In 1979, Baltimore magazine wrote about the changing city of Baltimore. “New bars will all look the same,” we opined, “and how a drinker is to tell one hanging-fern/exposed-brick/butcher-block-tabled spot from another escapes [us].”
Though nearly 40 years have passed, we are having the same conversation—over drinks, no doubt—about the state of city nightlife. As shiny cocktail bars move in, bona fide dives, which used to dot this city like Keno squares, are going the way of the dodo bird.
And we’ve poured many a cheap beer out for fallen institutions (see below), which is all the more reason to hold close the bastions of glass-block windows, sticky bar tops, and buzzing neon that remain.
Row 1: Muir's Tavern; Midway Bar; 1919. Row 2: Jerry’s Belvedere Tavern; Mary’s Tavern; Venice Tavern. Row 3: Holiday House; Cat’s Eye Pub; Griffith’s, Mount Royal Tavern; The Drinkery; 3 Miles House.
R.I.P. Gone, But Not Forgotten: We’d like to take a moment of silence for the establishments that have left us, like American Joe’s—later Harry’s American Bar—(Bill Clinton knew what’s up), Dimitri’s (getting drinks through that tiny window), Leadbetter’s (cramped enough to be in the band), Long John’s Pub (karaoke and carpet!), and Rendezvous Lounge (drinking 40s in the dark), to name a few.