Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
All Stars Sports Bar's chefs sizzle up hearty pub grub within a lively eatery boasting a long, sleek bar and a roomy, wood-floored dining area. Recharge stomach batteries with a meaty burger or a cheesy mini pizza while admiring the gallery of wall hangings depicting athletic triumphs and mathletic algorithms. Ice-cold gulps of domestic draft beer, smoothly poured into glasses by one of the enthusiastic and often jersey-clad bartenders, complement chew-infused conversations about stats, fantasy football, or the ancient practice of mascot husbandry.
A newcomer to the city's pub scene, Alewife offers an extensive beer list and a meat-heavy lineup ideal for gorging before catching a show. Sip a sweet, hoppy Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA ($5.50) or a bourbon-cider cocktail ($10), while memorizing the menu, which features classic favorites with a twist. Entrees include the 11 oz. Smoke burger, a brioche bun stuffed with house-ground rib-eye, brisket, skirt and filet of beef, topped with fancy accoutrements such as chipotle aioli and served with a side of herbed duck-fat fries ($15). Or, hang a fang on the Kobe-beef hot dog, an upscale version of the American staple, slumbering on a soft pretzel roll and smothered in wild boar black-bean chili, smoked gouda, pickled red onions, mustard, and accompanied by herbed duck-fat fries ($12). Before slipping into a meat-induced coma, be sure to admire Alewife’s stained-glass windows, exposed pressed-tin ceiling, and wall of commemorative souvenir spoons, which represents every failed suitor the dish ever had.
Lisa Markiewicz lends more than her zen-like surname to the wine bar and lounge she recently opened in Mount Vernon. Her extensive knowledge of pan-Mediterranean cuisine?including grecian tapas and grecian lamb chops?informs the menu at Waterstone Bar & Grille, and her love of the region?s signature libation shines through in a drink menu that features more than 100 wines sold at retail price.
The restaurant?s chic lounge space, recently opened for lunch in addition to dinner, strikes a balance between Old-World elegance and the hipness of the Mount Vernon neighborhood that surrounds it. Exposed-brick walls give way to plum pastels?a contrast mediated by the gauzy black curtains draped over windows and doorways, and the restaurant's prime location puts theaters such as the Hippodrome, Lyric, and Centerstage within close walking distance.
Jovial crowds of sports fans line the wooden bars and maroon booths at both Loafers Sports Bar and Grill locations to unwind with cool brews and a tasty spread of seafood and pub eats. Flat-screen TVs broadcast football games for die-hard sports enthusiasts and Antiques Roadshow reruns for appraisal fanatics as they enjoy burgers and plates of wings, nachos, and potato skins. Chef Joe Rocco packs jumbo lumps of meat into his crab cakes and steams pots of crabs year-round to complement pints and the Big Loaf beer, a 1-liter pour of draft ale. A variety of nightly events draw in revelers with specials, karaoke, and live DJs, as opposed to old computers programmed to play "Glory Days" in binary.