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 4, 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 4, 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

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

Flying Solo

Amy Gjerde ventures out on her own.

Food & Drink

Word Play

A local artist turns puns into edible works of art.

Food & Drink

Baltimore Farmers’ Market Guide

Grab your totes and meander around these returning community markets.


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: James Beard Semifinalists

In our first food podcast, we talk James Beard, The Brewer's Art, Best Restaurants, and tons of tacos.

On The Town

Baltimore Cocktail Week Celebrates Fifth Year With Focus on Wellness

Spirited events and health-inspired industry workshops planned for the big anniversary.

On The Town

Baltimore Eagle Reopening on Easter Weekend

The Station North bar plans a “resurrection” to celebrate an even more inclusive, community feel.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Catonsville’s Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Talks American Idol Fame: Towson University student has impressed the show’s judges with his wide vocal range.

Open & Shut: Sophomore Coffee; The Urban Oyster; Raw Bar; Smoke: The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Where to Celebrate the Return of Game of Thrones: The best watch parties, food specials, and events honoring the HBO show.

Boxing Champ Gervonta Davis Eyes Hometown Fight in July: Upton Boxing Center stablemate Lorenzo Simpson to fight on undercard.

Maryland Legislature Passes Brewery Modernization Act: Plus, new laws will loosen distillery regulations and distribution relationships.