It's rumored to have been a house of ill repute. And Helen's ghost is said to be a permanent resident. But the Fells Point building is just about ready to start a new chapter in its storied, 100-year-plus history.
After a two-year renovation, The Admiral's Cup is planning to open in the middle of next week. Old salts won't recognize the place.
The first floor has been completely redone in a low-key nautical theme with a nod to the past by designer Rita St. Clair.
The royal-blue walls are decorated with captain's wheels, rudders, and portholes. The banquettes, pictured, in the small dining room are covered in old sails that have been made into fabric. And there's a beautiful pounded tin ceiling as well as gleaming plank-wood floors.
But, make no mistake, the bar/restaurant is all about this century.
"It may have a seafaring theme, but it's still a sports bar," said Kenneth Petty, a managing partner of Kali's Restaurant Group, which owns The Admiral's Cup plus other dining establishments in the neighborhood.
There are six flat-screen TVs, ranging from 40 to 60 inches, placed around the rectangular wood bar with a gorgeous pounded copper top. There will also be live entertainment, featuring cover bands. "Good drinking music," Kenneth said.
The bar will open first next week. Then, the kitchen will kick into gear in about a month to serve classic Chesapeake-style cuisine like crab cakes, fried oysters, snapping-turtle soup, and duck, Kenneth said. Food will be served until 1 a.m.
Eventually, the second and third floors of the restaurant building will be renovated, too.
In the meantime, Kali's Restaurant Group has closed Meli on Thames Street. It's undergoing renovations and will reopen in the spring with a new concept, Kenneth said.
The restaurant group's other Fells Point restaurants—Kali's Court, Mezze, and Adela—continue to operate as usual.
Photos by me