On The Town

Wet City to Replace Dougherty's in Mt. Vernon

Two brothers opening beer-centric bar in early spring.

By Jess Mayhugh | January 04, 2016, 12:05 pm

Josh, left, and PJ Sullivan are opening Wet City in Mt. Vernon in early spring. -Photography by Kara Black / Hardly Square
On The Town

Wet City to Replace Dougherty's in Mt. Vernon

Two brothers opening beer-centric bar in early spring.

By Jess Mayhugh | January 04, 2016, 12:05 pm

Josh, left, and PJ Sullivan are opening Wet City in Mt. Vernon in early spring. -Photography by Kara Black / Hardly Square

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

About a month ago, we let you know that the venerable Dougherty's Pub in Mt. Vernon was closing and being sold to new owners. Well, turns out, those new owners have been home brewing in Baltimore—and winning awards for their work—for years now.

PJ Sullivan, 37, a graphic designer and founder of Hardly Square, and Josh Sullivan, 34, bartender and owner of craft cocktail company Post Prohibition, have been looking for a bar space to open for years, but never found the right opportunity.

"We've had so many ups and downs trying to acquire a space," PJ says. "But we came across Bill [Dougherty], who was ready to retire and he was so nice and easy to work with. It was a great fit. We know that Dougherty’s has been a staple in the neighborhood for a really long time, and it was a bar we went to a bunch. But now we need to make it our own since it’s always been a dream of ours."

The brothers are calling the bar Wet City, which is a nod to Baltimore's nickname during Prohibition when it defied the rules and continued selling alcohol. The bar will be extremely beer-focused, which makes sense since Josh and his friends have been home brewing for the past five years. In fact, his beers have won a few local competitions, including the home-brew contest at the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival (for a cherry sour) and Mash Bash at Parts & Labor (for a session IPA that PJ says is likely to be one of the bar's first beers on tap.)

"Right now, the plan is to contract-brew one or two of our beers at first," PJ says. "But once we get all the permits, we want to set up a small brew system at the bar. We'll have small batches and frequent runs, so it's more of an experimental focus."

Wet City, which will have 20 taps and offer beer flights and half-pours, will also feature small cocktail and food menus (though the owners are still in the process of finding a chef). The owners plan to get rid of the back pool tables and use that as an event space, rip up the floor tiles, refinish the wood floors, and modernize the bar top. The two are hoping for an opening of March or April.

"My brother and I have been best friends forever and this bar has been a long time coming," PJ says. "We're playing off that narrative that Baltimore is a unique city, one that isn't afraid to experiment, and knows that rules are meant to be broken."




Meet The Author
Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.

You May Also Like

Food & Drink

The Gringo's Guide to Tacos

Charm City's taco scene comes into its own.

On The Town

Union Brewing and Goonda Beersmiths Collaborate on Best of Baltimore-Inspired Beer

After tying for readers' choice, the breweries created a double IPA to celebrate.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Ida B’s Table; Showroom at Motor House; PJ’s Pub

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


In Good Taste

Rye Street Tavern Opens Tonight in Port Covington

Chef Andrew Carmellini shows off his new spot on the Sagamore Spirit campus.

Food & Drink

Review: Five and Dime Ale House

Five and Dime Ale House is worth the pocket change.

Food & Drink

Home Cooking

Mera Kitchen Collective gives immigrants and refugees platform to cook.

Connect With Us

Most Read


A Gallery of Inspiration
In her rowhome and studio, artist Espi Frazier surrounds herself with objects that stir her.

Top Ten with Wendel Patrick
The musician and Peabody professor shares his favorite things.

Beer Me
October is officially the month for cold beers in Baltimore and beyond.

Secret Garden
Inside the Fells Point home of art director Dolores Deluxe and production designer Vincent Peranio.

Cameo: Bob Benson
We talk to the mirror artist from the American Visionary Art Museum.