Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,772 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Friday, September 22, 2023

#5392 - Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD - 9/9/23

Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD

The Fells Point area of Baltimore is one of my favorite walkable bar areas that I have been to. A number of locals complain about its gentrification -- and I might too had I been a long-time resident of the city. But it appears to be a process that's been happening for well over a century. It's estimated that when Fells Point was a rollicking trade harbor in the late 1800s there were over 300 bars and over 100 brothels in the area.

One of my favorites is in Upper Fells Point, and has a sort of gothy dive theme. I don't know how long there has been a bar here, but there are mentions of it as one of the oldest bar locations in the city and one site claims it has been operating continually since 1890. Before that it was a funeral home during the civil war, housing bodies of both Union and Confederal soldiers. The name "Spirits Tavern" originated after Chad and Dan Ellis purchased the place in August 2005.

Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD

The name appears to be an homage to the history of the place, and perhaps the spirits that are served there today. Old photos and spooky artifacts adorn the place. The pool table is free and the cocktails include fresh squeezed juices. My visit was apparently too late to experience the "Tub-Of-Fun," which apparently is no longer offered. The Tub-Of-Fun was a big bucket full of cheap beers for $1. You take whatever beer the bartender grabs from it, and if you guess which one he/she is going to pull, you also got a free shot.

I had a pleasant visit chatting with the bartender, whose name I unfortunately have forgotten (Amy?) and customer Sam. It turned out that Sam had not only spent several years in Seattle, but worked at epic Seattle bar The Fenix, with Rick Wyatt. 

I subsequently learned that the bar is located on a crossing that locals call "Crash Corner." Indeed, cars have crashed through the front of the bar itself eight times in twelve years (cbsnews). I'm not sure if any efforts to curtail this have yet been implemented, but I managed a medium-length visit with not a single crash.

1901 Bank St, Baltimore, MD 21231 - (667) 260-4114
Est. 2005 
Web site: spirits-tavern.cominstagram 
Reviews: yelp 

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