Red House Tavern

The recently re-opened Red House Tavern is the Ravens bar of the week. (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun / May 3, 2011)

If you're going to go to a bar on New Year's Day, it might as well be a special place.

To watch the Ravens this Sunday, consider Red House Tavern in Canton.

A mainstay on the corner of Essex and Leakin streets for years, Red House didn't make its mark until April, when new owner Ron Singer, who also runs Leon's in Mount Vernon, reopened it as a mature alternative for the neighborhood. Under the new management, everything from the decor to the menu was overhauled. Red House is now handsome and classy, with lots of new beers and a terrific menu that includes french fries that taste like they came from Thrasher's in Ocean City.

In many ways, it is the ideal neighborhood bar: friendly and familiar without being boring. And it continues to feature live music. On Ravens Sundays, Red House does not disappoint, offering several food specials and a generous happy hour for the duration of the game.

Drinks: Red House's beer selection is modest — just six draft lines — but well curated. It features Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Magic Hat. By the bottle, it carries about 10 beers, including Amstel Light, Blue Moon and Natty Boh. The bar's prices are generally agreeable, but on game days they are a steal. The bar extends its happy hour, which features $1.50 Bohs, $2 Miller Lites and two-for-one rail cocktails, for the entire game. Every time the Ravens score, shots cost a penny.

Food: Featuring items like duck nachos and gnocchi, the menu at Red House is above-average for neighborhood bars — even some restaurants. Their fries are crunchy and bathed in Old Bay. On Sunday, the food is as affordable as the drinks: Wings are two for $1, and all tacos are a dollar, the same prices as Red House's regular happy hour.

Decor: The most noticeable change at Red House is its look. It now features a tin ceiling above the bar, an electronic jukebox and even a book exchange. With a fireplace by the bookshelf and its homey armchairs, the bar could be mistaken for someone's living room. It has three flat-screen TVs. Though it might not be the best bar for those seeking a rowdy crowd of fans, Red House does attract an upbeat crowd on Sundays.

Distance from stadium: About 15-20 minutes away.

Parking: Plenty of metered street parking available.

erik.maza@baltsun.com

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If you go



Red House Tavern, at 2239 Essex St., is open 3 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Call 410-522-0015 or go to redhousetavern.com.