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October 13, 2010

Baltimore's top 50 bars: Ropewalk Tavern ranked 26th

The countdown of Baltimore's best bars continues today, with numbers 30-21 posted earlier this morning.

Ropewalk Tavern came in at 26: Well-known for being a Republican bar -- there's a statue of Ronald Reagan inside -- Ropewalk is also Federal Hill's best destination for men of a certain age.

Its cabin-like interior feels like an uncle's fortress of solitude, all whiskey glasses and dark wood. TV is never too loud, and conversations stay frank, but at a simmer.

With all the hubbub at bay, it's a place where you can sit and read your paper in peace, darn it. If John Boehner lived in Baltimore, this is where he would hang out .

The rest of the list is here

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Posted by Erik Maza at 5:43 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


haha....would love to see a group of people go into ropewalk on a friday around 10PM and try to read a paper in peace. i feel a flash mob coming on.

Ryan97ou is right...This bar ranking list needs to come with a disclaimer on when they were visited.

Tough crowd, but Maza I think we would be better off having someone who has lived in the city more than 2-3 months ranking/writing reviews.

@Patapsco St. its compiled by Maza, Sessa, and Gorelick. Don't worry, there's people out there compiling the list who elongate their "aaaaows"

@patapsco, I was just about to post, when FrankieSez did. I only wrote about the bars I've personally been to.

Maza gets props for visiting The Place. Did you see the six or so pictures of me and the wife on the walls?

Got as far as Butts & Betty being ranked higher than Waterfront and stopped ready. You have to be kidding.

meh. WTF used to be in my top 5 baltimore bars, but my last few visits have been a little lukewarm (as was the beer). Is this list actually in order? If so, I have several disagreements...

I stand corrected.

Is it ok to use that line? Or are we going rehash the bitter discussion over Vampire Weekend?

I know it is all subjective ... but how did Pub Dog not make the top 50? Good food, good beer, good prices.

I don't know that I've met anyone in Baltimore who has gone into Dog Pub and left saying "I didn't enjoy that."

Was the criteria for this ever posted, or was it just 3 guys picking the bars they liked most?

@Confused: I briefly explained the selection process earlier this week.

We took into consideration commenters' opinions, we tried to be inclusive - meaning not just sports bars, or Canton bars - but something that came from across the spectrum.

We also looked not just as beer selection, but character and history. Naturally, some places would be left out because there's no deficit for good bars in Baltimore.


Pub DOg is neither a Sports bar, nor a Canton Bar.


Okay, so you were looking for history and character. DId you even bother to check out the readers suggestions? Nacho's Mamas is full of character and characters. Their menu has a list of rules, like Journey gets played at 10pm no matter what. Not to mention the Elvis statute (he's trying to leave the building). Or did you think about The Horse You Came In On? It's one of the oldest in the city. You can't go wrong with the two man band on Saturday night. Some bars on your list were just opened up. How do those bars have any history? And what's wrong with Canton bars?

I think you need to do a ltitle more research.

Nacho Mama's is fabricated kitsch. Ho hum

Wow guys, I sense a lot of misdirected rage in the comments. Chill, they're just bars and it's just a list, this doesn't mean the bars that didn't make the list are going to shut down. I'm sort of embarrassed that this is how we welcome a new writer to our city. Also...Nacho Mama's? Really? The only way to get a beer in that place is if you're having relations with the bartenders, otherwise you're ignored. I will say the chicken tacos are pretty delicious though...

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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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