Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 30th 2014

Valentine's Day events

Baltimore magazine

There are plenty of pre-fixe dinners to choose from around town, but there are also a number of non-traditional ways to love this February.

If it’s a little excitement you’re craving, check out the Burlesque-a-Pades at The Metro Gallery, which features variety acts from New York City. Expect music, magic, comedy, and more. February 16th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, 18 and up.

Yeezus himself, Kayne West, comes to the Baltimore Arena. Rumor has it that his Valentine, Kim Kardashian, will be in attendance and there will be no opening act. February 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster and range from $46.50-126.50.

Check out this hipster dance party for a good cause, as The Crown and The Gold Bar will feature soul, funk, and girl group tunes, plus a photo booth and decorations. Suggested donations of $5-8 will go to Moveable Feast, which helps put food on the table for people in Maryland with AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. February 14, 9 p.m.

Sometimes you just want to drink, and Alexander’s Tavern in Fells Point has you covered on February 14th with 1/2-price bottles of wine, $5 cupid punch, and $5 fabulously single martini.

Are you a cynic about this holiday? Then head over to MaGerk’s in Federal Hill for their second annual “Valentine’s Day Sucks” party. The bar will offer $1.50 domestic bottles, $4 Fireball, and $5 Jameson shots. February 14, 7 p.m.-close.

Yet another skeptic’s party is being thrown down the street as Mad River Bar & Grill hosts “Cupid is Stupid” with $2 Miller Lites, $5 bombs, and $5 happy drinks (their house drink made with cherry or raspberry vodka, Sprite, and cranberry juice). February 13th, 9 p.m.-close.

Humans aren’t the only ones feeling the love as the National Aquarium hosts Date Night, where couples can enjoy crowd-free exhibits, live music, dessert, wine and beer, and a champagne toast. February 15, 7-10 p.m., $99/couple for non-members, $69/couple for members, 21 and up.

And, of course, Baltimore magazine hosts its very own "Top Singles" party next Thursday, February 6, at Langermann's in Canton. Guests can enjoy food, specialty cocktails, craft beer, a fortune teller, and music from DJ Kopec. Tickets are $40 and proceeds benefit BARCS.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 22nd 2014

First Thursdays likely to move

Baltimore magazine

According to WTMD's general manager Steve Yasko, the radio station's free concert series is likely moving to Canton Waterfront Park this summer.

The move comes as the Mt. Vernon Conservatory plans a big restoration project to the Washington Monument and four squares of Mt. Vernon Park. The construction would make First Thursdays impossible in that location.

WTMD has spent the better part of a year scouting "a venue that could match the physical beauty, accessibility and technical logistics that we had in Mt. Vernon." Canton Waterfront Park, they say, fits the bill and WTMD has been in talks with the Canton Community Association.

However this is not technically a done deal, as the station still needs to work out issues with permits, parking, and logistics. The move will also greatly increase WTMD's costs to put on the show, so they are still looking for sponsors and individual donors to fund the series.

For continued updates, see WTMD's Facebook page.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 21st 2014

Snow Day specials

Baltimore magazine

As the snow continues to fall in Baltimore, schools and offices may be closed, but bars and restaurants are offering plenty of discounts and specials to keep customers warm:

The Owl Bar has created a snow-day happy hour, offering all draft beers and house wines for $3 until 7 p.m.

Though they are closed tonight for an employee party, Kooper's Tavern is still celebrating burger discounts (starting as low as $3.50) for lunch.

Fleet Street Kitchen is featuring a special three-course prix fixe menu for $42, as well as 50 percent off bottles of wine all night.

Another restaurant group member, Bagby Pizza Company, is offering 25 percent off large pizzas all day.

TENTEN will feature 50 percent off cocktails all day and a three-course prix fix menu for $34.

The Oregon Grille advises customers to "warm up with 25 percent off any bottle of wine from 5-7 p.m."

If beer is more your speed, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden is advertising its flight night, with $8 flights from 5-10 p.m. "snow or shine."

Waterstone Bar & Grill is hosting an all-day happy hour (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) that features $5 martinis.

Two Looney's Pub locations, in Canton and Bel Air, will pour happy hour drinks all day or "as long as the weather holds."

The Chasseur will open early at 2 p.m. and serve happy-hour drinks until the snow stops, which shouldn't be anytime soon.


Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 15th 2014

Two local bars make national list

Baltimore magazine

Draft magazine just came out with its 6th annual list of "America's 100 Best Beer Bars" and two local favorites made the cut. Not surprisingly, Mt. Vernon brewhouse The Brewer's Art and Fells Point standby Max's Taphouse were on the national list.

According to Draft, a "good beer bar no longer equals a zillion taps," but rather "thoughtfully selected beer with an eye toward variety, trends, and tradition, in the kind of place you'd want to stay awhile, delivered by someone who knows their stuff."

Though both Max's and Brewer's Art fall into that category, we hope that next time the magazine can dig a little deeper. There are so many great beer bars in Baltimore that went unrecognized, including (but certainly not limited to) Of Love and Regret, Mahaffey's Pub, Pratt Street Ale House, Brewers Cask, Racers Cafe, Frisco Taphouse & Brewery, and Alewife.

A lot of these places don't fall in the "zillion taps" category, but I consider them all thoughtful and knowledgeable spots that really care about the beer experience.

10:46 am Comment Count Tags: beer, news
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 9th 2014

Myth and Moonshine to add new dive bar

Myth and Moonshine

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner at Myth and Moonshine (formerly The Gin Mill) on Boston Street. As you might recall, when the bar first opened nearly a year ago, it was called Moonshine Tavern, but an establishment in Austin, TX threatened to sue if it didn't change its name. Hence, Myth and Moonshine.

But as the tavern embarks on its one-year anniversary, the moonshine selection and food quality has only improved. Plus, the owners, Shanna Cooper and Jake Millisock, announced that they are opening a dive-bar concept upstairs, complete with pool tables, live music, and loaded hot dog and baked potato stations.

"We want to further ourselves from being a restaurant and focus more on being a dive bar with really great food," says Cooper, who also explains that they are working with even more small-batch distilleries as they expand their inventory. Last night we were able to sample plenty of moonshine flavors—everything from Catdaddy (with its hints of nutmeg and vanilla) to the cinnamon-spiced St. Elmo's Fire.

The Southern-inspired food hasn't missed a beat, including cheesy grits, smoky gumbo, and delicious cinnamon hush puppies for dessert. Both the new upstairs bar opening and one-year anniversary party will take place next month.

4:18 pm Comment Count Tags: bars, liquor, news
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
December, 17th 2013

New Year’s Eve roundup

Baltimore magazine

When the clock strikes 12, everyone has a chance to start the year anew—but half the fun is ending the old one in style. Celebrations start well before midnight at giant hotel extravaganzas, all-inclusive packages at local bars, club dance parties, and ceremonial firework displays. In typical Charm City style, we have an event for every scene.

Big-Box Parties

The Sheraton Baltimore City Center will ring in the New Year with the all-inclusive celebration, Big Night Baltimore. More than 2,000 people will occupy the nine themed party areas, open bars, food buffets, and four dance floors from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. There will be eight bands and DJs including Kay Jay and DJ Q. Admission is available to guests 21 and older. Currently, tickets are $104.99 for the main event and $159.99 for VIP.

Charm City Countdown is returning for its sixth year to host a Gatsby-inspired extravaganza at the Lord Baltimore Hotel from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Nearly 1,000 people will celebrate the new year across five floors, 12 different party zones, and seven themed event areas. The roaring party includes red-carpet photographs, casino games, a karaoke theater, and food stations with butler service. Premium open bars will provide martinis, wine, champagne and liquor throughout the night. Currently, tickets are $99 for the main event and $144 for VIP. Quantity discounts are available.

The Grand Historic Venue will host Downtown Countdown Baltimore, which features five floors of activity, 12 party rooms, and Baltimore’s largest balloon drop at midnight. Multiple full dinner buffets and bars will serve more than 2,000 guests from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. A total of eight bands and DJs and four comedy acts serve as the night’s entertainment. Currently, tickets are $104 for general admission and $149 for VIP.

In the spirit of bar crawling, Power Plant Live hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration rich with activity. True to its style, Power Plant will end the year with a literal bang with laser shows and confetti cannons as guests watch the ball drop in Times Square on two 20-foot screens. Live entertainment is complemented with top shelf open bar and all-access packages at Mex, Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden, Howl at the Moon, Luckie's Tavern, Luckie's Liquors, Angles Rock Bar, PBR, Mosaic and Crush Bar from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets are $95, but couples receive a $10 discount; $150 for VIP.


As a recent performer on The Late Show with David Letterman, actor/comedian Brian Scott McFadden will deliver a high-energy performance, along with Baltimore’s own Larry Noto, at Magooby’s Jokehouse. Ticket prices range from $35-185 depending on the packages, but all include a celebratory champagne toast at midnight. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m.

Rams Head Live introduces Keller Williams’s New Years Funkin’ Eve with The Keels and More Than a Little. This foot-stomping night kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 the day of.

D.C.’s 9:30 Club is bringing a New Orleans vibe to the area by mixing the past and future musical sounds of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Trouble Funk. Doors open at 9 p.m. to the sound of rich trombones and trumpets from the 27-year old musician. Tickets are $75, complete with a champagne toast at midnight.

Bar specials

Indulge in buffet dining and more than 60 choices of beer at an end-of-the-year celebration at Alexander’s Tavern from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Festivities include a DJ, dancing, party favors, a champagne toast, and giveaways. You can even score a free ticket by bringing a group of 20 people or more to the restaurant. Tickets are $80.

If it’s food you have a taste for, make your way over to Heavy Seas Alehouse for a three-course New Year’s Eve dinner for $49 from 5:30 p.m.–12 a.m., last call at 1:30 a.m. For an additional $12, enhance your meal with a beer pairing that best compliments the food for each specific course. Say farewell to 2013 by welcoming 2014 with a complementary champagne toast at midnight. Regular menu will also be available.

Howl at the Moon is hosting an interactive party where the audience becomes a part of the dueling piano show. Pianists play songs ranging from Billy Joel to Lady Gaga. Both of the packages available for purchase include a gourmet dinner buffet, premium open bar, and unlimited live entertainment. The Champagne Supernova package secures guests with seating and a complimentary bottle of champagne per table for $100. The alternative Just Dance package guarantees admittance with standing room only for $85. Prices are subject to change after December 13.

If it’s a dance party you’re looking for, The Ottobar will be spinning hits all night. DJ Craig Boarman kicks things off with dance music and top 40 hits from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Then Taxlo DJ’s Simon Phoenix and Stereo Faith take over with indie, electro, disco, hip-hop, and Baltimore club tunes until close. A three-hour open bar package is available in advance for $40 from 8-11 p.m.

RA Sushi in Harbor East will be throwing a “Ra”ckin’ New Year’s Eve party with a guest DJ, plus food and drink specials. Guests can enjoy $1 hot sake, $6 Kirin bombers, $5 Blushing Geisha (lemonade-vodka cocktail), and Lunetta Prosecco for $18/bottle. Food specials run the gamut from bonfire shrimp to edamame dip. The bash lasts from 7 p.m.-close.  

Family-friendly events

If it’s a more tamed celebration you’re looking for, join the U.S.S. Constellation for their annual New Year’s Eve deck party. Sip champagne and watch the firework spectacular above the Inner Harbor. The party provides an all-inclusive twilight menu, completed with appetizers, desserts, and selection of local ale, wine, mulled cider, and coffee. Plus, special tours and cannon firing will be demonstrated throughout the night. Tickets for adults ages 21 and older are $85, teens are $50, and youth are $25.

Baltimore is keeping the tradition alive with its New Year’s Eve Spectacular at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Live music warms up the festivities before choreographed fireworks that can be seen throughout the city take center stage at midnight.

For those who can’t keep their eyes open until midnight, the Maryland Science Center will host Midnight Noon for its sixth year in a row. Kids can get creative with crafting their own party hats and noisemakers from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., all free with admission to the museum. Popular kids band Milkshake will provide live entertainment with their Grammy-nominated tunes.

It’s a party fit for a king or queen at Noontime New Year Royal Masquerade at Port Discovery on New Year’s Eve. From 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., kids are encouraged to come dressed in costume, ready for the slew of activities, arts and crafts, and performances. The festivities are complete with a juice and cookie toast to 2014. Activities are free with admission to the museum; tickets sold the day of.

—Danielle Moore

Wondering what to do for New Year’s?

We’ve got you covered whether you are young, old, an early bird, a night owl, a party animal, or a wallflower.

Ringing in the New Year

NYE: What to Wear

Dining Options for the Holidays


Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
December, 11th 2013

My favorite drinks from 2013!

Baltimore magazine

This was certainly the year of the craft drink in Baltimore—whether that's a hand-crafted mixed drink, a craft brewery, a barrel-aged cocktail, or a daily rotating recipe. My year-end list will highlight some of my favorite creative drinks from 2013, no matter the season.

Spring: Technically W.C. Harlan opened (quietly) in the winter, but by the time most people got wind of the Remington craft cocktail spot, spring was in the air. This '20s-era-inspired bar makes a spicy, bite-y Old Fashioned with James E. Pepper 1776 Rye and a cinnamon cherry. But, we think the real beauty is in the bar's cocktails du jour, which the first night we visited was the ideal spring sipper: a sweet blend of gin, Belle Paire, crème de cacao, and lemon.

Summer: Hard to imagine now, but there are a ton of refreshing summer drink options—from tropical daiquiris to white sangrias to wheat beers. But we especially appreciated the outside-of-the-box approach that Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore took with its poptails. These alcoholic popsicles, enjoyed by the pool, naturally, came in a variety of flavors: raspberry Beaujolais cheesecake, orange crush dreamsicle, pineapple MaiTai, and watermelon rum punch. Our favorite, though, had to be the white wine, strawberry, and basil frozen treat. Summer in a nutshell.

Fall: People get super excited about fall drinks (pumpkin, anyone?) and there are a ton of good options out there. But we recently sampled the Autumn Spice Margarita, pictured, at Willow in Fells Point (which we also awarded "Best Bar Food" this year) and it was a game-changer. This sweet-spicy cocktail is made with Espolón reposado tequila, honey syrup, fresh lemon, apricot liqueur, and Barkeep Chinese spice bitters garnished with an orange peel. The result is a warm, dynamic cocktail—ideal for the transition into the cooler months.

Winter: This is traditionally the time for anything dark liquor and we'd love to give our first nod to the Pistols for Two at Cunningham's with bourbon, maderia, Eastern Shore peach shrub, honey, lemon, and a sprinkling of nutmeg. But let's not overlook winter beers, which do just as good a job at keeping us warm. Our new favorite is Union Craft Brewery's Miracle Weizenbock, out this week. This dark, unfiltered ale has a malty finish, notes of clove spice, and is named after 34th Street. Enough said.


Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
December, 4th 2013

Drinks at The Chasseur

Baltimore magazine

This past September, owner David Tobash took over the old Adam's Eve space on the corner of Highland and Foster avenues and created The Chasseur, which is named after the ship dubbed the original Pride of Baltimore.

The result is an easy-going gastropub that pays equally strict attention to both food and drink. This fun, yet thoughtful, attitude is evident in The Chasseur's cocktail list, which features everything from a "Dr. Pepper" (playfully mixing Amaretto liqueur into a Miller High Life pony) to a high-end Pisco Sour with egg whites and bitter.

We opted for the Agave Negro, pictured, (Reposado tequila, Chambord, simple syrup, muddled lime and blackberry, and soda water), which was a deliciously tart tequila drink with a whimsical sword garnish. Curiously absent from the cocktail menu were dark liquor drinks that you usually find this time of year. However, there were seasonal and local beers like DuClaw's Sweet Baby Jesus and Union's Balt Altbier.

We sampled delicious snacks including duck fat (!) tater tots, marinara mussels, and "steak and egg" with Angus beef tartare and a quail egg. Not your typical bar fare—fitting for The Chasseur, which always seems to have something clever up its sleeve.

For a more complete review of the restaurant, see our December issue, on newsstands now.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
December, 3rd 2013

Holiday Lights around town

Baltimore magazine

Some of these celebrations have already begun to light up the streets of Baltimore and the surrounding area. But be sure to check out all of events below, including the lighting of the Washington Monument (this Thursday), the parade of lighted boats in Fells Point (this Friday), and many more!

3rd Annual Power Plant Holiday Light Show Spectacular
The light show is returning for its third year to electrify the Inner Harbor site with displays of synchronized lights, lasers, and projections all choreographed to music with the backdrop of Power Plant. Visit their website for a complete list of dates and show times. 601 E. Pratt Street, December 6-31.

Photos with Santa and Santa’s Place light shows
Come out to get your picture taken with Santa and tell him your holiday wishes. Enjoy a nightly show of lights composed to iconic holiday music. 200 E. Pratt Street, November 23-December 24, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

The Chanukah House
Bring the family and friends to browse the holiday lights, decorations, and recite the blessings of the menorah at The Chanukah House, pictured, above. 6721 Greenspring Avenue, November 29-December 4.

Miracle on 34th Street
One block in Hampden hosts a yearly Christmas display made possible by a group of neighbors who find enjoyment in spreading holiday cheer. We posted a video of last weekend's lighting, but the fun continues until January 1. 700 block of W. 34th Street. November 23-January 1. Dusk to 11 p.m.

Washington Monument lighting
The 42 annual lighting of the Washington Monument will be celebrated with musical performances, holiday activities, and festive food. A firework display and laser show choreographed to tunes will cap the evening. 600 block of N, Charles Street. December 5. 5:30-8 p.m.

Symphony of Lights
The Merriweather Post Pavilion grounds will radiate with a display of more than 75 animated stationary holiday lights. All proceeds will benefit the Campus Development Plan for Howard County General Hospital. 5950 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia. November 25-January 5, 6-10 p.m. $20-125. 410-740-7840,

Lights on the Bay
Drive along the two-mile marvel of more than 60 holiday light displays featuring illuminated dinosaurs, fairy tales, and Maryland icons. Ticket sales benefit the Anne Arundel Medical Center. Sandy Point State Park, Route 50, Annapolis. November 17-January 1, 5-10 p.m. $14. 410-481-3161.

Christmas Village in Baltimore
West Shore Park will be transformed into a traditional German Christmas market. More than 60 booths of vendors will sell traditional European food, sweets, drinks, and additional holidays gifts. Thousands of lights will create a Christmas atmosphere along with a big holiday tree. 501 Light Street, November 28-December 24. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats
Hosted by the Fells Point Yacht Club, December's annual parade sees more than 50 boats making their way from Fells Point to the Inner Harbor. All boats are decorated with holiday lights and other colorful decorations. December 7, 6 p.m.

Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade
Dress warmly for a night outside in Eastport to view illuminated boats and their jolly crews. To gain admission to the Harbor Queen, bring non-perishable food or money that will benefit the Food Bank. 317 First Street, Annapolis. December 14, 6-8 p.m.

—Danielle Moore

10:46 am Comment Count Tags: holidays
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
November, 21st 2013

Wit & Wisdom turns 2

Baltimore magazine

The Four Seasons Baltimore is celebrating a birthday as its flagship tavern, Wit & Wisdom, turns 2.

The restaurant will be hosting a party tonight, where tickets include two drinks, heavy appetizers, and happy-hour drink specials. Guest chefs Chris Becker and Chris Amendola from Bagby Restaurant Group and Travis Croxton from Rappahannock Oysters will join Wit & Wisdom's team to create the menu.

Additionally, Maryland native and national lacrosse star Paul Rabil will be the guest DJ and a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore.

Tickets are $50 and attendees are encouraged to use the hashtag #WitTurns2 when posting about the event on social media. Judges (John-John Williams from The Baltimore Sun, Amy Langrehr from Charm City Cook, and myself) will determine the best tweet and Instagram in a variety of categories. The winners will receive dinner for two, as well as a complimentary cocktail class and tasting.

The fun starts tonight at 7 p.m.

12:06 pm Comment Count Tags: hotels, parties
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