Barfly's, the old Rafters, is finally open
Barfly's, the old Rafters, is finally open, a few months after it was originally supposed to debut.
The bar, located in the Fort Avenue-Riverside neighborhood (620 E. Fort Ave), had a soft opening last Friday and will have its grand opening on Friday.
The bar carries eight drafts, as owner Mike Leeds had promised, 20 bottled beers, and 12 wines. It is also serving food.
The old Rafters, known for its formstone interior, closed in August. Leeds took it over and started renovating in late December with an eye towards opening in March.
He said he gutted the old bar and made it more upscale. Some of the formstone interiors have been covered up with raised wood panels.
From the outside, Leeds said the bar stayed the same, "your average neighborhood bar," Leeds said. But inside, "It's a complete transformation," he said. "Anyone who was at Rafters won't recognize it."
Leeds opened as soon as he got his liquor license, which was granted last Thursday.
He has 12 wines by the bottle, evenly split between whites and reds. On draft, he has Guinness, Yuengling, Samuel Adams, Blue Moon, Franziskaner (a wheat beer), Pilsner, Stella Artois, and Dale's Pale Ale.
He has 20 brands by the bottle and can, but plans to expand to about 40. Beer ranges in price from $3-$6.
The bar will also have a full working menu by this weekend, that will include fresh-dough gourmet pizza, salads and sandwiches. Price will range between $7 - $12.
Photo: Rafters in 2005 (Elizabeth Malby/Baltimore Sun)