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April 8, 2011

Bond Street Social to open in September

Bond Street Social, the bar that has taken over DuClaw Brewing Company's former home in Fells Point, is expected to open in September, owner Mike Mastellone said.

The new bar will be similar to Ladder 15, the Philadelphia bar that he and some of his partners have run for several years.

"It's the same concept, but with a different name," Mastellone said. 

Mastellone, and John Durkin, who also runs Mad River Bar & Grille, had been pursuing the 901 S. Bond Street bar since last year. In December, they filed an application with the Baltimore liquor board.

The license was transferred in February, and the partners signed a lease on the property this Monday. Mastellone declined to talk about costs.

Mad River notwithstanding, Durkin has said they wanted the space because there was a void in the Baltimore market for a bar that was both upscale and casual. Mastellone echoed his sentiments, saying they were pursuing the "after-work corporate clientele." 

"We're filling a void in the Baltimore market," he said. "There are lots of places for young professionals to go, but once you go above 25 into your 30s and early 40s, there's no good casual bar or restaurant concept."

He continued, "Harbor East has a lot of white tablecloth places. Fell's Point is too casual. We want to mesh what we saw on both sides."

Mastellone insisted Bond Street Social and Mad River are different concepts.

He said the new bar would be more similar to Ladder 15, which serves New American cuisine, offers nine wines in the $7-$11 price range, and carries 12 draft beers.  

Mastellone promised the new bar would have at least 12 drafts that would rotate, with a focus on regional craft brews. Though the menu hasn't been priced yet, he suggested bottled beer would be in the $4 - $6 price range, while entrees would be in the $12-$20 range.

"We want an upscale atmosphere but with an approachable vibe," he said. 

While DuClaw's Dave Benfield has said they closed the location because business had been sluggish, Mastellone said the previous tenants just hadn't maximized use of the space.

The Bond Street Social partners plan on adding a 30-foot bar, a fire pit to one of the rooms, as well as making full use of the bar's 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio.

They just finished meeting with architects, and expect renovations to begin by the end of the month.  Mastellone said they're projecting an opening for September.

Photo: DuClaw's Fells Point location (Sam Sessa) 

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Posted by Erik Maza at 11:52 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I like the name.

Maza, Did you checkout the appeals at the liquor board yesterday?
All of Cross Street, almost! FHNA has nothing better to do than to argue against Illusions and other restaurants on Cross Street.
PR, get a life.

Why not just up the street to One Eyed Mike's?

OEM is too cramped, this is a much larger venue.

New Businesses moving into neighborhoods established over 200 years ago would be wise to spend more time discussing their entity & less about their perceived shortcomings of FELLS POINT. Too casual? Kali's, Meli, Mezze?You are moving into a neighborhood with GREAT Tavern/restaurants: OEM, Slainte, Koopers, WTFH, Peter's pub, Henningers, RED Star..etc. .just say you want to add to the region, then talk about your concept. Public Relations 101

You know when they use the word "upscale" they don't have a clue.

First off. Previous posters have it right: Fells Point has tons and tons of bars and eateries in all price ranges that appeal to 30-50 year olds.

What fells point work is that each one of these is small-ish and have a club house feel. Go to OEM or Mezze twice for happy hour and the bartender never forgets you. That's Baltimore and Fells Point... a sense of belonging.

That generally can't be created in a larger space ...lord knows Duclaw never tried.

Second: Food Matters. No matter how nice the bar stool, if the food sucks, you're out of here. "Casual" always strikes as a bad food word--after all, is a burger casual or upscale? can't be both.

What Fells needs is more retail. Too bad that space didn't become something that the residents could patronize everyday. A Trader Joes (yes yes parking doesn't work) or some other type of market where you could food to take home and cook after a bottle of wine on the patio.

"Fell's Point is too casual"? Well, yeah.

They want to bring factory farming to Fells Point. Belly up to the trough and have your credit cards out please.

The food at Duclaws was horrible. Indifferent service didn't help.
Foo: OEM has great food & service. Too cramped? I had lunch on their back deck this week & it didn't feel "cramped" at all. Maybe you would feel better at Bennigans or Chi Chis...

I have been to the Philly version of this restaurant. The place is packed on the weekends and it is one of the most popular bar in Center City. That said....I like coming during the week when it's easier to move around. The chef David puts out some incredible food. I think it's a great fit for Fells.

Will it be open for lunch?

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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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