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

All In A Day With Brendan Dorr

We follow the daily routine of the Baltimore Bartenders' Guild President and Dutch Courage co-owner.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: Dining Adventures in France

Plus, James Beard Award news, an inside look at the annual Best Restaurants issue, and best bites of the week.

Food & Drink

Review: BRD

R. House mainstay expands to Federal Hill.


On The Town

Three Local Beverages That Celebrate the Women Who Created Them

For Women's History Month, sample local sips made by these female industry leaders.

Food & Drink

Making Space

Baby's on Fire finds its niche in Fells Point.

In Good Taste

Restaurant Community Unites to Propose Industry Relief Efforts

Longtime hospitality professional explains what's at stake amid COVID-19.

Connect With Us

Most Read


With Emptying Venues, Local Music Community Faces Uncertainty: There are still ways to support local artists during the coronavirus outbreak.

Local Boutiques Offer Deals and Online Shopping Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: Opening and closing updates from the retail scene.

Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party

Baltimore Restaurants Cope With Indefinite Closures: Chefs introduce curbside takeout and delivery while weighing options for staff.

Goucher College Unveils Roadside Marker Honoring Suffragette History: Descendants of women’s rights advocates recognized at special ceremony.