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

Come and knock on the door of Canton cocktail bar the Regal Beagle

The Regal Beagle, which replaced the Canton favorite Jack's Bistro this past spring, succeeds because of its inventive, affordable cocktails and casual setting.

Dylan's Oyster Cellar makes good on promise shown years ago

Since opening a permanent location in Hampden in late 2016, Dylan's Oyster Cellar has lived up to the potential first seen as a pop-up concept in Mount Vernon.

At this tiny basement bar in Mount Vernon, music and mood are the focus

In the basement of a Nepalese restaurant in Baltimore, Mount Vernon's Diskobar places an emphasis on music and mood while serving interesting cocktails.

The Elk Room's exclusive allure, quality cocktails come at a price Baltimore isn't quite used to

Like a meal at Charleston or a stay at the Four Seasons, the Elk Room feels tailored to the deepest-pocketed Harbor East crowd, or those looking to truly indulge with booze. So sure, it’s worth it — as long as your bank account says so.

Minnow stands out in South Baltimore with whimsical cocktails, technique

The team behind Woodberry's La Cuchara goes more casual in South Baltimore with the seafood-focused bar and restaurant, Minnow.

Bar Vasquez impresses in Fells Point with curated wine, balanced cocktails

Once Pazo, the Fells Point bar and restaurant Bar Vasquez celebrates its one-year anniversary in Baltimore this month.

Paulie Gee's back bar graduates from best-kept secret status

The best way to experience Paulie Gee's in Hampden is arguably through its back bar, where craft cocktails and pizza are delivered quickly and with little fanfare.

Revived Baltimore Eagle leather bar pulsates with good energy

Closed in 2012, the LGBTQ-friendly Baltimore Eagle reopened in Station North in January, and it's been an instant hit.

Hightopps Backstage Grille sustains success with breezy atmosphere, attentive service

For 11 years, Hightopps Backstage Grille in Timonium has been a Baltimore County hotspot, and a recent trip revealed why.

Debated for years, Crossbar der Biergarten impresses in Federal Hill

After taking years to open, Crossbar der Biergarten opened in the Federal Hill neighborhood in Baltimore in March.

Lee's Pint & Shell an effective rebrand in Canton

After operating Saute in Baltimore's Canton since 2008, owner Dave Carey renovated his restaurant and reopened as Lee's Pint & Shell.

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

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.

Wits End Saloon in Timonium takes whiskey seriously

Wits End Saloon, a bar attached to Magooby's Joke House in Timonium, has an impressive collection of whiskey.

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

Gunther & Co. in Brewers Hill has an impressive bar program, including a cocktail list created by Shaun Stewart.

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.

La Cuchara bar's delight is in its details

Opened in April 2015 by Jake, Ben and Amy Lefenfeld, La Cuchara -- focused on Basque cuisine -- is one of Baltimore's most rewarding dining and drinking experiences.

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

Loch Bar showcases posh vibes, classic cocktails in Harbor East

While its first two Baltimore properties are food-focused, Atlas Restaurant Group's third — Loch Bar, located in the Four Seasons Hotel — is their attempt at a full-fledged bar. Opened in April, Loch Bar shows they can do both.

The Food Market still stands out in Hampden

Aside from geography, the shops and restaurants on West 36th Street in Hampden have little in common. On the strip better known as The Avenue, you can get a

Cosima's bar reflects its confidence

Finding the Southern Italian-inspired Cosima feels like discovering well-buried treasure.

LB Skybar: Finally, a true rooftop bar in Baltimore

Call it little-brother syndrome, but at times, many of us go to great lengths to avoid giving Washington credit -- of any kind. But one area in which D.C. has

At West Madison Craft Beer & Wine Bar, focus shifts to bar

Baltimore native Lisa Markiewicz opened West Madison Craft Beer & Wine Bar in Mount Vernon earlier this year.

Brunch cocktails at Canton's Iron Rooster deliver

Recently, I told a friend in Canton my plans to check out the all-day breakfast spot Iron Rooster.

For Penny Black in Fells Point, a return to basics

In Baltimore, you can go home again, especially if home is a bar. Chuck Doering proved it last July, when he opened Penny Black in the former John Steven Ltd.

Woodberry Kitchen's bar is worthy of praise, too

It's still worth appreciating that Woodberry Kitchen still maintains the standards it opened with in 2007 and led to owner Spike Gjerde's James Beard Award.

Boiler Room more than fun and games in Federal Hill

In January, Boiler Room in Federal Hill entered the increasingly popular, video-games-and-beer fray, and on a recent Friday night visit, it seemed like Baltimores best take on the national trend to date.

At the Prime Rib, a charming relic lives on

Earlier this winter, over an unhurried dinner in a Mid-Town Belvedere hotel, I met a middle-aged couple that had developed a weekly routine of bar-hopping worthy of a bon vivant. Sundays, they said, were not complete without a trip to the Prime Rib.

Snake Hill earns reputation as early hit in Highlandtown

When partners Rich Pugh and Randy Coffren opened their bar, Snake Hill, in Highlandtown in mid-November, the duo expected to ease into the neighborhood, building a clientele over time through word of mouth.

Ware House 518 ups its craft with Louie Bar

Ware House 518 celebrated its first anniversary in October with a rebranding of sorts. The restaurant side remained the same, but its back bar area was renamed the Louie Bar, a nod to the Mount Vernon location's former occupier, Louie's Bookstore Cafe.

Magdalena's bar is swanky and inventive -- with pricetags to match

A rule that always applies, no matter the restaurant: The higher the cost, the higher the expectations.

Alma Cocina Latina makes waves at the bar, too

Alma has made headlines for its Venezuelan cuisine. The bar is equally not to miss.

If Aggio seems too fancy, just sit at the bar

"Top Chef" alum Bryan Voltaggio opened Aggio, his fine-dining Italian restaurant, in Baltimore in February 2014.

Brew House No. 16 not to be missed in Mount Vernon

High-level execution takes time, as I was reminded on a recent Friday evening when I walked into newcomer Brew House No. 16 in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood.

Laid-back bar Shakers a nice fit in Pigtown

The visit had hiccups -- some more glaring than others -- but the laid-back atmosphere ultimately made them feel fleeting and minor.

Mussel Bar and Grille a fun fit in Harbor East

In March, after more than a year of inactivity, it was the turn of Robert Wiedmaier (famous for Marcel's and Brasserie Beck in Washington, D.C.) to try and turn the Harbor East space into a winner with Mussel Bar and Grille, his first restaurant in Baltimore.

Huck's American Craft a fine, modern corner bar in Brewers Hill

The evolution of the corner bar continues in South Baltimore.

Sports bar Game a comfortable place to watch and play

At Game, the huge sports bar that opened in May near Horseshoe Casino and the stadiums, the enthusiasm preceded the sorrow.

An improved Nick's Fish House still offers escapism

Under new management and with a renovated deck, Nick's Fish House is an improved version of an old favorite.

Summer cocktails stand out at Sugarvale

In late June, Phil Han of Dooby's opened Sugarvale, a quaint bar focused on cocktails, wine and charcuterie.

Jokers 'n Thieves adds a new element to Canton

Last November, Canton newcomer Jokers 'n Thieves arrived looking to alter the landscape. It replaced JD's Smokehouse, a serviceable, laid-back beer bar that opened in 2002.

Mother's Federal Hill Grille renovates just enough

Since opening in 1997, Mother's Federal Hill Grille has earned the type of reputation sports bars envy.

Still dealing with loss, Grand Cru moves forward

Sitting at the bar of Belvedere Square's Grand Cru on a recent Friday evening, a middle-aged woman described the changes her favorite bar had recently undergone. Service and food had improved, and drinks were cheaper.

Pane e Vino adds refreshing element to Little Italy

Baltimore's Little Italy has plenty of bars inside its restaurants, but Pane e Vino feels like the rare location that could succeed as a stand-alone bar.

Max's Taphouse is a model of consistency in Fells Point

Fells Point beer bar does things the right way

2300, a bar inside a bar in Canton

With 2300, the new bar within a bar at Canton's Myth and Moonshine, there is a fair amount to unpack.

1157 Bar & Kitchen brings smart execution to Locust Point

Since opening in mid-December, Locust Point newcomer 1157 Bar & Kitchen has attracted three types of customers, according to chef-owner Jason Ambrose.

Clementine's care extends to its bar

In November, "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" highlighted three Baltimore restaurants, including Hamilton's Clementine, even though it does not naturally fit the TV show's title.

Papi's Taco Joint thrives in Fells Point

Some suggested the modest Fells Point space on Aliceanna Street was cursed, but what it really needed was a sound concept. The proof arrived on the 1700 block in March 2013 as Papi's Taco Joint, which has been consistently packed every time we've visited the bar.

A familial atmosphere at Mad Dog Murphy's in Canton

Adam Scher, a 28-year-old native of Owings Mills, purchased a corner bar in Canton in January, and opened it in March as Mad Dog Murphy's.

Ware House 518 gets a redo in Mount Vernon

When Creme Restaurant & Lounge opened in Mount Vernon in 2010, Ezra Tilaye and his mother, Tegist Ayalew, seemingly had a blueprint to follow.

For Ravens games, Turp's works

For lifelong residents and out-of-towners alike, Turp's makes a fine setting to do it in Baltimore.

Bookmakers Cocktail Club shines in Federal Hill

Formerly Nevin's, Bookmakers Cocktail Club will change your mind about Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood.

Farmstead Grill pleasantly surprises in Canton

From afar, Farmstead Grill in Canton Crossing looks like an oversized barn, but one step inside reveals a beautiful setting with a ceiling that never seems to end.

Pen & Quill satisfies with quirky sophistication

Follow a visit to Baltimore's Charles Theatre (still wonderful after all these years) with a trip to Pen & Quill, which opened in Station North in mid-August.

Bar Liquorice a bold cocktail lounge in Riverside

Bar Liquorice in Riverside offers classic flavors and strong service in the former Dirty Oars Tavern.

Ryleigh's Oyster offers city experience in the county

Last fall, Timonium -- home to the state fair and a head-spinning number of chain businesses -- welcomed a city favorite, Ryleigh's Oyster to Hunt Valley.

Lobo steps it up in Fells Point

Walking through Fells Point, Lobo co-owner Jamie Hubbard often stared at Pearl's, a bar on the corner of Aliceanna and Wolfe streets in Baltimore.

Tin Roof Baltimore is Power Plant's most laid back bar

The Law of "Chicken Fried" was proven true once again on a recent Thursday night at Tin Roof Baltimore.

In Like Flynn Tavern follows a legend

Live music could be coming soon to the renovated J. Patrick's Pub space in Locust Point.

Barcocina makes most of its Fells Point location

Enter Barcocina, a modernly chic bar and restaurant with a Mexican-inspired menu that opened in May in Fells Point.

Beating the heat at Le Garage

Everyone has a remedy to beat the summer heat, from a trip to the pool to a snowball from a shack. At Midnight Sun, we prefer the tried, true and futile practice of complaining about unrelenting humidity over cold drinks at a comfortable bar. It accomplishes little besides a buzz, and that's just fine.

At Hersh's, drinks rightfully share spotlight with pizza

Hersh's, a Riverside bar and restaurant, allows ingredients in its cocktails to shine.

Parts & Labor has engaged service, thoughtful drink selections

While sitting at the L-shaped bar inside Remington's Parts & Labor on a recent Wednesday evening, it was easy to get distracted.

White Oak Tavern impresses with craft beer selection

The White Oak Tavern, which opened in January, takes beer seriously, and the proof is in its frequently changing tap list of 30 craft selections.

Boathouse Canton is already a hit

The cost to transform an underused bar into a buzzing hotspot is not cheap. But as the saying goes, when you pay for quality, you only cry once. Just ask Boathouse Canton co-owner Gene Singleton.

Dooby's adds versatility to city's coffee culture

Since opening last fall in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood, Dooby's has emerged as my favorite new coffee shop simply because of its versatility.

Blue Pit BBQ an attractive option off Hampden's Avenue

In the backyard of Blue Pit BBQ, a new whiskey bar across the street from Artifact Coffee in Hampden, six wooden, beer-garden style tables sit under an intersection of stringed lights.

Forno tries to find footing across from Hippodrome

As in any major city, Baltimore and its bars benefit from a hot ticket.

Fleet Street Tavern cleans up well

In October, renovations began to turn the old Geckos into Fleet Street Tavern. It was not a complete gutting, owner Rob Coyle said, but it needed the upkeep.

In a pop-up, Dylan's Oyster Cellar deserves permanence

In mid-March, Dylan's Oyster Cellar, a charming raw bar by Baltimorean Dylan Salmon, moved into the Hatch, and has made the most of the quaint, short-term space since.

Apropoe's an undefined hybrid

Marriott Waterfront's new bar/restaurant Apropoe's has nice beer selection but physical layout is confusing

After years of inactivity, Silks off to a strong restart

Canton corner bar Silks is a far cry from what it was years ago.

Shotti's Point adds touch of Ocean City to Riverside

Welcoming spirit makes lack of beer taps easier to accept at Shotti's Point in the Riverside neighborhood of Baltimore.

Torrent looks and sounds good, so what's the problem?

Torrent Nightclub, the Towson spot that replaced Recher Theatre, feels a bit off

The Gold Bar marks another great addition to Station North

Toward the end of a blistering set on a recent Friday night, Adam Marans, lead singer of the Baltimore sludgy punk foursome Big Christ, took a rare breather to dedicate the next song, "Boogie Nights," to the deceased actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

With Tavern Room, Fleet Street Kitchen opens more casual side

At some point after it opened in the fall of 2012, Harbor East's Fleet Street Kitchen realized its necktie was pulled a bit too tight. The stylish farm-to-table restaurant with the four-course tasting menu had earned a flattering reputation for its food, but it was not a place to stop in on a whim for a drink.

Cockey's a strong post-dive bar in Upper Fells Point

"Sit at the bar. It's more fun," greeted our bartender, slightly smirking on a recent Tuesday night in Upper Fells Point. We had just walked into Cockey's, the new neighborhood corner bar that moved from Hollins Market and opened in the former Shed Row space in January.

At De Kleine Duivel, Belgian beer finds a home

After years of planning, De Kleine Duivel, the Hampden bar specializing in Beligan beer, opened in December.

Warm charm emanates from Candi Marie's

The palpable uneasiness has only added to an already cold winter in Baltimore, so it came as a relief last week when we found a warming antidote to our glum in Candi Marie's, a Canton corner bar.

Two different Anastasias in Fells Point

On a recent Saturday night, a friend and I sat idly at the main upstairs bar at Anastasia, the Italian restaurant by Kali's Restaurant Group that replaced Meli in Fells Point last month.

With Cunningham's, Towson gets the bar it needs

Since its founding in 2011, the local Bagby Restaurant Group has quickly become a name patrons can trust, both in the dining room and at the bar.

Nickel Taphouse is poised to succeed

Nickel Taphouse in Mount Washington offers lots of beer on tap and a congenial setting.

With new City Bar, City Cafe deftly changes with times

For staples in the Baltimore nightlife scene, there is a thin line between comfortable and stagnant.

Vale Tudo turns heads in Fells Point

It is still an exciting time for Baltimore's continually progressive nightlife scene. Successful openings debut as fully realized visions from Day 1, leading to exciting additions to an already healthy environment.

Shoo-Fly Diner's bar program on right track

Belvedere Square's newest restaurant, Shoo-Fly Diner, has a drink menu that offers a good reason to return.

At Joey B's, warm bartenders make lasting impression

Close your eyes and imagine the Federal Hill bar scene late on a Saturday night. If hazy images of loud, crowded bars filled with pushy, drunken patrons fill your head, then you have likely experienced the madness first-hand.

An adequate bar program at Thames Street Oyster House

At Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point, the real draw is the food.

The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar impresses with confidence

Add-on to Corner BYOB is a comfortable place for a drink and good food, too.

With Eightbar, Atomic Books adds a cozy lounge

For the past few years, Atomic Books owner Benn Ray envisioned one day transforming the back area of his Hampden bookstore from a record store into a cafe. And instead of serving coffee, the bar would sell beer and wine.

World of Beer off to a busy start

A couple of Friday nights ago, it was hard to find a place to comfortably stand in World of Beer, McHenry Row's newest bar.

The Chasseur brings familiar charm to Canton

Early last month, Canton lost a charming bar called Adam's Eve Gastropub. It was not transcendent or life-altering, nor did it aim to be.

Oliver Speck's an approachable bar in Harbor East

Sophisticated but informal, the Southern barbecue spot Oliver Speck's has craft cocktails, bourbon

Playoff Sports Bar and Grill falls in line with the competition

There's a Greene Turtle less than five miles away from Playoff Sports Bar and Grill, which opened in Reisterstown early in the year. A Buffalo Wild Wings sits even closer, a quarter-mile down the street.

Strong service at Tavern on the Hill

Sometimes, it takes only a single element to elevate a new bar from "perfectly fine but forgettable" to something exciting and memorable. Tavern on the Hill excels in Mount Vernon with strong service, whiskey program.

The Crown offers a little bit of everything in Station North

With new lounge, the arts-centric neighborhood adds another vital piece

Beatnik offers warm ambience, delicious drinks

With attention to detail and plenty of Baltimore tie-ins, Beatnik in Station North leaves a lasting impression

Dirty Oars Tavern gives Riverside a solid corner bar

Name aside, Dirty Oars Tavern is on the right track

Paparazzi Nightclub a test of patience

Baltimore's Paparazzi Nightclub replaced the concert venue Sonar in February

HomeSlyce Pizza Bar already a winner downtown

At HomeSlyce Pizza Bar, the food, and not the bar, is the main draw as of now.

Coach's Rendezvous, a dive in the best sense

Owner, patrons make lacrosse-themed Coach's Rendezvous in Charles Village feel comfortable.

Energy (but little booze) flows at college-friendly Voltage Nightclub

Megaclub next to Baltimore Travel Plaza draws the under-21 set with dancing

Langermann's on Light bar program a work in progress

Langermann's on Light, the second location for the Baltimore restaurant and bar, opened without fanfare in September 2012.

Secretive W.C. Harlan bar a striking addition to Remington

Inspired by the secretiveness of speakeasies, W.C. Harlan in Remington is a striking success.

Moonshine Tavern an early hit in Canton

Gin Mill's replacement, Moonshine Tavern, drawing crowds, but needs more than a signature drink to keep them.

Ale House Columbia's beer list, service excel

At Ale House Columbia, 50-odd drafts, many from Oliver Breweries, and 30-odd TVs make up for too-loud Top 40.

Gordon Biersch brings little character to Harbor East

At chain brewpub Gordon Biersch, passable beers, little personality but good service.

Renovated Mt. Washington Tavern makes a comeback

Mount Washington Tavern looks great, but rude service ruined an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Though posh, Ouzo Bay's bar feels like an afterthought

The restaurant section is one of the hottest in town. The bar, not so much.

Birroteca knows when to take itself seriously

Hampden's Birroteca offers an extensive drink menu with craft cocktails and local beers in a comfortable, buzzing environment.

Return of the Admiral's Cup disappoints

Renovations don't bring back heyday of Fells Point corner bar the Admiral's Cup.

Adam's Eve lives up to 'Gastropub' billing

Adam's Eve Gastropub in Canton is instantly comfortable.

Bradley's of Fells Point barely makes an impression

At Bradley's of Fells Point, decent beer selection can't save bland decor.

Renovated 13th Floor dazzles

Skyline view, decor impress, but can they draw — and keep — a crowd?

At Banditos, big tequila selection sobered by poor service

New Federal Hill bar has solid drinks but still finding identity

Townhouse Kitchen & Bar fits well in swanky Harbor East

Sexy new sports bar has impressive beer list, tempting cocktails

Frederick's on Fleet gets the small details right

New corner bar has thoughtful cocktail list and sleek, vintage decor

Stylish Museum fails to get details right

New Museum Lounge in Mount Vernon can't live up to its stylish decor.

Underwhelming Plug Ugly's saved by Pirate Juice

Prime Canton spot feels generic and sleepy, compared to neighboring bars

Sharply designed Willow succeeds with handcrafted cocktails

Willow, a Latin-infused lounge and bar in Fells Point, is a winner.

Jazz bar Phaze 10 shines in overlooked area

Newly opened lounge has friendly staff, stiff drinks and glowing atmosphere

At Wiley Gunter's, upstairs is the clear draw

Wiley Gunter's, formerly Sly Fox Pub, has a much more interesting upstairs, thanks to darts, beer pong and foosball.

Kettle Hill continues Power Plant Live's maturation

Well-balanced, hand-crafted cocktails shine at new downtown bar

Waterfront Hotel great for live music, but bar lacks imagination

The recent interior renovations look great, and the drink list could also use a re-do

Of Love and Regret, a beer lover's haven

Of Love and Regret in Brewer's Hill Baltimore is a beer lover's paradise thanks to its extensive, excellent beer list.

Off the Square, Cardinal Tavern is Canton's best, unassuming corner bar

It's not flashy, but Cardinal Tavern in Canton has an extensive liquor selection

Charles Village Pub in Towson returns with greater ambitions

Less than 18 months after a fire burned it down, CVP is back with an upstairs bar, updated menu and greater ambitions.