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Baltimore Sun bar reviews

Critic Wesley Case regularly reviews bars in the Baltimore area. For more nightlife coverage, visit baltimoresun.com/midnightsun.

  • Hightopps Backstage Grille sustains success with breezy atmosphere, attentive service

    Hightopps Backstage Grille sustains success with breezy atmosphere, attentive service

    Those visiting Hightopps Backstage Grille for the first time will likely notice the Timonium mega sports bar’s popularity before even exiting the car. It’s the type of place that requires staffing just for its parking lots — the type of people you’d expect to see at a concert venue or sporting...

  • Debated for years, Crossbar der Biergarten impresses in Federal Hill

    Debated for years, Crossbar der Biergarten impresses in Federal Hill

    For about seven years, Crossbar der Biergarten was just an ambitious megabar concept, a “coming soon” social media account and a lightning rod of a topic among Federal Hill residents. To many outsiders, it also sounded like an amorphous idea — one you’d hear murmurs about, but wonder if it’d ever...

  • Lee's Pint & Shell an effective rebrand in Canton

    Lee's Pint & Shell an effective rebrand in Canton

    Opened in Canton in 2008, Saute never seemed to truly know itself. The corner establishment served likeable pub fare in a prime location, but the vibe inside felt stuffy and drab. Was it a sit-down restaurant or a casual bar? As new bars opened around the city in recent years, owner Dave Carey...

  • R. Bar at R. House is crowded, and it's easy to see why

    R. Bar at R. House is crowded, and it's easy to see why

    On a recent Friday night, I nearly rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Could it be — two vacant chairs at R. Bar? In the bustling atmosphere of the Remington food hall R. House, spotting a couple of empty seats at its center bar can feel like discovering an oasis. Here, you don't second-guess reality...

  • Wits End Saloon in Timonium takes whiskey seriously

    Wits End Saloon in Timonium takes whiskey seriously

    The first three years after brothers Marc and Andrew Unger opened their Timonium comedy club — Magooby’s Joke House — inside the former Lorenzo’s Dinner Theatre, the old dressing room space sat empty. In 2013, they transformed the 600-square-foot area into a whiskey-focused bar called Wits End...

  • Gunther & Co.'s bar is whimsical and well-balanced

    Gunther & Co.'s bar is whimsical and well-balanced

    Chatting recently with Shaun Stewart of Gunther & Co., I asked the mind behind the bar program of the Brewers Hill restaurant to describe his approach to the cocktail menu. “‘Innovative’ is always a flashy word, but it’s more about putting something fun in front of somebody,” Stewart said. Striking...

  • Gnocco offers an intimate experience at the bar

    Gnocco offers an intimate experience at the bar

    In June, chef-owner Brian Lavin opened Gnocco, a love letter to his time not long ago studying abroad — and eating and drinking — through Italy and Spain as a University of Maryland, College Park student. An August Baltimore Sun review of Lavin's cuisine called the Brewers Hill establishment “a...

  • La Cuchara bar's delight is in its details

    La Cuchara bar's delight is in its details

    Sitting at the 40-seat, steel-top bar at La Cuchara on a recent weeknight, a couple cocktails in, I wondered: Does it get much better than this? It's a thought I've had more than once at this gem of a restaurant and bar in the Jones Falls Area, less than half a mile from Woodberry Kitchen. At some...

  • Wet City, a Mount Vernon beer bar, succeeds because of bold choices

    Wet City, a Mount Vernon beer bar, succeeds because of bold choices

    The space on West Chase Street had been a classic Irish bar named Dougherty’s Pub since it opened in 1994. When I stopped by on one of its last days in December, Sherry Dougherty mentioned the new owners’ vision for the low-lit Mount Vernon favorite. “It’s going to be the complete opposite of this,”...

  • Loch Bar showcases posh vibes, classic cocktails in Harbor East

    Loch Bar showcases posh vibes, classic cocktails in Harbor East

    With the Japanese-themed Azumi and the Mediterranean eatery Ouzo Bay, the local Atlas Restaurant Group has proved to have the quality and style to meet Harbor East's high-end expectations. While its first two Baltimore properties are food-focused, Atlas' third — Loch Bar, located in the Four Seasons...

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