entertainment-complex...... That basement bar was one of THE original "beer bars" with a wide, world-ranging selection of top-notch beers, and a "beer club" passport program.....

Brewer's Art!

PJ's Pub in Charles Village.

Buddha is my spot and stay away from my outdoor table! Sidebar?

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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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