Regulars of the old Dougherty’s Pub would hardly recognize the space now. With its Irish leanings, dark wood accents, and copper-topped bar, the old place attracted locals for more than 20 years for a pint of Harp and a game of pool.
But when the owners decided to close their doors a year ago, brothers Josh and P.J. Sullivan took over and had a very different concept in mind with Wet City (223 W. Chase St., 443-873-6699).
Influenced by bars and beer halls of Scandinavia, P.J. took a more modern approach to the décor. The Mt. Vernon bar now has stark white walls; a minimalist, light wood bar; and artistic accents like a kaleidoscopic motif in the foyer.
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The modern transformation can also be seen on the cocktail menu, overseen by Josh, who has been crafting drinks for a while on his website Post Prohibition. Many flavors lean toward the bitter and piney notes, and there are playful creations like Lil Snickers with rye, amaro, mole bitters, and the namesake chocolate bar on top.
But you really come into Wet City for the beer, since Josh has been home-brewing (and winning awards) for years. The list of hard-to-find international beers is constantly rotating, and this is especially a destination for fans of sour beer and IPAs. Recently we appreciated a black currant Gose beer from Denmark that was salty and tart at first with a rich, full-bodied berry finish. Knowing that it isn’t available anywhere in the vicinity made it all the more enjoyable.
As if they aren’t firing on enough cylinders, Wet City kills it in the food department, too. Try the slow-cooked wings that fall off the bone, bright seasonal salads, or the off-menu No Temp Burger that combines fast-food simplicity with farm-to-table ingredients.
Wet City might not appear to fit the typical corner pub mold, but its diverse clientele of symphony goers, MICA students, and local residents proves that the bar shares one thing in common with its predecessor: It’s beloved by the neighborhood.