project that was to be called Catherine's, at Fort and Charles in Federal Hill. It sneaked open quietly on Friday.
One could easily ask if this city needs yet another Irish pub, but the "Irish pub" as a cliche has definitely seen better days in Baltimore and environs. Several places that had reckoned themselves as Irish pubs--including the European Union, Angelina's, and Sean Bolan's--have gone away, leaving the field dominated by the "big Kahunas" of Mick O'Shea's, James Joyce, Ryan's Daughter, and An Poitin Still, plus the venerable Irish musicians' gathering place, J. Patrick's in Locust Point, and historic Patrick's of Pratt Street (and I have trouble taking seriously a place that advertises itself as an "Irish wine and cappuccino bar").
At first appearances, this place seems to be compromising nicely between the typical expectations of the American image of an "Irish bar"--big TVs for sports, the typical Guinness/Harp/Smithwick's/Kilkenny on tap, bottles of Jameson--and the not-insignificant craft beer market in Federal Hill. On tap today were, among the sixteen taps, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning, Leininkugel's Fireside Nut Brown, Olivers Irish Red, Flying Dog Gonzo, Breckenridge Agave Wheat, and Goose Island IPA. The bottles/cans are an interesting mix so far, including the old standbys such as Corona Light and Rolling Rock but also Chimay Red, Raven, Oskar Blues Old Chub, Ommegang Abbey Ale, Sierra Nevada Glissade, Starr Hill The Gift and Northern Lights, and Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout.
Happy hour 4-7, half-priced drafts (I paid $2.50 for a Goose Island IPA).
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