While there’s a lot to boast about within Baltimore’s nightlife scene, there is one thing lacking: a plethora of rooftop bars. After all, there’s nothing quite like enjoying an after-work cocktail while taking in panoramic skyline views.
So, when the San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hospitality Group took over the Peabody Court Hotel in Mt. Vernon, they were smart to take advantage of the panoramic windows on the 14th floor with views of the Washington Monument, Beaux Arts architecture, and downtown.
The resulting bar restaurant, Topside, feels airy and modern with its light woods and geometric accents. There’s a loose beer-garden theme, and bar manager Chelsea Gregoire—who earned her chops at Dooby’s, Pen & Quill, and Ida B’s Table—is the right person to oversee the program. The bar offers 13 beers on tap and a selection of more than 60 bottles and cans from local breweries such as Union Craft, Dogfish Head, and Monument City. Local brewery Peabody Heights even custom-brewed a pale ale called Thirstay (the second syllable is a punny nod to the hotel).
Gregoire also flexes her creative muscle when it comes to cocktails. There’s a twist on a traditional shandy (beer-soda cocktail) that combines bourbon, pine-flavored Génépy des Alpes, lemon, bitters, and the Thirstay pale ale garnished with macerated cherries. There’s also the acidic and gorgeous Shrubs n’ Rosés with gin, strawberry-dill shrub, rosé vermouth, lemon, egg white, and pink peppercorns served in a coupe glass.
Topside top brass was also smart to hire local chef Wilbur Cox (culinary creds include Charleston and B&O American Brasserie) to execute a seafood-focused menu with standouts including crispy fried oysters with spicy mayo and a refreshing local fluke ceviche.
There are plenty of ways to appreciate Topside. Maybe you’ll sip on a delicious old fashioned (made with Maryland rum), play a game of foosball in the corner, or simply delight in your front-row seat to a beautiful Baltimore sunset.