We’re not going to lie: Pulling up to the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore and seeing the beautiful people step out of Maseratis and Porsches at the valet station can feel a touch, well, intimidating. But if you walk past the hotel’s luxe lobby and stylish whiskey bar, then through the airy courtyard built on historic Recreation Pier, there’s a welcoming space for all: the pool bar.
Many locals don’t realize that the swanky patio at the Pendry is open to non-guests from Memorial Day Weekend through October 4, though the actual pool is off-limits. The main attraction is a shipping-container-turned-bar that cranks out a menu of tropical and frozen drinks and equally delicious snacks.
While the prices skew more upscale ($13 cocktails, $12-15 wine, $7 beer), the drinks pack a punch and the views—both of the harbor and ample people watching—can’t be beat. There are a number of seating options: Grab a stool at the marble-topped bar, waterside two-tops, or cushy couches to make believe you’re on vacation.
Pendry bar manager Kat Webster assembled a fun menu for the season, adding the playfully named Tropic Like It’s Hot, a mix of Casamigos Reposado Tequila, crème de banana liqueur, lime, and coconut that’s an earthy take on a piña colada. When in a Kevin Plank-owned property, one must try something with his locally distilled rye whiskey, so we indulged in the Sagamore Crush. Though not made with signature crushed ice, we loved the use of blood orange juice as opposed to the more acidic orange or bitter grapefruit. And the picturesque flower garnish was a nice touch.
Thanks to newly appointed Rec Pier Chop House chef Robert McGrattan, an Asheville native who is eager to show off Maryland seafood, the menu at this pool is much more elevated than snack-shack fare. Don’t miss the flavorful and chipotle-laced Thames Street Tacos with tequila-marinated rockfish, charred pineapple slaw, and cotija cheese. For something a bit lighter, try the tuna poke with spicy aioli, which is served with some of the best house-made, Old Bay-dusted chips we’ve ever had. (Sorry, Utz.)
And the fun doesn’t end there. This summer, the outdoor pool will feature Champagne spritzers on Mondays, live music every Thursday, and end the week with tableside oyster-shucking on Fridays. But, if the sun’s out, anyone can enjoy the perks of hanging at the Pendry without the hefty price tag.