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October 11, 2010

Baltimore's top 50 bars: Joe Squared, Turp's, Grand Central among 50-41

Well, it's finally here. The official, definitive, ultimate:  Baltimore's best 50 bars list.

Sorry, Rodos, you didn't make the cut. You too Looney's.

When Midnight Sun asked readers for their thoughts on the city's best bars, these were two of the most talked-about bars.

But, in compiling the list - The Sun's Sam Sessa, Richard Gorelick, and yours truly, Midnight Sun - we looked at not just popularity, but quality of ambiance, conversation, and drinks.

Through sheer character and history, these bars stepped above the rest. They come from all parts of the city, from Mt. Vernon's Turp's to Hamilton's Brannan's Pub. There are gay bars -- Hippo, Leon's -- and sports bars -- Mother', MaGerk's.

But where on the list do they fall? We will be revealing them all this week in increments of ten. The first batch is online now, and it includes Station North's Joe Squared, Turp's and Grand Central. 

Agree? vociferously disagree? The comments are below.

Art: Wordle

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:28 PM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Looney's didn't make it at all? That's surprising, though I guess it depends on the criteria.

methinks the photogallery should be decending from 50-41. I feel like I spolied the ending when I read 41 first!

@Maza, I was at Midtown when your folks called to tell them they made the top 50. No wait- I was in the office working- I wasn't having a liquid lunch- scratch that

aaaaaaa..... Looney's not to make the list? Preponderous!!

It is the best of places to see the men who's wear the short sleeve shirts under long sleeve shirts under short sleeve shirts?

The Get Down just opened recently, it has no business being listed at all. Smells like Sessa's douchebaggery - is Milan #1?

The Get Down just opened recently, it has no business being listed at all.

So a place that opened strong 3 months ago is ineligible?

I agree, because when I want to go out, I don't want to go anywhere new. That would be crazy. Get down with the now, dbl d. Now is all there is. Buddha told me that in a dream.

Smells like Sessa's douchebaggery

Actually, I've heard that Sessa smells Drakkar and cinnamon.

Looney's is the mullet capital of the world. For average food at best and no character it should make the list. List of the worst!

Actually, double b, Milan is No. 0, because it's too good to be on this list. Milan is the Beatles of Baltimore nightlife.

Great with a list of the best bars in Baltimore. I will check a couple of them when visiting my family next time.

I looked back at your original post about this 120+ comments and only 1 vote for The Get Down which I'm pretty sure was meant to be a joke

Face it, Sam Sessa, Milan is just too cool for you. You're still bitter because they wouldn't let you in wearing your hemp jorts and mesh t-shirt.

Great spot so far guys. Some of your best work by far. I like to believe I've bellied up to every awesome bar in this city at one point, but love to learn about places I haven't yet set foot.

By the way, if Dmitri's in Hampden doesn't make the list if, for nothing else, than its sheer ability to make you feel like an alcoholic and never want to touch the bottle again, this will become some of your worst work.

We all know that Brewer's Art is going to be #1 and that Sam will have Max's and Bad Decisions tied for #2.

MB, you might be surprised at the Top 5. Or the Top 10 for that matter.

No, boys. There's two "O"s in Goose!!!

There are many great bars in Baltimore, it is true. I had my first experience at Long John's last night and I have to say I hope that makes it for the simple reason that Charles Village is lacking not just in quality bars but in bars at all.

You'll see more familiar names as we get to the top of the list. But there are still a few surprises.

Sam, I was shocked that Ale Mary's was not in the top 10 or 15. It seemed to make a lot of the reader's list (except for those voting for Rodos). You guys must have come up with some really good bars.

oh no MB

Ale Mary's is an enemy of Bad Decisions and likely penalized for such a trespass

when does the next 10 come out????

we need to complain....

We took a lot of things into consideration when making this list. We probably made some Bad Decisions, but on the whole, I think we really Got Down. And Holy Frijoles, MB! Not everyone is going to agree with our Club Choices. Come tomorrow morning, Walt's Inn to and dig the next 10 bars on the list.

And with that, I have reached the maximum allotment of bad puns for today.

Rodo's posts were all the same person who obviously has some interest in its well-being. That place is a trash bag. Looney's, however, is the anchor and pioneer of the whole Canton scene pushing 15 years. It's exclusion would be kind of ridiculous.

couldn't agree more.. Rodos- don't you stop going there when you turn 21??

But to exclude Looney's is ridiculous. Canton's anchor and busiest bar since 1993? Come on guys, what City Paper voted them Best and you exclude them?

Rodo's is good for a beer and a brawl if you're into that type of thing. I do think Looney's should of made the list. If a power plant bar makes the list I will personally get with Abel and them- buy the Sun and run it into an even further hole

there's only 10 left

1.Brewer's Art
2. Maxx's on Broadway
3. Mother's
4.Nacho Mama's
5.Little Havanas
6.Idle Hour
7.Mick O'Sheas
9.Rocket to Venus
10.Wharf Rat

oh darn. you figured it out! guess we'll be going back to the drawing board. NOT

I was just guessing, actually I was trying to look at the wordie and see which places are on the wordie and not selected yet. Looking forward to the top ten.

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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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