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November 22, 2010

Catherine's Pub, Taps' replacement, to open in January

South Baltimore's Taps bar, which was auctioned off in August, finally has a replacement.

Taking over 1439 South Charles Street will be Catherine's Pub. Opening is tentatively scheduled for January.

Taps, which replaced the old Fort Charles Pub, opened nearly three years ago, on February 2008 with promises to install 40 taps and even a wine tap. 

Two years later, only 17 taps had been installed, and no wine tap.

In August, two months after owner Dave Holter put it up for sale for $375,000, Ropewalk Tavern manager Marc McFaul bought the 4,000-square-foot property and the business for $450,000.

Chris Reda, McFaul's business partner, told me that today renovations began to prepare the bar for a mid-December, though most likely January opening.

Reda and McFaul then leased the business to Gary Morse.

Reda said the new bar, to be called Catherine's Pub, will be an Irish pub.  Renovations will be reserved to the exterior, though he said if the budget allows, the interior will be changed.

For the time being, Catherine's Pub will look a lot like the old Taps, minor a few cosmetic changes. 

 Reda said there will be eight taps, but that they haven't yet settled on a bottled beer list.

There are plans to have food, but not until after a month or two of being open. Operating hours have not been set.

But, still, Reda and McFaul must be for the bar's opening date. Catherine's Pub is already listed on their promo card alongside standbys Ropewalk Tavern, Dark Horse Saloon, and Stalking Horse.

Photo: Sam Sessa

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Posted by Erik Maza at 1:35 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I think that is a dumb idea to rush the opening. I used to go to Taps all of the time, and while I enjoyed hanging out there with my friends, it left a lot to be desired by the eye. They need to do a full-on interior and exterior remodel, THEN worry about opening, or it's going to fail just like Taps did.

Stupid question: Any idea how the price went from $375K asking to $450 paid? Normally, the price goes DOWN in such negotiations.........

375 was the listed price for the property; 450 was property and business combined. See hyperlinks for original posts on Taps.

If the new owner is smart he'll spend the money to ripoff the brown front and replace the windows. Just that will make the bar look 100x more inviting.

Agree with Meghan...why would anyone go in to the new bar if they aren't spending a dime remodeling the interior? Taps was a dump and it sounds like Catherine's will be too for the time being. Great idea McFail.

@ megan and patapsco, apparently you do not know how to read. Please read the article again: now that you have gone back and read they do say they plan on renovating.

If you drive by the building they have already begun exterior renovations.
Ive talked to people involved with this project, they plan on re-doing the bar/ painting murals inside, and replacing all of the furniture.
They also plan on adding 2 huge windows on the side of the building facing charles to lighten up the inside.

And @ patapsco, love the mcfail nick name. Mainly because of how sucessful he has been in fed hill and how stupid you are.

There will be 17 drafts. The building exterior will be much easier on the eyes and there will be some work done inside to make it look much better as well. Cheers.

Lots of haters coming off a blog post from a reporter, how about you see the end-(or middle)product before renaming it TapsMcFail

I live 1/2 block from Taps and was surprised work had already begun when I got home from work last night

If you were around a few years ago, remember the huge difference between The Green Olive to Stalking Horse? (I know, the drastic change didn't occur until after the fire)

Good Luck McFauls

@Fed Hill Lady

Perhaps you should have taken the time to write the article since you seem to know a heck of a lot more than Maza. Going strictly off the text I quoted below, which I re-read multiple times for you, it sounds as if they are not going to do anything to the interior yet. Now with your loads of information (which Maza should have found out), we would have known more about this new venture on the corner of Charles & Fort.

An exterior make-over with nothing done to the interior is Taps again (for now obviously). "There are plans to have food, but not until after a month or two of being open. Operating hours have not been set. "

But hey I'm glad I'm stupid and I can't read. McFaul/McFail was a simple misspelling, as I know he has done plenty for Federal Hill. My mistake Chris and blog readers.

I want to see this place succeed and continue to bring development to this side of Fort Ave.

Get off your "Stalking" High Horse FH Lady.

"Reda said the new bar, to be called Catherine's Pub, will be an Irish pub. Renovations will be reserved to the exterior, though he said if the budget allows, the interior will be changed. For the time being, Catherine's Pub will look a lot like the old Taps, minor a few cosmetic changes. "

Thanks for that update

Is it true that Hollywood's burned down last Friday? Didn't see a mention anywhere, except in a D@L comment...

@Rocky5: i walk by that location at least 2x/day and haven't noticed any signs of fire or damage. maybe something in the kitchen and/or the dumpster caught some flames over the weekend, but the building had people in the bar when i was on my way home Monday night. i'm definitely going to give it a closer look tomorrow morning b/c i'm nosy like that.

I like how almost every bar/casual restaurant south of Inner Harbor is part of the Ryleigh's, Ropewalk, or No Idea chains. Maybe we'll get an Applebee's to add a bit of variety.

just walked by Bill's Lighthouse Inn (on Light a block north of Rub) and saw an auction sign outside. Any word on what the deal with that is?

walked by taps last night, 2 new windows installed on the charles st side, too lazy to get out of bed and see if any construction being done today

Oh boy, someone needs to get to the bottom of this Bill's Lighthouse thing, that place is an SBIC institution

re: Bill's: Im posting something soon; it's true

Rode by there this morning... Looking like all of the windows are coming out and they have scraped down to the brick in the front corner. I can only hope the plywood entrance is next to go. Its amazing the difference the proper windows can make to a property.

I heard Grumpies is finally closed for renovations and Taps/ Catherine's Pub is under renovations. Should be a couple of nice new places for 2011

sorry, I meant tonight Grumpies last night then they will be closed for renovations

also Rafter's is getting taken over by the old owner of Sean Bolans.

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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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