John Steven Ltd. Five Points Tavern

Not Rated.
John Steven Ltd. Five Points TavernJohn Steven Ltd. Five Points Tavern
BA SCORE
89
very good

12 Ratings
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1800 Thames St
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231-3509
United States
phone: (410) 327-5561

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Dithyramb)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Friday afternoon after Max's Belgian Beer Fest. The Waterfront was too crowded, a nice Homicide flashback though. See we (ksak in tow) arrived here. Right down the street from last night's Wharf Rat destination.

Atmosphere: A small bar area, divided into an anteroom and, well, another room. The anteroom abuts the bar, with its two towers. The non-anteroom faces the heads. Outdoor seating is available.

Quality: Happy hour pricing and a full beer menu. We were content. Service and facilities were sufficient.

Service: First round was ordered at the bar. After that everything else was table service. Service was a little slow but we were content.

Selection: Two beer towers. Over 2/3 of them craft. I had to, by a law of nature, have a Natty Boh on tap. After that, we split a Lucky 7 from Evolution and a Resurrection from Brewer's Art. A good selection outside of those beers on tap.

Food: Happy hour pricing. Wings and shrimp hit the spot for both of us. The old bay-saturated wings were a little too much. But, as you know, Old Bay is the favorite spice of Charm City.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2

John Steven, Ltd. is yet another one of those cool waterfront taverns in Fells Point. They all look very similar, don't they? Old buildings, nautical theme and spirit, dark woodsy interiors, lots of British and Irish beers on tap... All Hail Lord Baltimore!

This place was totally empty when I arrived at 3pm on a Wednesday. Being the only customer was a little weird, but the bartender/waitress was funny and nice (even though she was a little fresh commenting on my facial hair, "you tryin' to grow a little goatee there?". I am not *trying*. I have had a thin-ass, well-groomed goatee for seven years now. Try asking John Waters if he's "trying" to grow a moustache, bitch)

Anyways... the atmosphere here is nice and cozy, mostly geared towards dining (lots of tables) but good for a pint or two too. Nice music, friendly service, OK prices ($5 for my beer). This would be a great place to watch the snow outside while drinking a cask beer or something like that (BA lists this place as cask-carrying, but I did not see any).

There is a sheer number of taps. Almost none of them are worthy except for Dogfish 60, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon and Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown, which I had and thought drinkable but not imperial or particularly engaging.

The rest are Bud Light, Yuengling, Coors Light, Stella, Blue Moon and such. Right there for ya! I'm going to Max's one block away, thank you very much.

Photo of Gavage
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This is another of the many bars that are in Fells Point that I have visted several times over the years. Several tables outside the building are filled with patrons enjoying a nice afternoon. Inside there is a large old wooden bar that is long and has about 12 stools. There are plenty of tables in the back off the bar for dining.

The nice thing about the place is that there is plenty of breweriana from Arrow Beer, Gunther Beer, and National Bohemian that provides a nice nostalgic feeling along with the old bar.

There were 13 beers on draft during my visit which included Heavy Seas Golden Ale, DFH 60 Minute, Warsteiner, Oliver's Ironman, Anchor Porter, along with some euro beers and American macros.

The beers were fresh and delivered promptly. Service was friendly but not intrusive. I did not try any food, just hung out for two pints.

Not a bad to place to stop for a pint or two while walking around Fells Point.

Photo of waldoiverson
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I wandered into this place after receiving a recommendation from a friend. i was in-town on business and wanted local beer and a crab cake. I walked into a pretty quiet bar and was greeted by a very friendly bartender. it turns out he grew up in the Chicago area and we got along swimmingly. I tried the clipper city beers. actually, he was open to letting me sample the 8-12 (don't remember) taps. I stuck with the Clipper City Loose Cannon IPA and it was great. About 1/2 the taps were fairly standard stuff but the local options were good.

The bartender recommended this one and I agreed. The crab cakes were a bit pricey but you get 2 HUGE lump cakes, and they were worth the (company's) money. He was open to suggesting other beer places in the area and I felt right at home. by the time I left (9ish) the bar was pretty full. Good food, good beers, good service. Check it out.

Photo of claytri
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

John Steven, Ltd is a nice restaurant with a decent beer selection. It's a great place for a quiet meal or a few beers and a conversation. They even have a few tables outside and the view of the harbor there is not bad. The food is a bit above basic pub food, and is well prepared. The staff is friendly, and helpful. The beer selection has a standard set of high profile beers, but also includes a nice group of rotating local offerings, and they always seem to have a gem on tap. It seems to typically be a porter/stout. The prices for food and drink are in line with Baltimore prices in general. I wouldn't come here expecting to sample a lot of beers you haven't had, but if you want a quiet spot for a meal or a drink it's a great option.

Photo of John_M
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Have been by here a number of times, most recently on a very warm Saturday afternoon after riding around on the water taxi.

This particular area of Fells Point (Thames street), is just teeming with beer bars posing as informal restaurants. John Stevens is one more, and I'll be damned if for the life of me I can tell much difference between most of these places. In any event, located at the corner of Ann Street and Thames, one walks in off the street into the cozy confines of John Stevens. Colors are mostly made up of red and old wood, with a long wooden bar running just to the right as you walk in. This place is pretty small, with a few scattered tables complimenting the bar stools. The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed, and happily on this particular day the AC was working pretty well. Service was friendly and prompt, no complaints in that regard. The beer selection was OK, but nothing special. While they have roughly 17 tap handles, at least half of the draft selection is made up of the likes of Stella, Yuengling, Clipper City Gold, Blue Moon, PBR, etc. There were a few more intereseting selections (Loose Cannon, Oliver Iron Man, Resurrection and London Pride Porter), but I really didn't think the selection here was the place's strong suit. We also got some steamed shrimp with our beer, which were tasty and pretty fresh tasting.

While nothing special, this is a solid enough place. However, given all the other options surrounding the area (Max's, Slainte and Duda's), it's probably unlikely I'll stop by here again.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This place was recommended by our hotel as a good spot to grab some seafood. I was pleasantly surprised that they had 20 taps & about half of them were devoted to craft beer with a focus on the locals. They had beer from Olivers, Brewer's Art, Heavy seas on as well as DFH 60, Nugget Nectar, plus some other quality selections. The bar is small but has some neat old brewery collectibles hanging around. Service was good but the food was outstanding. We actually came back the next night to eat there for a second time since it was so good. Next time I am in Fell's Point, I will be eating here before heading over to Max's.

Cheers!

Photo of jjboesen
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Just a few wavering steps from Wharf Rat, John Steven Ltd. is a good place to continue (or begin) a Fells Point pub crawl. Located on the Ann Street Wharf John Stevens is a historical waterfront tavern dating from 1903 and does'nt look like it has changed since. In front, there is a small dining area and a well-worn bar beneath an impressive pressed tin ceiling, There is an additional room in the back

In any case, John Steven, which is named after a teddy bear for some reason, provides the average Beer Advocate a most welcome opportunity to stuff himself with exceptional sea food, such as crab soup as well as a filling muffaleta or swordfish sandwich before stumbling out into the cobbled streets of this wonderful old port. The beers served are primarily local micros like Backfin Pale Ale, Clipper City or Yuengling. They did have Anchor Porter (from the West Coast) on tap. Superb service (Thanks Nicole) and a wonderful ambience make for a very enjoyable lunch or dinner. And be sure to look around at the many old signs and posters advertising several of Baltimore's defunct breweries (Gunther Beer, anyone?)

BTW, the hulking building that you see upon exiting was once home to Frank Pemberton from the late, and lamented TV show "Homicide" TV show, which was filmed in and around the area.

Photo of Umbra
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: Old school Fells bar with deep mahogany, tin ceilings and ancient looking fans. One of the owners is a breweriana collector, so there are numerous goodies tucked in every nook and cranny, including some interesting Gunther and Natty Boh originals. Gets a mix of snooty folks looking for food and people just looking for a nice pint. The outside and inner bar can get rowdy. It is a bit quieter during the week and in the back dining room.

Selection/Quality: Just about always have some locals, including some Oliver's Brews and Clipper City, and regional brews--Tuppers and DFH 60 on tap last weekend. A few internationals are mixed in from time to time, depending on whims. Never had a bad pint in my couple of decades of critical review. Seem to stay in the session brew categories with the selection.

Service: A couple of the waitstaff are on the stiff end. They've modified the menu several times recently, and they've been lofty in attitude when questioned. Bartenders and owners are seasoned professionals and top notch.

Food: You can still order the sandwiches and pubgrub, but it is now hidden in the back of the menu, where places usually hide the childern's selection. Entrees are pricey and not the reason we come here. The calimari and other seafood are very tasty. Fish and chips slathered in malt vinegar and a half dozen raw oysters is my favorite. The sushi counter, however, was removed several years ago to make room for more seats.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

At the crook of Thames, Anne, & Fell Street, one of Fell's Point's landmark bar/restaurants looks out on the harbor. The old, original bar is upfront. It's beautiful mahgany, and has an interesting back bar that's mirrored and lit with kind of an art-deco look to it, and still has its original cigarette racks. There's a brass rail, tin ceilings, antique ceiling fans... the works!

There are 20 taps, almost all good; and a limited bottle selection. They also have a little bit better than average liquor selection with a few gems hidden here and there.

It's a small bar with only 10 seats, but there are 23 seats by the wall and an additional cocktail area holds more.

The dinind room and outdoor garden area were added behind the bar (early 80's?). The garden is walled off from the street; and it's very nice even on cool nights.

The barstaff is friendly, and they have adequate or better servers.

The food is very good with lots of super fresh seafood (including sushi), but not too many vegetarian dishes.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

**October 2005 Update: The menu is currently in flux. Went there last week, and they had removed all the quality sandwiches and apps. Was told snootily, "those are lunch items." Supposedly changing it again, though they graciously let us order a perfect order of fish and chips outside. Will upd ate numbers if it doesn't improve...**
Fells Point is one of those neighborhoods that has been ever changing. Recently, with property values going through the roof ($5000 houses in 1980 now go for $450,000 and up…), some of the old salty bars shutting down, and all the annoying frat boys going to Power Point Live, the place is virtually empty on most nights. I hate to say it, but I really love it that way. So, last Friday, we cruised over to John Stevens for drinks and dinner.

Gone are the hour to two hour waits on a Friday night. We were sat immediately in an empty outdoor patio. (Don’t be afraid, there are at least two heaters in the covered patio and the heat gets plenty of attention by the waitstaff.) The food is top-notch pub grub. Most locals come back for their tasty and fast sushi, which is served until 1:30 a.m., but we like to sit down and enjoy the cheap and well-prepared seafood and appetizers. The mussels are awesome, the crab cakes are plump jumbo lump, and the wide array of sandwiches, apps, and salads favor the ales and lagers well. I started with an Old Dominion O’fest to wash down tender calamari served with a chipolte mayonnaise. A Balto Marz Hon complimented a crab pizza. The inside dining room is well situated and comfortable. The paintings and ambiance make you think you are eating in someone’s formal dining room.

There are about twenty taps in the front bar, backed up with another dozen or so in the bar that primarily serves the two dining rooms. It is slightly smoky, but is cozy and welcoming this time of year. There won’t be many Belgians or rarities, but what they have is better than most and will be fresh. I’ve heard stories of the regulars not being too nice to newbies, but have never had a problem. A well shaped bar is accented by the rosy glow of the front sign. The staff is friendly, quick, and knows the selection well, even though they may be tending to seafood on the other side of the bar. Selection changes often, so keep your wits about you. The prepared beer menu at the tables isn’t always updated as often. Both the previously mentioned Old Dominion and a Dogfish Head were not on the list at our table.

It is centrally located, has quality beers and food, and makes a great date stop before heading off to the other, and/or seedier, bars in the area. I’m pretty surprised it wasn’t on the site before.

John Steven Ltd. Five Points Tavern in Baltimore, MD
89 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.