Baltimore After Dark: Best Nightlife, Bars and Lounges

Baltimore After Dark: Best Nightlife, Bars and Lounges

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There’s a reason Baltimore is called "Charm City." Around every bend is a cool corner bar staffed by bartenders with impressive facial hair, mixing stiff drinks at even more impressive prices.

9 Places
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    Lead bartender Aaron Joseph has his finger on what’s now and what’s next, from barrel-aging and bottled cocktails to taking a culinary approach to drink-building. 
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    Whether you visit for cocktails and dinner or for brunch, you’re getting the liquid pièce de résistance: the Mason jar Boh-Jito. Hush your squeamish friend and tear into 32oz of bourbon, Natty Boh, and the makings of a mojito.
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    As you explore, keep your eyes peeled for Prohibition-era medical prescriptions for the whiskey lining the walls. Pro tip: if you know where you’re headed next, alert the bar team and they may send you with a "Boomerang" -- a cylinder of shots affixed with a love note from one bartender to another. 
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    To fully experience Brewer’s Art, bypass the buzzy upstairs bar and fireplace (and a quaint dining room) and head to a catacomb of strangers rubbing up against each other. It’s otherworldly on this the lower level -- all fueled by eight top-notch house-brewed beers that clock in at $6 a pint.
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    Order a Bald Cucumber, or just tell the bartender any drink you’ve ever enjoyed and he’ll make it. Then nosh on these bacon-wrapped pork wings -- smoked- and deep-fried pork shanks wrapped with the good stuff and covered in BBQ sauce. Don’t leave without taking pause to appreciate the Four Seasons-level of service at a four-star dive bar.
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    Brendan Dorr is the bar’s lead bartender and founder of the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild. Watching him shake and stir is kind of like watching an Olympic athlete compete in a sport you can only hope to understand (trampoline?). He’s makes school bus-yellow drinks from golden beet juice, whips up a handsome stout flip, and serves a memorable Mason jar filled with Line State punch for two.
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    It feels like you’re stepping onto a ship when you cross the threshold of this Scotch bar that could very well serve as a museum of the single-malt spirit. 
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    Fork & Wrench elevates the classic combo from a pickleback to a "picklepop," served alongside the bartender’s whiskey whim. Try one at the first floor bar punctuated by rustic tools. That’s where you’ll find the Thursday night bartender competition, requiring two mixologists to face off using a secret ingredient selected by General Manager Ingrid French. Patrons vote on the winner -- and rumor has it, the cast of Veep recently participated. 
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    Woodberry Kitchen is infusing bourbon with granola; stirring in pork-fat maple; thickening things with yogurt whey; and spicing things up with fish-pepper-infused tequila. "The Appalachian" is especially intriguing, with its triple-smoke apples, bourbon barrel sorghum, oven ash (!), Few rye, and 1757 brandy. WK is also a good place for local mead- and cider-junkies.
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