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Ideal bar - B'more

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Continuing a thread from the General Board, what are some favorite liquoring holes in Charm City?

- Brewer's Art. You have the suave upstairs bar when you want to feel sophisticated with your 12-year single malt, or the downstairs dungeon when you feel slightly dangerous, or are just having a bad hair day and prefer near total darkness. Plus, the Ozzy works every time.

- John Stevens. Perfect amount of crustiness. This is my first stop on my way home from BWI when I've been out of town for anyhting more than 48 hours.

- Upstairs bar at Brass Elephant, if you catch it on a night when the young broker-wannabes aren't there. Everybody knows about it, but it still feels like it's a secret.

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  1. those are all good ones. I don't have much to add, really....I'll swing into Ixia every now and then. I also like J Patrick's, but then I play there the 2nd friday of every month, so I'm biased ;)

    7 Replies
    1. re: Lucien

      I agree, somewhat with previous comments.

      Brewer's Art -- Upstairs for a first date, downstairs for subsequent date. Good for taking hip out-of-towners who are suspicious of Baltimore.

      Ixia -- Very nice design, swanky, but continuing problems with harried and/or sloppy staff make it a risky choice.

      Brass Elephant -- I agree that one's fellow drinkers are sometimes problematic, and the staff often seem to be at war with each other. I would heartily recommend this for illicit affairs.

      Explorers Club (Harbor Court Hotel) -- Because sometimes hotel bars are just right. Wonderful service, good nuts.

      The Club Charles -- On weeknights, before it gets crowded. Getting to know the bartenders will help you have a good time. Zodiac, the adjacent restaurant, goes through phases (appropriately enough, considering its name); it seems to be un an upswing now.

      The Baltimore Eagle -- oops, wrong message board.

      1. re: Vordygal

        Duda's tavern in Fells Point is the best laid back neighborhood bar I've found. Can't beat a good pint of Guiness with a clover drawn in the head.

        1. re: Brian

          If you'd like a bar in Fells Point that's content to be a bar and doesn't try to be a "destination spot," go to Backstreeets on Bank Street. Roger, the owner, is a really nice guy and pours a great pint of Guiness. No crabcakes at this bar, just a good spot to hoist a few and meet with friends.

          1. re: asun

            Sounds absolutly perfect... I can't wait to drop in for a pint.

        2. re: Vordygal

          Have to agree with you about the Chuck/Zodiac, but I work there, so.....

          1. re: Shmingrid

            I love Zodiac's asian noodles with tofu, especially. having a chuck/zodiac person on the b/w chowhound boards raises our cool quotient way up. Shmingrid, do you know my friend Kam who used to work there?

            1. re: vordygal

              If you eat meat, you've GOT to try the crispy duck salad... I've made many converts, and now they can't live without it.

              I know Kam from waaaaay back...was at Hopkins at same time... dated him for, like, a week I think.

              Gotta love Smalltimore!