Josh and P.J. Sullivan are working to transform the Dougherty's Pub space in Mount Vernon into a "beer geek's paradise."
The brothers are opening Wet City, a craft beer bar whose name is a reference to Baltimore's defiance during Prohibition, at 223 W. Chase St. They're aiming to open in late March or early April.
Dougherty's owners Bill and Sherry Dougherty closed their Mount Vernon mainstay in December with plans to retire. P.J. Sullivan said he and his brother had been searching for space for Wet City, which has been in the works for several years, when that location became available.
"We want to make it our own, but we’re definitely cognizant of Dougherty's being such a beloved bar in the city," Sullivan said.
When Wet City opens, it will offer 20 draft lines of craft beer from local, national and international breweries — and themselves. Josh Sullivan, who previously managed the Maryland Club bar and runs the cocktail blog Post Prohibition, has been brewing beer for about five years and is part of a homebrewing team that won first place last year at the Mash Bash and Baltimore Craft Beer Festival homebrewing competitions.
"It’s kind of taken over as his passion,” said P.J. Sullivan, who is also the co-founder of branding and graphic design firm Hardly Square.
The owners are working to secure permits that allow them to brew in-house. P.J. Sullivan said he hopes those permits are obtained by the time they open, but they plan to use space in another brewery if if they're unable to secure them in time.
Wet City will also serve unique beers from around the world that aren't readily available at most bars in Baltimore, as well as craft cocktails and American gastropub fare. The bar is still searching for a chef.