Tag Archives: Bars

House Rules: Bring the Bum’s Cooler to Baltimore!

Over the summer, when we were in the Middle East, one of the other Americans we were working with happened to be from South Florida. Now, we know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and groaning just at the mention of South Florida, but hear us out on this one.

This guy, who we’ll call Broward, was kind of an anomaly in that he was actually from South Florida, and was neither a Miami clubfuck or a retired New Yorker. In fact, he probably would have got along quite well in Baltimore.

Broward was about our age, and with the world being as small as it is, we’d actually met him before this trip. Anyway, we got to talking one day, and the conversation had turned to beer and bars and so on, when he told us of a certain bar in his home town which had hit on an absolutely genius idea.

Being down and out is no reason to go thirsty.

This particular bar was located directly across from a greyhound racing track. So when he described it as a dive, you can believe it was a real, genuine dive. It was the kind of place that was open from 6 am until last call every day; where trucker hats are worn without irony and people go to cure the shakes. It was the kind of place where people who lose bets on dog races hang out, and where the bartender would sometimes do customers the favor of cashing their social security checks for them.

But this bar had one thing going for it: The Bum’s Cooler.

Here’s how it works- the Bum’s Cooler sits behind the bar and is stocked with 3 types of canned beer; PBR, Milwaukee’s Best, and Icehouse. For one American Dollar ($1), the bartender will reach into the Bum’s Cooler and grab a can at random to serve you. No happy hour, no specials, just random one dollar swill beers, every day, all day. Don’t like Icehouse? Drink it fast and hope for a PBR next time. Don’t like PBR? Spend two more bucks for a good beer, you bum.

Needless to say, the Bum’s Cooler must be brought to Baltimore as soon as possible. We’ve already imported some of South Florida’s worst ideas, and we say it’s high time we brought in a good one.

If any local bar owner will fill a cooler full of Boh, PBR, and High Life, we promise to sit in there from open to close playing keno and piling up as many empty cans as possible.

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Chop on the Spot: Bluegrass

You don’t need us to tell you about the food at Bluegrass. There are already plenty of reviews out there in the Sun, The Citypaper, Baltimore Magazine and elsewhere. Baltimore is very much a city in which restaurants are their reputations, and when a place like Bluegrass opens up, everyone seemingly wants to be the first one in, and the first one to make that reputation. We’re not just talking about newspapers and magazines, but also about sites like Yelp and Chowhoud, which tend to fill up with very strong opinions from self-appointed experts soon after any decent restaurant opens its doors.

We like to eat as much as the next guy, and even more than that we like to cook, and manage to stay busy enough in the kitchen here at the Chophouse. One thing we don’t like to do though is to write about food. This is not a food blog, and never will be. We’ve already gone on a rant about foodies, and it wasn’t until we checked out Bluegrass’ website and found this little gem that we realized we weren’t alone in our opinions. (Click that link. It’s very much worth your time to read.)

We’re here to tell you that Bluegrass has a bar.

My Old Kentucky Home.

We’re here to tell you that Bluegrass has an excellent bar. With its modest portion sizes Bluegrass has become the kind of place that is becoming increasingly popular in Baltimore; the sort where people go to eat a little and drink a lot. To our mind, if the cocktails are the main attraction, then why even bother with the menu?

Thanks to a bit of architectural foresight, the space’s two dining rooms (upstairs and in the rear) as well as the kitchen (in the basement) are well secluded from the bar. It may technically be a restaurant bar, but it feels very much like an updated version of the South Baltimore corner bar that it is. Being on its own, the intimate bar space is left entirely to take on the mood and feeling of whatever patrons happen to inhabit it at any given moment, which should be the way with all great bars.

But the patrons themselves can only do so much. It’s up to the bartender to do the rest, and with their formidable selection of Bourbons Bluegrass does a fine job of holding up their end of the bargain. Throw in 6 regularly rotating taps, a good selection of bottles, occasional firkin nights, and some purely professional bartenders who pour ’em strong, and you’ve got a recipe for a truly great bar.

It’s one that we’ll be back to whenever we’re down that way, and perhaps even when we’re not. Some say Bluegrass is a destination restaurant, but for us it’s a destination bar.

The best part? They’re open Sundays.

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Bluegrass is at 1500 S. Hanover St. in South Baltimore. 410-244-5101. Closed Mondays.

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House Rules: Football Free Zones- Bars With No TV’s

There’s no denying it. Football is basically the new religion in America. The game once took a backseat to baseball, but ever since the 1994 MLB strike, the NFL has made huge gains in popularity and revenue every year, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon (unless they can’t resolve their own labor issues by next year).

We’ve had a hard time figuring out what to do with ourselves on Sundays lately, inasmuch as the entire city turns purple and shuts down. Non-football fans are pretty much free to walk around naked and rob banks on Sunday afternoons, since nobody’s paying attention anyway. By the same token, if you want to go to where people are, it can be nearly impossible to escape football.

Football and church have a lot in common. They both bore the Chop to death.

Even our humble Chophouse has its living room commandeered by Roommate and his girlfriend every Sunday, so the entire first floor is basically given over to football, takeout, and couch-sprawling. Since we can’t keep our house as a football free zone, and because staying upstairs with nothing else on TV only goes so far, by 7 or 8 we’re usually ready to break the dull monotony with a drink or two between a different set of walls.

Most bars use screen size and premium football channels as selling points to draw the crowds in, but for us, just the opposite will get us in the door. Here are a few of our favorite local spots which don’t have any televisions in the bar whatsoever. These are the kind of places where you have little choice but to talk to the person next to you at the bar. Or, you know, check the scores on your smartphone.

13.5% Wine Bar 1117 W. 36th St, Hampden. Sunday hours 1pm- ‘late’.

Bertha’s 734 S. Broadway, Fell’s Point. Sunday hours 11:30 am- 2am.

Club Charles 1724 N. Charles St., Station North. Sunday hours 6pm- 2 am.

Daugherty’s 223 W. Chase St, Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 12pm- 2 am.

Dionysus 8 E Preston St., Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 5pm-2am.

Hamilton Tavern 5517 Harford Rd, Hamilton. Sunday hours 4:30 pm- 2 am.

Holy Frijoles 908 W 36th St., Hampden. Sunday hours 12 pm- 10 pm.

McCabes 3845 Falls Rd., Hampden. Sunday Hours 11:30 am- 1:30 am.

Metropolitan 902 S. Charles St., Federal Hill. Sunday hours 8 am – 11 pm.

Red Maple 930 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon. Sunday hours 6 pm- 2 am.

These hours are only guidelines, but should be mostly accurate. If you’re looking for the Chop on a Sunday evening, odds are good you’ll find us in one of these spots. What about you, Baltimore? How do you beat the Sunday doldrums and fill the void, if not with football?

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Of course, voting for the Chop in the Baltimore Sun’s Mobbies contest is another great way to kill time on Sundays. We’re nominated in the Music/Nightlife, Misfits, and Personal categories, and we’re going to need your vote now to push us up into first in one of those categories.

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House Rules: Puking in Public

None of us want to admit it, but we’ve all been there. Even your own humble Chop has, on a certain few occasions chundered mightily in the most inappropriate of places (mostly when some asshole friend insists on buying rounds of Jagermeister). We know better now, and thanks to our ironclad moral code and vast knowledge of social etiquette, we are proud to report that we can still show our face in most of Baltimore’s finest dive bars.

Of course, there is only one right and proper place to retch, and that’s in the privacy of your own home in your own miserable commode that you really meant to scrub out really well this week and now really wish you had.

Failing that, the best you can hope for is the side of a road far from the bar(s) where you spent your evening. You’d better also hope for a compassionate and understanding designated driver. While the shoulder of a highway is possibly the best place to puke publicly, the inside of someone else’s car is possibly the worst. And God help you if you ever get retarded enough to sick up in a cab. Not even the Chop can help you out of that one.

At any rate, you should at least be able to get yourself out of the bar. Once you’re outside though, you’re not in the clear just yet. A good rule of thumb is to avoid vomiting in any place where you’d think twice about peeing in broad daylight. Behind a dumpster is cool, a parking meter on Aliceanna Street is not. Behind a tall bush is acceptable, a bus stop on North Avenue is not.

But supposing, just supposing that you’ve imbibed so well that you can’t possibly effect egress in a timely fashion. All hope is not lost.

Listen closely Baltimore: You must make it to the toilets. Run if you have to. Scream as loud as you can if that’s what it takes. Don’t worry- when people realize what you’re about they will get out of your way, even if they have to stop mid-stream to do it. Don’t worry about making a scene, because you’re making a scene anyway.

But here’s the most important thing… whether you make it to the lavatory or whether you ‘stand and deliver’ right in the middle of a crowded tavern, you’re on the hook… and certain things are expected of you.

You have to own up to it. This is best done by approaching the nearest bartender and making a sincerely contrite apology. Apologize profusely. To everyone in sight. The Bartender-Customer relationship is an ancient and sacred trust. Your doctor can’t treat you if you’re not forthcoming. Your priest can’t absolve you if you don’t confess, and your bartender can’t help you if you try to weasel out. Bartenders are professionals, and have seen much worse than you in their day. Never approach a barback, waiter, or other staffer. You are the province of the bartender, and he is your point-man in this situation.

Get your check. It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking alone or a party of twelve. You’re not going to be served anymore, so you might as well leave. Hastily.

Play the victim. You know that routine you break out when you’re calling in sick to work on a Monday? Don’t be afraid to break that out at the bar after you’ve tossed it all. Don’t look at it as ‘this horribly embarrassing thing that I did.‘ Instead look at it as ‘this terrible thing that happened to me.’ Preserve your dignity at all costs.

Tip Lavishly. We really can’t stress this enough. If you’re nauseated in a bar, you need to tip ridiculously well. If your tab is double digits, a 100% tip is in order. If you’re in the triple digits, 50% is your starting point. These are minimum standards. There is no ceiling in this situation.

Get the hell out of Dodge. Don’t try to say goodbye to that college classmate you bumped into. Don’t wait for everyone else to finish their drinks… just GO. Drunken hookup rules apply here. Gather your things and GTFO. If there’s unsettled business or a guilty conscience, you can stop by 3-4 days later during happy hour to discuss things in the light of day.

Don’t do it again! Impeccable behavior is expected from this point on. If you show up the next Friday and perform an encore, you’re sunk. When you heave in a bar, you had better be a perfect gentleman or a proper lady from that point onward.

Now who wants some Jager bombs? We’re buying!!!

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Note: The Chop does not endorse or condone the buying or drinking of Jagermeister. If we see you do it in public, we will walk the other way. Fast.

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House Rules: Anonymity

An interesting incident occurred earlier this week.

The Chop went to dinner in a certain North Baltimore establishment. It’s a small place, but it does a good trade and is usually more full than empty. As soon as we walked in though, we were greeted like old personal friends.

More than that, we were recognized and greeted like old friends. Both the bartender and the host recognized our party immediately from our first visit a week ago. Here’s the thing though: That first visit was just for a quick drink. And when we say quick drink, we mean a really quick drink. We ordered one round, didn’t finish our drinks, and didn’t even get the check, just left a twenty on the bar. We didn’t say anything to anyone and were in and out in ten minutes.

Here Comes a Regular. Paul Westerberg knew exactly what we're talking about here.

Don’t get us wrong… it’s great to go anywhere and be treated well. We thought the service at dinner (and the meal) was above and beyond, and we could definitely see ourselves becoming an actual regular over time. It did get us thinking though.

As nice as it is to get known as a regular someplace, it can be just as nice to be completely unknown. (Yes, we are well aware that we say this as an anonymous blogger.) Just as there are perks to regularity, there are also perks to anonymity. It’s nice to be able to order something out-of-character. It’s nice to not be dragged into conversation if you’re not in a mood to converse. It’s nice to leave a tip based solely on the merit of service and not because you know the bartender personally.

With the Baltimore bar scene consisting of what basically amounts to a few small towns (neighborhoods) in close proximity to one another, and the hospitality industry being somewhat insular, you can get known or recognized almost anywhere relatively quickly, but a place with a bartender who will forget you every time and a crowd who’s not all the usual suspects is worth its weight in Goldschlager.

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House Rules: Baltimore Bar Trivia Nights Part 4

Well, it’s finally happened. The Chop has officially run out of things to say about bar trivia. Fortunately for us, a trivia pro is stepping in to help. Today we’re happy to present you with a guest post written by Final Score Trivia MC Bruce Voge III. This will be the final installment in this series. For the last word on trivia, take it away Bruce…

My name is Bruce H. Voge III, and I have been a trivia MC for Final Score Maryland for nearly 2 years. This opening sounds a lot like the first of 12 steps, but it really is the easiest way to tell you who I am, and why I would be writing a guest spot for the Baltimore Chop. I started in this industry the same way you find a great S&M date, or a mediocre coffee table, on Craigslist. I had been in entertainment for years, and have always been fascinated with game shows (I even proposed to my future wife at the Price is Right). So once I realized there was such a job, the fit was very natural for me, and luckily Final Score Maryland felt the same way.

Not quite the Stanley Cup, but it'll do.

The Chop wanted me to talk a little bit about why I think pub trivia works, and what I think the future holds, as well as why I think each and every one of you should consider playing a live trivia game. I believe the answers are more or less tied together like Prince and Vanity 6 were most nights in 1986. Pub trivia works because if you are already going to get together with your friends at a bar to get food and drink, why not also be entertained? It’s really that simple. If two bars are more or less equal, would you rather go to the one that would provide entertainment and a shot to win some house cash, or the one that will let you stare at the same 11 screens of baseball? The choice seems pretty simple to me, you take the one with the entertainment. The choice also seems pretty simple to many other people in the area, and that is what makes Pub Trivia so attractive to bar owners and players, and most likely always will in some shape or form. The other great thing about trivia is that if you want to stare off and watch the 11 screens of baseball, go ahead, trivia is not going to stop you.

“Why would a group prefer trivia over a movie or bowling?”

The answer is quite simple; they won’t. Let me be honest with you, I have been in entertainment for nearly 11 years, and I have been emceeing trivia for nearly two years. I think I am very good at it, however I am no match for Iron Man 2. I cannot ask enough questions, or make enough quick jokes about the capability of a Wang computer to make up for a persons desire to see a well written story acted out by highly paid actors along side millions of dollars of complex visual effects. It’s almost like asking “Why would a group prefer trivia over talking about architecture or eating an apple?”

The only answer I might be able to come up with if you must compare, is that trivia nights will provide nearly everyone with a “High Five” moment. One persons astrophysics is another persons Sex and the City. It takes all types to do well at bar trivia, so your mother, father, brother, next door neighbor and spouse will find common ground in not believing that everyone else did not know the answer to that last question. Not all of them can throw a strike, or pick up an 8-10 split, but they all have some base of knowledge.

This is a lot of the appeal that many find in the game. Over the years I have met Jeopardy winners, Millionaire winners, rocket scientists, doctors, lawyers, college students, plumbers, craftsmen, marines and I have seen them all lose at least once to a couple of people that just came out to have a few beers, and just happen to answer some trivia questions.

So remember, the next time you have a group of friends, coworkers and family that might be fun to be around, but might be awkward to have to watch create subjects to talk about, bring them out to a Final Score Maryland game, you can check us out at www.finalscoremaryland.com.

If you want to check out my games, feel free to friend my personal trivia mascot Victory the Trivia Flamingo on Facebook. Finally, if you like my rambling style of writing check out my blog at bruceonthebackroads.com. It’s all about odd travel destinations, souvenirs, and things like smooshed pennies. Read the blog! Tell your friends! Click the Ads! Thanks for your time, and thanks for the space Chop.

No no, Bruce. Thank you. We’ll be sure to check out your game tonight at Manhattan Grill in White Marsh, although we’ll never admit that Iron Man 2 was particularly well written or interesting. If you, Gentle Reader, would like to check out one of Bruce’s six weekly games, you can find out where via the Victory Flamingo Page.

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Chop on the Spot: George’s of Mount Vernon

You might be surprised to hear it, but the Chop fully approves of hotel bars.

Most often we find ourselves in one when we’re overseas. Many times hotel bars are the cream of the crop, and some countries’ bars are found to be so wanting that the hotel bar with the western visitors is the only place you can count on getting a decent drink poured and not have to put up with a lot of the unsavory things that are prone to happen overseas.

The clientele in a hotel bar is, obviously, mostly out-of-towners. They seem to be of a few certain types, which are easy to identify at the hotel, but are fairly rare away from it. There’s business travelers, who are pretty straight-laced, and then there are people who travel a lot for work, who aren’t what you’d call “businesspeople” and pretty much drink from the time the trade show closes until it opens again. There’s cougars and hospitality employees and tourists and even the Chop.

Geroge's is located inside the Peabody Court Hotel at the west end of Mount Vernon Square.

Sometimes the Chop needs a break. Sometimes we just get tired of Brewer’s Art and Dionysus. Sometimes we want to drink in a place that’s actually not a basement, and be served by someone in a tie and not a Dead Boys T-shirt. It’s times like this when we hie down to one of Midtown’s best kept secrets, George’s of Mount Vernon.

We’ve been to George’s a few times for dinner, and are never disappointed. The ambiance is hard to beat, the food is delicious and without pretense, and the service is much more personal and friendly than you’d expect in such a place. It also doesn’t hurt that the prices are set so that one can easily pick up the check on date night.

We didn’t get the full benefit of George’s though until we went there for happy hour. The bar in there feels more like home than any bar in the city. But not like your fixer-upper Hampden rowhouse… like a really, really nice home.

The 12′ ceilings, crown molding, 10 foot windows, chandeliers, and posh leather furniture all give the impression that you’re in the sort of place that Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein drank when they lived in Baltimore, and hell, maybe they did. There’s something nice about stepping back into the jazz age for an hour, and a stiff old-fashioned in this place will set you right. It’s just the thing to brace you up for the travails of modern life.

Best of all? George’s happy hour is Sunday- Friday, and all beer, glass wines and rail drinks are 2-for-1.

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George’s is in the Peabody Court Hotel, 101 W. Monument Street in Mount Vernon. (410) 727-1314.

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House Rules: Baltimore Bar Trivia Nights Part 2

On Tuesday, the Baltimore Chop took a look at the burgeoning pub quiz industry in Maryland. Being fun and free for bar patrons, and profitable for tavern owners and trivia producers alike, the popularity of bar trivia shows no signs of abating any time soon.

The Chop had only played live trivia once before now, so we hit the streets early in the week to see how a few of Central Maryland’s more than 85 (!) trivia nights stack up next to each other pound for pound. There are currently five companies actively producing live trivia events locally, and we made an effort to check out 3 games on Monday and Tuesday evening.

Photo Question: Name the actor who played know-it-all barfly Cliff Clavin on Cheers?

Brainstormer

Our first stop this week was the James Joyce Pub on Monday for Brainstormer trivia. Brainstormer is a large, slick franchising operation based out of the San Francisco Bay area. With several dozen game locations nationwide, it seems the James Joyce is the only place to play in MD. We didn’t get too many details though, since the MC still hadn’t shown up at 7:30 for the 7 pm game. When we asked the bartender about it, she pretty much said ‘Yeah, he just shows up whenever he feels like it; 8 or 8:30.’ Far from an isolated incident, the Washington Post also reported a tardy Brainstormer host a few years ago at a DC Irish pub. With no bar specials to entice us to stay, we thought it best to move on.

Charm City Trivia

It was only a short walk to the next game, when we checked out Charm City Trivia at the Green Turtle’s Fell’s Point location. CCT is active in 4 states with 18 games in MD, and hosts 10 games in the City, including the Wednesday night game at Mad River, which is reputed to be Baltimore’s most competitive trivia night. The game at the Green Turtle was much more relaxed though. In fact, it seemed most of the players had just signed up for the hell of it, because they were there already. The pair of Fell’s townies who’d been drinking since noon certainly fell into that category, and they quickly recruited the Chop to their team. Questions were easy enough, and at the end of 3 rounds (when we all pretty much lost interest) we were good for 4th place, not quite good enough to win the buckets of bar swag and a fistful of bar dollars. The drink special was a none-too-special $2 Miller Lite bottle, but the odds of winning shots at the end of each round were pretty good. Since the PA also connects to the speakers out front, you can sit outside while you play too. We’d recommend it for cheap Monday entertainment.

Showtime Trivia

The next night we were right back at it for Showtime Trivia at Frazier’s on the Avenue. Showtime is currently running 23 area games, five of which are in the city. We found the Frazier’s game to be a nice intermediate/ middle of the road game. It took up most of the larger bar, and was a good mix of regular teams trying to get into the $1000 playoff tournament of all area Showtime teams, and casual players looking to win a $30 bar tab. But with $5 pizzas and $2 domestics as a Tuesday night special, aren’t we all winners at the end of the night?

One thing that was noticeable of the crowd at Frazier’s that seems to be true of trivia players across the board is their decidedly un-hipsterish nature. There’s not a lot of crowd crossover at these things with DJ nights or obscure indie film screenings.

Quiz-a-ma-jig

Quiz-a-ma-jig is the little engine that could of Baltimore Trivia. With only two games in Fell’s Point (Max’s and Alexander’s) it seems to do more with less. We played the Thursday night game at Max’s last winter, and our experience was somewhat similar to that of two Citypaper staffers in 2005. Although the night we went was crowded, like standing room only for more than 2 hours crowded, and very, very loud and shout-y. Factor in a pretty competitive crew of regulars and no effing drink specials and we aren’t in a rush to go back any time soon.

Trivia Maryland

Trivia Maryland runs 13 games in the Baltimore suburbs, but unfortunately none inside the City itself. The closest they get are two games in Towson. If you’re downtown and want to see what they’re about though, you can play all of the “Trivia Maryland World Series” games on their website.

Final Score Trivia

Final Score operates in 3 states, and is the largest player in the local trivia market. With 25 separate events in the area they reach all points of the compass, but have only 3 games in the City. We’ve never been to the Camden Pub, Hazelwood Inn, or Field House for a game, but the Baltimore Sun recently profiled the company’s owner, who turned a pub quiz hobby into a full time job. From what we can tell, most people who host, score-keep, or are otherwise involved in trivia production started out as avid players at their own local bars.

In-House Games

A few local bars even go their own way for trivia nights, some doing it quite successfully. Federal Hill’s No Idea runs its own game, as does Fell’s Point’s Waterfront Hotel with their popular ‘WTF Do You Know?’ trivia nights. Around the corner from them the Wharf Rat has a few ‘best trivia night’ awards under its belt, although local blogger Zombie Girl prefers the atmosphere at Baltimore Taphouse, speaking highly of their regulars and staff.

The original purpose of these posts was to let you know what your options are for pub quizzes and bar trivia in Baltimore, and maybe even pick out a few of the best. At this point, we’ve come to realize that there are so many from which to choose, that we still haven’t fit them all into these two posts, and as far as choosing a favorite, you’re on your own, Choppers.

Next week, we’ll attempt to come up with something more comprehensive to help you sort out all the dates and locations where trivia is happening regularly. It might be a regular post sorted by night of the week. It might be a geographical chart, and it might even be a fancy Google map. We’re also interested to hear your experiences with trivia nights in the comments, and if you’ve played as a regular in multiple trivia games/tournaments or have been a trivia MC in the Baltimore area we’d like to know your thoughts via email to thebaltimorechop@gmail.com.

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House Rules: Baltimore Bar Trivia Nights

Here’s a question for you: When did trivia nights completely take over Maryland’s bars and restaurants?

When it comes to weeknight recreation, it seems to us that our fathers’ generation used to take part in all manner of pub-related activities; everything from league bowling to tournament pool to darts, softball or shuffleboard. When you look around Baltimore’s bar scene today though, one pastime sticks out like a giant green afro: Trivia.

Much like Lost, the lounge was a mental creation of Wayne the Main Brain the whole time.

It’s beginning to feel as though trivia is becoming to Baltimore what poker is to Las Vegas. The intrepid intellect could almost quit his day job and become a professional on the trivia circuit seven nights a week (although it can be tough to pay the rent with restaurant gift certificates and the promotional swag from liquor distributors which passes for jackpots in some contests).

Much more than a passing fad (when was the last time you sang karaoke, anyway?) local pub quizzes have become a burgeoning and fairly competitive industry here in Charm City, with several outfits employing full time staffers, as well as several part time trivia MC’s. It’s not hard to see why. Not only is bar trivia a pleasant diversion, it’s also a highly sustainable business model. Bar owners get to fill what might be otherwise empty bar stools on slower weeknights, trivia game producers can trade not only on their own brand, but on the reputation of the host location, and players get to participate in a free, fun social activity with a chance at winning a (ahem) wide range of prizes.

Locally there’s something for everyone, trivia-wise. From the Hopkins PhD candidate to the local Cliff Clavin to the garden variety barfly; from the once-a-year dinner party that stumbles in by accident to the twice-a-week tournament players competing for prizes in the thousands, there are local games to suit all levels of skill and interest. In Chicago they’ve even identified and profiled the 7 People You Don’t Want to See at Your Trivia Night, all of whom can also be found in taverns from Hunt Valley to Annapolis and beyond.

Coming up on Thursday, we’re going to attempt to offer a closer look at the five main promoters producing trivia nights in Central Maryland, as well as your best bets for pub quizzes in Baltimore City.

Stay Tuned.

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The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game at Camden Yards

No trip to Oriole Park is complete without a pre-game beer for happy hour, and between the Inner Harbor, Pickles and Sliders’, Pratt Street Ale House and the Chop’s favorite, California Tortilla there’s no shortage of options near the park.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for post game cocktails. It’s a problem of urban planning that there are no decent late-night bars in the immediate vicinity for baseball fans to patronize. We really liked going to Lucy’s on Eutaw last season, but with their demise, most people we know beat a retreat back to their own neighborhood (or suburb, as the case may be) for their post game drinks.

Drinking close to home is always a good idea, but what about those times when you’re meeting friends, entertaining clients, visiting from out-of-town or otherwise want to extend your evening downtown?

It’s for times like these that we’re proud to present our meticulously researched and true-life tested list of:

The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game

# 5… Mt. Royal Tavern

Mt. Royal Tavern. 1204 W. Mount Royal Ave.

This is about as far as you can get from a sports bar. If you’re coming here to drink with other people in orange jerseys, you’re definitely in the wrong place. If you’re looking for super cheap drinks and easy access to the light rail and JFX, then you’ve arrived. This is also one of the best bars in Baltimore for getting completely, utterly shitfaced. Not for the faint of heart.

# 4… Dougherty’s Pub

Dougherty's Pub. 223 W. Chase Street.

Also near light rail but a bit more hospitable is Dougherty’s. Never too busy, they’ve got plenty of tables, decent bar food, and a good selection of reasonably priced pitchers. They’re also easy walking distance to the rest of Mount Vernon. It definitely beats the cloistered, cacophonous atmosphere of certain upper Mount Vernon watering holes, even if the beer is not hand-made.

# 3… Max’s

Max's. 737 S. Broadway

Also referred to as Max’s Taphouse or Max’s on Broadway, The bar on the square in Fell’s Point is beloved by locals and visitors alike. With 1000+ bottled beers and over 100 taps, there’s a lot to like here. Easily accessible after the game by cab, water taxi, or circulator, you can camp here for the night or use it as a home base for exploring the rest of the neighborhood.

# 2… Mick O’Shea’s

Mick O'Shea's. 328 N. Charles Street.

This is likely your best option if you’re staying in a downtown hotel. Mick’s bartender Tricia Murphy recently won the title of Baltimore’s Best Bartender in a very extensive poll by a local paper. O’Shea’s is a little bit of local nestled right next to the touristy harbor, and the place to go if you want to see live Irish music on the weekend or maybe have a post-game drink with some of the opposing players during the week. Beats your hotel bar by a mile.

# 1… Little Havana

Little Havana. 1325 Key Highway.

Our number one choice for a post-game drink is a little out of the way if you don’t live in South Baltimore, but it’s worth the effort to get there. It’s far enough away from the typical South Baltimore bar circuit that it’s mostly free of riff-raff, and as an added bonus you can get free parking nearby at the high school, and walk from there to the park and then to the bar. A mojito or mint julep on their waterfront balcony is the perfect summer nightcap after an evening at the Yard.

Every true Oriole needs a post-game drink.

What are some of your favorite spots to drink after the game? Which ones do you avoid? Honorable mentions here go out to James Joyce, B & O Brasserie, and almost any place in Little Italy.

The Chop is heading back out there for Tuesday bargain night again tonight, and you can bet your baseballs we’ll end up at one of these spots after the game. See you there.

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The Orioles play the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards tonight. 7:05 on MASN 2.

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