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April 26, 2011

Red House Tavern re-opens in Canton

Red House Tavern in Canton, closed since 2009, has re-opened as a bar resembling "a Boulder Colorado Ski Lodge," according to the bar's recent press release.

Ron Singer, who bought the bar last July, said the Canton bar re-opened earlier this month. 

The Red House Tavern was owned by John Harris and his family for four years starting in 2005.

But, business was so slow in 2009 that the family first organized a fund-raiser for the bar, and later closed it. 

Last year, Singer bought Red House for $325,000, according to property records, with plans to renovate it and turn it into a casual corner bar with regular acoustic music and dart leagues. 

Renovations at the bar started in July 2010. Singer, who also manages Leon's and Triple L in Mt. Vernon, said he added tin ceilings, a book exchange library, and restored a fire place and a Victorian-style bar.

On April 1, the bar was "reborn as a boutique restaurant and bar with a decor and ambience (sic) resembling a 'Boulder Colorado Ski Lodge,'" according to the press release. On Saturday and Sunday, the bar will have a free BBQ meet-and-greet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to introduce itself to the neighborhood. Attendees also get one free Natty Boh.  

Singer said he's not sure if the bar will host live music as it had before.

The liquor board has signed off on its entertainment license, but its zoning board hearing isn't until June. Neighbors had complained about loud music before, Singer said.

For now, the bar will be open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.  Happy hour - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week - features 2-for-1 rail drinks and $1.50 Natty Boh pints. There will also be a reverse happy hour from midnight to 2 a.m. with $2 domestic pints and $4 Jameson shots, a holdover from the previous owners.

The bar, at 2239 Essex St., will also serve food, with a menu that includes Fried Green Tomatoes, Duck Nachos, and pulled short rib spring rolls.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:26 PM | | Comments (20)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Very interesting comment that this will resemble a Boulder CO Ski Lodge. I have been to Boulder many times, I have been skiing in Colorado many times, and let it be known it is very difficult to have a ski lodge in a town where there are no resorts. Not that there are no mountains, Boulder lies in the "Flat Iron" Mountain Range, but those mountains are east of all known ski resorts in CO. Now if this were labeled a "Boulder, CO coffee shop/dispensary" my ears would percolate a little more.

If you're going to complain about a bar having loud music, don't buy a house near a bar that's had loud music for the past 20 years. The bar's been there since the 1800's, you have no excuse. Those same neighbors are running a "Speakeasy" out of a garage across the street that "takes donations".

The food was excellent the other night, their short rib cheese steak with blue cheese crumbles is incredible. It's amazing what has been done to the place!

I have to agree with Red House Tavern for President, the bar has been there far longer than ANYONE who lives around it, plus its not like that are trying to be Power Plant Live.

That being said the food there is excellent, and they have made a great start to becoming a cool, reliable neighborhood spot.

Seems like anyone who's moved into the neighborhood since 2009 has a right to complain about noise at the new bar then ... since, you know, the bar was physically there, but not really there.

Anyway, it's empty every time I walk past it.

I was hoping Erik would write something on this place. The four of us stopped by last Tuesday and found Alex running Trivia Night, Tim the chef fed us unbelievable crab soup, red peppercorn glass noodles and the Tavern Burger with a fried egg on top...nice touch.

I have not been to CO but the place does have that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Ron turned on the fireplace for us and we sat (even a rocking chair) talked, watched Boomerang on the tv and Relaxed!.. He then showed us upstairs with the pool tables, dart boards, second bar and yes, a separate ladies room. Sounds like June for that section to open.

Great local bar/restaurant. I maybe would have changed the name though.

What is the address of this bar?

Knowing, remembering, and name dropping multiple staff members a week+ after visiting is a clear sign of a shill.

We stopped in Friday nite. Very relaxing place. The music was good, the beer was ice cold, the wings were great, but the tavern burger was by far the best I have had in baltimore

you got it all wrong 'red house for prez.' the neighbors from the garage aren't the ones complaining. in fact, they were the absolute very first customers to buy a beer at the new red house tavern. i know, 'cause i was the 7th person to buy a beer there. get your facts straight before opening your mouth.

It is possible, cdc, that Red House for President typed their response with their mouth closed. I'm just sayin'

Another bar without a web site

Haha, Red House for Prez. You have no freaking clue what you are talking about. You're probably just a little bitter that you're not cool enough to have a beer at that garage.

So, will only Subaru Outbacks and Landrovers be parked out front to complete the Boulder, CO look?

I agree, I have lived around this location for years... RHP couldn't be any more wrong.
Love the garage! We welcome any business that welcomes us.

Red House Tavern for President (and Canton Denizen too), I may as well address your uneducated comments talking about "people" buying next to or in the area of a bar "known for live music since the 1880's". (how old are you two anyway??).

I am the immediate neighbor of this property. My memory is a bit different than what ya'll recall so clearly...When I bought 15 years ago, I had a really mean little old lady named Edna next door (in what is now half the bar) and a VERY quiet local Baltimore tavern on the corner with .50 Budweiser and spittoons for the women chewing tobacco and reading romance novels...

That tavern (The Essex) was on the corner and had been family owned and in business over 60 years...actually maybe longer.

It was ONLY after the owner had a stroke and went into a nursing home that the rest of us "long-time residents who have no right to complain" found that the owner had negotiated an unused cabaret license back in the 50's or 60's or so that they could have dancing in the bar juke box. The catch was that it actually covered the tavern and Edna's house which was owned by the tavern. So you guessed it--Edna was soon evicted by the next owners and the bar expanded.

It took 2 failures of the next 2 owners before a 3rd owner came in and ripped out walls between the two properties and moved the original bar next door and didn't put money into soundproofing (ooops). They also started live music for the first time AT THAT TIME and I'm pretty sure that was around 2001 or so (not 1880). So yes, anyone in the surrounding blocks has been aware of the sound issues since that time. Well, in between frequent failures and reopenings that is. Wanting to be Power Plant Live or not Canton Denizon, my guess is you live far enough away that music coming in your bedroom windows at 2am does not trouble you.

But really, WHY are you two bringing up the old music issues of a bar that failed and closed well 2 years ago due to bad business practices? No one else is.

I absolutely love your comments about my great neighbors who own the garage (aka: the illegal runners of the speakeasy). They both are long-time residents and fantastic people so they naturally have friends far and wide. Because they are kind & welcoming, people often stop by to visit (Don't people do this at your house? Maybe that's why you think it's a conspiracy--friends don't pop by?). Believe me none of them contributed to the downfall of the 6 or 7 incarnations of this bar that have opened and closed since 1997 when the ORIGINAL bar closed down and finally sold out of the family.

As for me, I am pleased to see Ron Singer has put the money into renovating the interior of this place. I give him a lot of credit for that. I find the employees I've talked to all very friendly and eager. I have not eaten there so can't speak for food. I'd say they appear to be trying to differentiate themselves food-wise and that might end up great for the neighborhood. Now their battle will be to to distance themselves from a tarnished old name and associate themselves with the positive image they want to put forth. I hope they have success and the neighborhood gets a great place to talk and eat.

Again, considering the only two commenters who brought up PAST ISSUES WITH PAST OWNERS is you two: Red House Tavern for President/Canton Denizen, then perhaps you both ought to try to start fresh yourselves?

(I do wonder what's up with the heavy promotion of Duck Nachos though...)

Red House Tavern for President and Canton Denizon I would be a little more tactful next time when bagging on the neighbors who will help make or break this place!

@Anonymous - I was simply commenting on the fact that new neighbors shouldn't complain about things that were there before they moved in. I don't see where I was "bagging" on any neighbors, especially because I am one. Either way, best of luck to Red House.

Bars like these are not why folks move out of the City to places like historic Lutherville.

Nerds! lol

Lutherville is historic?

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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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