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Citizen Scene Spotter: Baltimore's Best Bars For The Winter Months

By Karlyn DeSteno

"I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore," John Waters famously wrote. "You can look far and wide, but you'll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It's as if every eccentric in the South decided to move North, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay."

But all its southern eccentricity, Baltimore freezes like any other northern town in the winter months. That's when it's time to congregate inside, in local pubs and brewhouses, and leave summer's stoops and patios until the warmer months return.

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We asked Baltimore local Morgan Kipler about his favorite winter hideouts. Below are his recommendations for everything from great happy hours to Saturday night revelry to booze-infused historic landmarks to get you through the cold dark nights.

CBSBaltimore: Where do you tend to hang out during the winter months?

Kipler: "In the winter I love the Club Charles. Hiding out in the upstairs, playing the jukebox, is the best way to get out on a cold weeknight. The winter makes people stay together inside, so the Club Charles is great because it's a big space. The windows get steamy; you can take off your coat and relax. On a Monday night, I'll hit Brewer's Art for the half price beer happy hour! They have everything beer-wise and also a ton of space."

Club Charles

1724 N Charles St
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 727-8815
Hours: Monday-Saturday 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sunday 6 p.m. - midnight

CBSBaltimore: What does your company do for its holiday party?

Kipler: "We just have informal drinks at the office, like a lot of companies around here do. But if we're meeting with clients, or celebrating a special occasion after work, the Owl Bar [at the Belvedere] has become the usual spot. If you haven't been there, it's a historic building, with all the original dark wood and stained glass décor. It's pure Baltimore: along the hallway, they have dozens of photographs of famous people and Baltimore natives who drank there or who lived in the hotel, so it's kind of a historic spot. Mark Twain used to drink there! The menu and the service is great, so we can take out-of-towners there, and they always feel welcomed."

The Owl Bar At the Belvedere

1 East Chase Street 
Baltimore, Md. 21202 
Hours: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. daily
Reviews, Directions & More Info

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CBSBaltimore: What is your favorite bar to go to for an after work drink?

Kipler: "Liam's! Liam's opened recently, after a lot of expectation in this neighborhood. It's the most reliable place in town to catch a game, and it's still classy. Their bar is built from old bowling alley slats; the whole place has been beautifully refurbished. They're a British-Irish ale bar, so they have tons of great stuff on tap, including Guinness. The bartenders are all industry veterans and great, great, friendly people. It's becoming a central spot for that end of Mount Vernon. They put a lot of care and work into that place. It's very neighborhood-y already there.

Liam Flynn's Ale House

22 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, Md.
(410) 244-8447
Hours: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. daily

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Photo Credit: Karlyn DeSteno

CBSBaltimore: What is your favorite Saturday night bar?

Kipler: "Lately, Dionysus has been having DJs and concerts in their upstairs area. They even recently had an excellent comedy night! You can still get away from the crowd and go downstairs in Dionysus to have a conversation, though, that's usually high energy down there, too. Dionysus is kind of a Mount Vernon classic. It's all about the late night menu!"

Dionysus Restaurant and Lounge

8 E. Preston St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 244-1020
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Karlyn DeSteno is a writer and artist living in Baltimore.

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