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September 10, 2010

Tyson's Tavern in Fells Point up for sale, might close

tyson%27s%20tavern.JPGTyson's Tavern in Fells Point might close if owners don't find buyers, owner Dean Zlomke tells Midnight Sun.

Zlomke says the recession has slowed down business too much to justify keeping the bar open. He put it up for sale two weeks ago. If he doesn't find a buyer, the tavern might close.

"It's been a brutal summer," Zlomke says. "I'm not in a tourist area. A lot of people go away to the beach, do day trips, do other things, and for a local businesses it's been tough because of that."

Two other Fells Point bars - beloved Friends and DuClaw Brewing Company's location in the area - closed in the last year.

Zlomke and Tom Dinsmore opened Tyson's three and a half years ago, replacing a traditional British pub. They added some 30 microbrews and an expanded wine list.

The space had previously been a middle eastern restaurant, and an Italian joint before that. But 2112 Fleet Street is much more historic than that. Zlomke says it's where the original Natural Brewing Co. brewery was located.

Tyson's holds some 100 people and includes a bar and a restaurant. Zlomke's been in the hospitality business for some 30 years, and he says this is the worst summer he's ever seen.

In addition to Friends, Rafters in South Baltimore and ESPN Zone in Inner Harbor have also shut down.

Photo: Sun photog Barbara Haddock Taylor

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Posted by Erik Maza at 3:14 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: News


If anyone wants the bar's website instead of the FindLocal link.

awesome! I stopped by that place on a walk from canton to fed hill during the snow storm and sat down outside with my buddy for about 30 seconds and the owner or another employee came running out and said we had to leave.

I am sure they have a crappy staff like the person I encountered and wonder why no one wants to come stop by.

Tough to make money on one dollar natty bohs.

Anyone know what the asking price is? Is there a link to the for sale ad?

This place is okay and the owner is very nice. He took me and my friends on a tour and showed us all sorts of crazy old tunnels and things in the basement. That said they have very very bad live music every single night. I can't have a drink and chill with my friends when there is some wierd old dude playing very old/stale covers through a PA. It sorta blows my mind everytime I go in there.

This is a really neat, historic building. If I remember correctly there are tunnels that run underneath the old brewery that lead to the waterfront in Fells and points North too?


The "tunnels" in question are actually old lagering cellars that the old National Brewery used to cold-store their aging lagers. In spite of glorious stories about the Underground Railroad, the tunnels are mostly a glorified wine cellar.

And BTW, I think you mean that Tyson's was "replicating" an old British pub, not "replacing." And also BTW, the place is actually quite nice; if it weren't surrounded by so many other fine beer halls, it would be a stand-out attraction--say, in the suburbs....

Some sort of contact info would be great.

Erik, How much is the place going for? Is the business for sale or the real estate and the business? You are now in a position to help the owners of Tyson's. I understand that Tyson's has been several places, but Kisling's is still there and if they can make it then Tyson's location can.

Always remember, everything is always for sale.

"the original Natural Brewing Co." ?

The tavern's phone number is (410) 342-2112, and its wb site is The name of one of the owners is, of course, in the body of the post.

Just around the corner, there's an auction sign on the side of Gin Mill.

That's too bad. I've had excellent bar food there, the owner is friendly as hell, and the bartenders are as well. I remember being tipsy in there during the snow and the bartender graciously accommodated my request to use his ipod to play drunk DJ and pick the tunes. I don't speak for everyone but in my heart, there is a special place for anyone tolerant enough of my desire to play drunk dj. Tysons will be missed. Also some of the bartenders are hot.

This is one of my favorite places in Baltimore. The steaks are hand cut by the owner when you order and the crab cakes are awesome. I love acoustic music and you can find it here though not all of the performers are worth listening to but I just sit outside when that happens. They can be quirky but so am I.

How much is Tyson's listed for? And is the building included, inquiring minds want to know.

I loved Tyson's and spent many drunk nights hanging out there. It will be missed. And yes, Jim the bartender is hot.

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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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