Brendan Dorr and Eric Fooy first envisioned Dutch Courage about five years ago. Since then, they’ve amassed glassware and decor, dreaming up how they would fill their imaginary bar.

Soon, all those years of planning will be on display as the bartenders behind Hotel Monaco’s B&O American Brasserie prepare to open a new gin bar in Old Goucher.


But first, a little more waiting as inspections wrap up.

“There’s been a lot of patience,” Dorr said with a laugh. “We want to open as soon as possible.”

Dorr said that could be days, weeks or a couple months. But he anticipates an opening before the holidays.

Dutch Courage is a labor of love for the duo. The space, which embraces reclaimed materials, vintage furniture finds and a bit of DIY craftsmanship, reflects their personal touches.

“We love being bartenders being able to build your own bar,” Fooy said.

Two metal and glass caddies on opposite sides of the quartz bar were custom built at Open Works using wire glass that was once part of the white stone corner home built in 1851. Those rectangle cases will be lined with ice and will display various drink ingredients and garnishes, from eggs to herbs.

The working vintage cash register — a find from Dorr’s father — is situated at the end of the bar.

The bulkhead above the bar will hide the sound system speakers that Fooy purchased more than a decade ago from the now-closed restaurant IXIA, where they both worked.

“They have been stacked in my apartment,” he said.

Even the white walls of the bar have a meaning. The walls of the main bar are supposed to represent gin in that it’s bright and airy like the clear alcohol.

The bar will be open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The cocktail menu will consist of 26 cocktails, including seven classic cocktails such as the Ramos gin fizz, South Side and French 75 for $10. Other cocktails will range around $10 to $13.

The bar will occupy a 1,500-square-foot space on the first floor of the building at 2229 N. Charles St., which includes a private courtyard.

Just across the street from where Goucher College once operated, it once housed the president of the college. Eleanor Roosevelt once dined there, according to Dorr, and a drink on the menu is named for her. A dollar from the sale of each of the “floral, playful” drinks will go to House of Ruth Maryland, according to Dorr.


The name of the bar, Dutch Courage, comes from the 1600s during the 30 Years War in Europe when British soldiers would take a shot of the Dutch gin Jenever, according to Dorr. Dorr said that the term “liquid courage” has its origins in this tale.

Dorr anticipates having about 100 different types of gin on the shelves with 350 total types of alcohol. A limited food and snack menu will include cheeseboards, nuts, deviled eggs, tartare, tinned seafood, hot sandwiches and other nibbles.

Dutch Courage is a long time coming for Dorr and Fooy, who had worked at winning B&O American Brasserie since it opened in July 2009.

Men’s Journal named the bar as one of its top 20 Hotel Bars in America in May 2016. And the bar and restaurant were regularly featured on regional “Best Of” lists. Dorr is also the founder and president of Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild.