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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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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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