Muggsys' owner Danny Young talks about bar's closing; denies Don't Know Tavern rumor
Muggsys's in South Baltimore will close Thursday, after its owners couldn't agree on a new lease with their landlord.
Danny Young, co-owner, said the disagreement with the landlord was amicable.
"It was the best possible thing that could have happened," he said.
Young and Putman opened Muggsy's three and a half years ago as a Federal Hill haven for beer snobs.
But competition followed.
"When we opened, between us and Metropolitan, we were the only good draft beer bar in the neighborhood," Young said. "Then The Abbey opened. Row House opened and they have good rotating draft beers. Bluegrass opened and they have rotating beers and really amazing food."
Young said their investment capital went into their lease, and there was little left over for "marketing and things that needed to get done."
For the past year, he's been bartending without any other full time employees. His roommate would sometimes help out on weekends.
When it came time to renew the bar's lease, which still had another year and a half left, Young couldn't agree on a number with the landlord. The building at 1236 Light St. is owned by KM Investments LLC, which bought it in 2000 for $80,000, according to property records.
Young and Putnam decided to end their agreement and the landlord nullified their financial agreements. "He could have taken us too the cleaners and he didn't. He's a decent guy," Young said.
The bar will close with a quiet celebration for regulars and friends on Thursday.
Young denied a rumor that he and Putnam would take over Don't Know Tavern, which has already been sold, he said. "We are not moving anywhere," he said. "I have nothing to do with the Don't Know deal."
(Beer in Baltimore is also reporting the Don't Know deal has been finalized. Its new managers said on Facebook they'll re-open on Wednesday with samples of new menu items.)
There might be a time to take the Muggsys's name elsewhere, he said, but "probably not soon." "I learned a lot from the experience but it's nice to have a stretch where I can clock out at the end of the day," he said.
Young, who worked at Ropewalk Tavern for four years before opening Muggsys's, is going back to bartending for the McFaul family. He'll be bartending at Delia Foley's on Saturdays.
(Photo by Shankman)