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April 19, 2011

A toast to William Donald Schaefer at Mama's on the Half Shell

Tributes to William Donald Schaefer started Monday night at Harborplace and Camden Yards.

They were modest and personal, reporters Jean Marbella and Julie Scharper write. Tokens of appreciation for the way he championed the city for so long. The former mayor, governor and comptroller died Monday at 89.

No doubt, those tributes continued with toasts in his honor at bars all over the city, and will likely continue tonight.

But if you wanted to pay your respects at a bar Schaefer patronized himself, there aren't many options anymore. Not that there were many to begin with.

Schaefer was not a big drinker, recalled Liquor Board chairman Stephan Fogleman. 

Retired Baltimore Circuit Judge Thomas Ward tells Laura Vozzella Schaefer was a loner, despite his flamboyance.

"On trips together, I never saw him gamble, drink, carry on or misbehave. He was essentially lonely. For all his publicity stunts, it's hard to believe he was essentially a shy guy," Ward said.

The bars and restaurants Schaefer did frequent have passed on themselves. Like so many politicians, Schaefer was known to eat at Werner's, which was near his law office, Fogleman said.

The restaurant, of course, served its last lunch just last week. Fogleman also said Schaefer was known to go to Jimmy's in Fells Point for breakfast.

And the bar/restaurant Schaefer was most associated with, the old Connolly's on Pratt Street, closed in 1991. Schaefer went there weekly with his mother, Fred Rasmussen wrote a few years ago. 

Ironically, Connolly's now has a life of its own, though in a whole new package. 

Its liquor license has been taken up by Mama's on the Half Shell, which both in menu and decor, pays tribute to the beloved seafood house.

It doesn't seem like the Canton Square restaurant has anything special planned to commemorate Schaefer's passing, but a restaurant that already pays tribute to one institution might just be the best place to toast another.

Photo: Gov. William Donald Schaefer, in a hat equipped with cans of soda, talks with bicyclists as part of the announcement of a 360-mile bicycle tour of the state. (Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:24 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I was fortunate enough to wait on him about 2 years ago, he came in and had a burger and a diet coke. Everybody was just taking pictures with him.

Good times! RIP

I was the first director of the aquarium when he was the mayor, and consider myself very fortunate to have met and worked with and for Mayor/Governor Schaefer. He was a driving force in Baltimore and the state of Maryland. He will be missed.

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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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