Formerly Dead Freddies, Freddies Ale House in Parkville held a relaunch party over the weekend. New owner Mike Gentry said the party signified a fresh start for the bar he took over in January.
Changes had been quietly implemented since March, he said, including remodeling of the interior, repainting the exterior and adding vegetarian items to the menu. Another new development: Freddies Ale House now opens at 8 a.m. for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.
Gentry said he was approached by ownership of Dead Freddies Island Grill in Ocean City about changing the name. (The two restaurants are not affiliated with each other.) The Ocean City restaurant wanted to be the only Dead Freddies in Maryland, and Gentry obliged.
He considered dropping the "Freddies" name completely but changed his mind after meeting with Parkville community members. Over the years, the neon "Freddies" sign had become something of a Parkville landmark, and residents did not want to see it removed. Gentry respected their requests, and as a result, Freddies Ale House was born.
With the name change comes a finer focus on beer. Dead Freddies previously had 20 draft lines but only 10 brands of beers offered on tap. Gentry recently installed four more lines and all 24 taps are connected to 24 different types of beer. The selection has a "little emphasis on American craft beer and imports," Gentry said.
The new bar's roll-out continues this week with the debut of a new website, he said.
WORTH READING: In 1995, former Sun columnist Rob Kasper wrote about the Freddies neon sign, the story behind the Dead Freddies name and more. You can read the column here.