In the next month or so, a number of new bars are set to open across the city, and at least one more will undergo major renovations. Here's a quick rundown:
Late this month or early next month, Washington's Bedrock Billiards will christen a new location at 401 W. Baltimore St. - the building formerly occupied by the Vault. Expect to see about 15 beers on tap, an electronic jukebox, billiards, full-size shuffleboard, darts and TVs. The upstairs, downstairs and basement spaces will be painted in vibrant colors and decorated in a retro-cool theme, said Jonathan Maxson, corporate events sales and marketing director for Bedrock Management.
Then, starting in November, Bedrock Billiards will offer food such as wood oven-baked pizza, salads and sandwiches, Maxson said. Live music might even be in the cards, but Bedrock wants to get everything else up and running first, he said. Call 410-685- 7665 or go to bedrockbars.com.
Jay's on Read Street
A high-end piano bar named Jay's on Read Street will debut this month, according to owner Jay LaMont. He hopes to bring in neighborhood residents, restaurantgoers, Mount Vernon foot traffic and piano bar enthusiasts. The musical lineup includes pianists Jon Adelson and Joel Holmes, and jazz and blues singer/pianist Kendra Holt, he said. Though Jay's won't serve food, the rail scotch will be Dewar's White Label, he said.
"We're going for an entertainment spot that's a little upscale," LaMont said.
Jay's is at 225 W. Read St. and will be open noon-1 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Call 410-383-0001.
Because of some minor delays, Illusions Magic Bar and Lounge will (hopefully) open at the end of next month, said owner Ken Horsman. I got a sneak peek inside the place last week and was really impressed with some of the decor. They're going for a Roaring '20s theme, with square paneled ceilings and intricate metal lamps and railings.
The cherry wood and granite bar downstairs has a small elevated platform where Horsman's son Spencer will perform several times a night, Horsman said.
"We're trying to do something totally different than anybody else," Horsman said.
Illusions will open around Labor Day weekend at 1025 S. Charles St. Call 410-292-7486 or visit illusionsmagicbar.com.
A short walk from Illusions, Ryleigh's Pub at 32-36 E. Cross St. is in the middle of a large expansion. The bar decided to shut down the in-house brewery and outsource its four beer recipes to Fordham Brewing Co. Owners plan to knock out windows and walls to add extra bar and restaurant space, a DJ booth and dance floor.
"We're basically just going to give the whole place a face lift, said co-owner Tom Strawser.
A new high-powered air-conditioning system is also in the works, which Strawser said will make Ryleigh's the coldest bar in Federal Hill. During the renovations, which should last until early September, Ryleigh's will be closed Mondays-Thursdays.
Ryleigh's is at 32-36 E. Cross St. Call 410-539-2093 or visit ryleighs. com.