Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Back Yard, a bar and beer garden, plans to open former Patrick's of Pratt Street space

Two bartenders at the Elephant plan to open a Hollins Market bar and beer garden called the Back Yard this spring, said partner Lara Sumerson.

Earlier this year, Sumerson and Mike Cavanagh purchased the former bar Patrick’s of Pratt Street at 131 S. Schroeder St., as well as neighboring property and an adjacent courtyard, she said. On Thursday, the city liquor board will decide whether to transfer the Patrick’s license. If all goes according to plan, she said, the Back Yard will open in April or “May at the latest.”

The plan is to make the neighboring property — which is currently “a shell” — an extension of the former Patrick’s bar that will also become a pathway for access to the courtyard, Sumerson said. The second floor of the Patrick’s property will eventually host wine classes and events like game and movie nights, she said.

“The space is just a wide-open canvas that we get to paint,” Sumerson said. “Everything about the building just struck us as what we wanted to do and not have to compromise.”

The bar program will reflect the owners’ strengths, said Sumerson — she brings beer and cocktail expertise, while Cavanagh’s knowledge will inform the wine selection. They hope to have 18 taps for beer — all local options except Guinness, as homage to Patrick’s, she said.

(Opened in 1847 by Patrick Healy, Patrick’s was considered by many one of the oldest Irish pubs in the country. Patrick and Anne Rowley purchased the bar in 1999, and closed it in the summer of 2016.)

Back Yard will not have a full kitchen, but will serve charcuterie, paninis and flatbreads, Sumerson said.

One of the most appealing aspects of the property is its West Baltimore location in the Hollins Market neighborhood, Sumerson said. They plan to offer tab discounts if patrons present their Uber receipts.

“It’s very much an underappreciated part of the city,” Sumerson said. “We want to be a part of the growth in that area.”

They chose the name Back Yard because of the property’s proximity to an old rail yard and Camden Yards, she said. It also nods to the idea that their neighborhood is closer to downtown and more popular areas of the city than people might realize.

“There’s the old joke in Baltimore that you’re 20 minutes from everything, so we’re basically in your backyard,” Sumerson said.

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