Baltimore bar/restaurant for large group
Perhaps I'm attempting to do the impossible. I'm searching for a bar/restaurant in Baltimore that
a) is casual,
b)won't be super crowded on a Friday night,
b) can handle a group of 15-20, and
c) won't care if some people just come for drinks and not food.
Its for a surprise birthday get-together which I can't host a home because we're rehabbing the house. Thanks for your help!
OK, Gardel's isn't very casual but it's HUGE and you can all sit at the bar or take some tables in the bar area and just drink. I've seen people in jeans there, even though it's got that fancy feel.
For a small, intimate vibe head to Dionysus. You can comandeer the basement left-hand corner with the chairs and couches and have your mini-party there. I know you said you weren't necessarily going to eat, but order their white pizza (ricotta, artichoke, prosciutto, and italian dressing) for a delicious treat.
After work when he head for drinks we've been able to accomodate 10-15 people at the following Inner Harbor venues without advance reservations: Babalu, Mex, McCormick and Shmick's. M&S has amazing HH specials on nibbles, but is usually packed to the gills and loud. The other places are empty to dead until about 6:30 or so, and then start getting more and more full as the evening wears on. Not terribly Chow-ish, however.
Midtown Yacht Club is always a comfortable option. You can pull some tables together and viola. They used to have Thursday night kareoke which is a trip.
Club Charles is always a favorite. And you can go to Zodiac for great eats if anyone gets hungry.
My experience is if you get to any bar early enough to comandeer the space you need for your group, you're in good shape. You don't necessarily need reservations.