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February 22, 2011

Ladder 15 takes over DuClaw's Fells Point location

DuClaw Brewing Company's old Fells Point storefront has a new tenant.

It is the the Philadelphia restaurant and bar Ladder 15, just like Midnight Sun reported in December. The new owners got the liquor license last Thursday.

They plan on renaming the space at 901 S. Bond Street. It won't be a Ladder 15 after all, but will instead be called Bond Street Social.

It's not clear when it will open; the new owners haven't responded to several requests for comment.

DuClaw closed its location in Fells Point in December 2009 because business had been sluggish. 

In December, John Durkin, one of the Ladder 15 owners, said they'd been looking to open a new Ladder 15 location, and saw there weren't many other places like it in Baltimore.

The Philly restaurant calls itself "upscale yet unpretentious" on its website.

But there is in fact another place like it here already - Mad River Bar & Grille, where Durkin is an owner himself. Durkin insisted Ladder 15 and Mad River are different concepts.

Durkin said they'd been pursuing the Fells Point location since Fall of last year. In December, he and his partners filed an application with the Baltimore Liquor Board.

Durkin said then the deal to sign a lease was "close." It's not clear when it was finalized, or how much they'll be paying.The license, which DuClaw had given up, was finally transferred at Thursday's liquor board hearing.

In December, Durkin said the Fells Point location would be similar to Ladder 15, which serves New American cuisine, offers nine wines in the $7-$11 price range, and carries 12 draft beers. 

At the Thursday liquor board meeting, the new owners said the Baltimore location would feature a locally themed menu and carry regional craft beer. 

Bill's Lighthouse Inn sold

In related bar news, Bill's Lighthouse, the 30-year-old South Baltimore bar known for soft crab sandwiches, has been sold, the City that Breeds writes. The new owners are a group called Velocity Cafe.

Bill's owner, Adele Wedemeyer, had auctioned off the bar in December, but ultimately rejected the high bid of $475,000. She re-listed it for $625,000, she told Midnight Sun then.

It's not clear if the bar was sold for that amount. Wedemeyer nor the new owners could be reached for comment. 

 Wedemeyer's husband, William, had opened the bar 30 years ago, but since he died, she'd been trying to sell the bar to pay off estate debts.  

The new owners inherit the bar's building, liquor license, and its equipment and furniture.

Bill's includes a bar, a seated area, two public restrooms, and a commercial kitchen. The rest of the real estate is made up of a second-floor, two-bedroom apartment and two empty buildings that require renovation.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:03 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


"because of business had been sluggish" you have a proofreader?

What the crap is a "Phill"??? I'm from Philly and in almost 40 years have never seen "Phill"- ever. Jeez

Hm. Feeling very lucky I got married on the Bond Street Pier last year, before the douchery festival that is anything having to do with Mad River invades that space.

This venue is really big - it would actually make a nice place music acts.

Hopefully it doesn't turn into something douchey

I hate to insult a business before they get started and I do hope this place turns into something nice. (And I agree with Foo, it would be a good place for music).
But the phrase "upscale yet unpretentious" makes me think overpriced. And frankly, there are a ton of bars to compete with. And with Max's selection its going to be hard to fill a need there. I personally don't think of Fell's as an upscale destination, but that might be a nice change. Good luck to them.

thanks for the update!

Word on the street is that "Velocity Cafe" will renovate the garage behind Bill's, and convert into a bike shop. Major renovations are proposed for the dining area and bar areas, to include large glass facade in the front.

Hope they aren't too loud at night!!

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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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