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December 10, 2010

The Charm City Circulator bar crawl

PX00239_9.JPGI barhopped on the Charm City Circulator. Nevin's Cross Street Station, The Hill, Peter's Pour House. I was supposed to have gone to two more bars, but by the time I left my third, the circulator was approaching its curfew.

So, yes, it is possible to barhop on it, you just have to limit yourself to one drink a bar if you want to actually make it to more than three in one night.

That was my original plan anyway. And it was in the crapper pretty much as soon as I stepped inside Nevin's, where I did a quick succession of Blue Moons, Irish car bombs, and Lithuanian liqueurs.

But I knew that was going to happen. For one, passengers and transportation activists had complained about the short hours in Monday's story about the circulator.

And two of my fellow passengers further underscored the complaint when we got off the bus at Cross Street Station. Their exchange: 

Lady 1: "All right, that was awesome."

Lady 2: "Maybe we take it back?"

Lady 1: "Yeah, maybe. If we can get wasted before 12 a.m."

So what else did I learn during my bar crawl? The Hill is about as authentic as a vintage armoire at Restoration Hardware. Go to Peter's Pour House to see suburban dad garage bands do R.E.M. covers.

And Nevin's is for lovers. At least lovers of karoeke, Irish car bombs, and barbacks who look like Grandmother Willow. (Read: me). 

The full dispatch is here. A stop-by-stop guide to barhopping on the purple and orange circulator follows:

The Orange Route guide was partly put to the test in January by a group of Baltimore residents who dubbed their sprawling crawl the "sparkulator."

Stop 218: Pratt & Eutaw Streets

Frank & Nic's West End Grille, 511 W. Pratt St.

Sliders Bar & Grill, 504 Washington Blvd.

Pickle's Pub. 520 Washington Blvd.

Stop 220: Pratt & Calvert streets

Tir Na Nog Bar & Grill, 201 E. Pratt St.

Stop 223: Harbor East Circle

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant, 616 President St.

Taco Fiesta, 618 Exeter St.

Stop 225: Central Avenue & Bank Street

Mustang Alley's, 1300 Bank St.

Stop 201: Lombard & President Streets

Power Plant Live, 328 N. Charles St., including bars, Luckies, Mex, Mosaic, Rock Bar.


The Purple Route will get you from Pennsylvania Station to South Baltimore: 

Stop 305: Pleasant & Charles Streets

Mick O'Shea's, 328 N. Charles St.

Maisey's, 313 N. Charles St.

Stop 309: Biddle & Charles streets

Brewer's Art, 1106 N. Charles St.

Club Phoenix, 1 W. Biddle St.

Stop 310: Lyric/Pennsylvania Station

Turp's, 1317 N. Charles St.

Mt. Royal Tavern, 1204 W Mount Royal Ave.

Stop 323: Cross Street Market

Nevin's Cross Street Station, 31-33 E. Cross St.

The Hill, 1017 S. Charles St

Metropolitan, 902 S. Charles St.

Stop 303: Light Street

Water Street Tavern, 102 Water St

Peter's Pour House, 111 Mercer St.

Photo: Riding the circulator at night (above, right); South Baltimore's best barback, Linda Diehly (center). (Amy Davis/Baltimore)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 4:16 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bar stories


// Go to Peter's Pour House to see suburban dad garage bands do R.E.M. covers. //

OK, Maza, it's taken a while, but I'm starting to dig your stuff. Nicely done.

The Hill is one of my favorite places in Federal Hill. Kudos to them for being one of the few places down there that opened up during the Snowpacalypse.

So I'm assuming you tried the Leviticus? That stuff is dangerous and delicious! It's like pumpkin pie that forces you to make terrible decisions!

yea @KGM80 i talk about it in the story. i thought it tasted like pancakes. terrible decisions like drinking it after an irish car bomb and a couple of beers.

God Bless Nevins. However, my advise to skip the beer and go straight to cocktails there, strongest in Fed Hill.

Debbie's Long Island at Nevin's is lethal

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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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