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Midtown Yacht Club: joviality and a barrel of free peanuts


The Midtown Yacht Club is something of a misnomer, because it has nothing to do with yachting and is not a club. It is located in midtown Baltimore, though, so one out of three ain't bad.

Having been anchored on East Centre Street for nine years now, this agreeable pub has had plenty of time to gain a loyal following. These regulars know the pub's logo of an upside down sailboat is a smiling reminder that the nautical theme isn't taken very seriously here.

They also know that there's a whole lotta crunching going on here -- not just food between the teeth, but discarded peanut shells underfoot. True, a lot of bars give away peanuts, but there's a great big barrel here from which customers consume some 200 pounds of the snack per week, according to pub owner Eddie Junghans.

Somehow the free popcorn almost seems superfluous in this peanut field.

Where food that you must pay for is concerned, the Midtown Yacht Club has a fuller than average pub menu -- with a bit of Cajun spice added -- that draws a business crowd at lunch and happy hour. Also on the spicy side is the Wednesday Mexican night, when the kitchen and bar offerings head south of the border.

After 10 p.m. there's a light fare menu which includes Cajun crawfish, onion rings and cheese melted over veggies.

The late-night set here has party hearty energy, too. On a recent visit, a trio of young women professionals shouted around a video game as if the fate of the western world were in the balance, while a white-shirted businessman was in suspendered animation unleashing darts toward a board that has been hit many thousands of times.

This season the pub's TV set is given over to football every Monday night. Viewing the game is free, of course, and the food comes close, what with 25-cent hot dogs and $1.50 for domestic and draft beer.

The jovial noise in this place is also carried through on a jukebox featuring Elvis Costello, the Rolling Stones and other rocking sounds you are not likely to hear at the Peabody Conservatory across the street. There is also occasional live music, as when the Flat World Band plays on Sept. 25.

Midtown Yacht Club

Where: 15 E. Centre St.

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday to Friday, noon-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Menu: sandwiches, burgers, steaks, seafood, light fare.

Credit cards: AE, MC, V.

Call: 837-1300.

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