The Owl Bar
Taps: 14 / Bottles: 15
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 10 | Show All Ratings:
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$$
The old speakeasy in Baltimore's coolest destination still has its place.
They have a good selection of beers, including some local brews from High Seas.
just a few TVs, but they really are not a sports bar
love the historic notes, still feels like a speakeasy
not the best price for mussels in town, but they were fresh and tasty.
Staff was knowledgeable and attentive, plus a great memory of locals and the attention to new comers that makes a great bartender.
The wood fire oven creates an aroma that just feels welcoming and warm.
All kinds of legends live in these walls, a cant miss if you are interested in some myth and history.
12-13-2011 03:28:49 | More by moreyeel
3.49/5 rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
Located in the Belvedere Hotel which is basically across the street from the Brewer's Art. I was told by some friends to check this place out because of the cool interior, not necessarily the beers. The room is dark and somewhat cool on a hot day. Huge ceilings with all brick walls are decorated with some stained glass windows. A pizza oven is to the left of the bar which seats about 12. Some stuffed animal heads grace the walls.
There were thirteen beers on draft and about 10 macros in bottles. Not a lot to choose from as there was a few Lancaster beers on draft, Troegenator, Balto Marzhon, and DFH 60 Min. Rest are typical bar selections of Guiness, Stella, and a bunch of macros.
Service was prompt and friendly. Prices seemed a bit high but it is a hotel bar. I did not try any food here.
This is a place to check out for the atmosphere, but beer wise stay at the Brewer's Art if in the area.
07-14-2010 23:25:57 | More by Gavage
3.7/5 rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
This is a place in the Belvedere Hotel, which was close to the Brewer's Art, where we had dinner, so we decided to stop in for some after dinner drinks.
Definitely not a beer bar, but with all the pictures on the wall, the history, and the story, I'm glad we went. Super high ceilings and old school decor. A wooden pizza oven to the back with a chef cranking out pizzas. And a pretty stocked bar, though it seems more like a place for liquor than beer, though I did see that they had two Owl Beers, a Pale Ale and Lager. Some stuff from Lancaster and other micro places.
I could certainly drink a few at the bar because of the decor and everything, but I'm not sure how often I'd go because it did seem a bit pricey overall.
That said, I'd stop again for a drink in passing. It's certainly a spectacle for the eyes.
11-23-2009 20:54:56 | More by asabreed
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is set in one of the coolest buildings in Baltimore- the old Belvedere Hotel... and the history behind the bar itself is what makes it so cool.
It used to be a speakeasy... set-up in an old cafeteria-style layout. During prohibition, locals could stop in for a nip, and there would always be a lookout for the feds...
If a lookout spotted feds on their way, they would signal the bartender, who would throw a switch and light-up the electric eyes on two taxadermied owls above the bar. This was the signal for everyone to hide their hooch.
In present day these two stuffed owls are still perched over the bar, and their eyes occasionally flash.
This bar is cooler than cool for that story alone. It helps that they have a decent beer list.
07-27-2009 23:18:51 | More by jgasparine
3.88/5 rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $
Pretty cool little place with some history behind it in this converted hotel.
During Prohibition days it used to be a speakeasy and the owls overlooking the bar would I believe flash their eyes when a raid was coming. Now they just blink red endlessly and amusingly.
Two rows of tap heads at opposite ends of the lengthy bar, some basics like Stella and Sam Adams to go with rotating craft offerings. They had two house offerings, "Owl Pale" and Owl something else. Troegs Troegenator (which was out). Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. Couple others. Not a bad list, but not great either.
Some nice booth seating areas but otherwise the dining area is shoulder to shoulder tables, have fun listening to your neighbors!
There's a brick oven for house-made pizzas and the menu looked great, I'm still itching to try the Bang Bang Shrimp which I fell in love with when I used to live near a BoneFish Grill which specializes in that dish.
Went with some nachos and Old Bay chicken wings, they fried the wings which was a nice touch, tasted delicious.
Tremendous happy hour, got out of there with my guest and two large appetizers and four beers for $18. Nice.
I understand why their taps are how they are, I wish they had a little more to offer, but they also have to play to all audiences so I can respect what they do offer. Nice little stop just down the road from Brewer's Art, definitely recommended but more for a casual stop than serious pursuit of beer.
08-15-2008 17:24:12 | More by USCTrojanBrian
3.96/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Located in the old Belvedere hotel, just around the corner from Brewer's Art. This is an old, stylish hotel that just exudes charm and atmosphere. The hotel is over a 100 years old, as is the bar I've been told. The place is so tacky it's wonderful, with old animal heads adorning the walls and a couple of owls overlooking the bar. As you walk in from the back, there is a scattering of tables and chairs in the dimly lit, high ceiling room. There is a long bar up front, with lots of leather and marble. It's the sort of place you could see Bogey or the rat pack hanging out, drinking maritinis.
Well, once you get by the incredible atmosphere, the rest of one's visit is pretty ordinary. They have a slightly above average draft list, with the usual Guiness, Bass, etc. Last time I was there they also had on the hop hog and milk stout from Lancaster, which was a pleasant surprise. Service here is actully pretty good, or at least it was the times I've sat at the bar. Haven't tried the food, but it looked pretty good, based on what I saw on the menu and people eating at their tables. The bar has a gorgeous old wood buring oven, and I'm told they still do pizzas in it. One of these days I have to try it out. :-)
12-25-2007 01:19:40 | More by johnmichaelsen
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
My wife and I and some friends recently had a chance to check this place out after dinner at the nearby Brewer's Art. It's located literally across the street in back of the Belvedere Hotel. Atmosphere is what it's all about here. The room has high ceilings with a large bar that is flanked from behind by a dining area with a raw bar and brick oven in the corner. The bar area itself stands out, as it's called the owl bar for a reason. Large owl statues and stain glass windows look down on you but it's the prohibition era owl sculpture front and center (whose eyes would blink to alert patrons of the police when it acted as a speakeasy) that's the real standout. As others have stated the whole place has an old-time charm and elegance that you just don't see in establishments anymore.
We didn't try any food here but we did have a couple of beers. They had a mix of some BMC, Macro Imports, and a few craft beer choices, including Troegs Troegenator, Lancaster Hop Hog, Milk Stout, and Strawberry Wheat and Leinenkugals Sunset Wheat. Surprisingly, they wern't any Balimore area brews on tap. Pints were priced reasonably and our bar service was courteous and attentive.
Definitely check out the Owl Bar sometime, whether it's paired up with Brewer's Art or not. It's a great place to get a good macro and experience a bar atmosphere from a by-gone erea.
11-13-2007 17:41:09 | More by Kegatron
3.8/5 rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
On my most recent visit to Baltimore, I finally convinced some friends to check out Brewer's Art after we finished working at around 9pm. Unfortunately, the kitchen was closed and it was quite packed at BA by the time we got there, so we walked right over to the Belvedere to check out Owl Bar within...what a treat! Tucked away with great wall decorations and a bar on the back wall. We had no problem getting a table and our server was more than kind although a bit tired as it was later at night (from 10-midnight).
Sat down at a table with 3 friends and we all immediately ordered some great beers off their tap menu. In enjoyed their house Owl Ale from Old Dominion and my buddy couldn't say no to Troeg's Oatmeal Stout. The crab cake sandwich I got was delicious and one of the girls swears by the bbq chicken nachos she enjoyed. I sampled the Blue Point Hoptical Illusion to finished up the night.
Anywhere I go I always find the more "local" places and like to try someplace new. I certainly will be looking forward to checking out Brewer's Art on another visit, but Owl Bar in the Belvedere is not to be missed. It brings you back to a time when cities had personality, people walked around cobblestone streets and everything was local, from the markets to the hotels to the tailors to the bars. A place like this certainly helps add to the character of Baltimore. Awesome atmosphere and admirable beer selection including: Old Dominion, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Anchor, Troeg's and Lancaster. Not to be missed!
06-07-2006 18:45:09 | More by rokoch27
4.3/5 rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
What a great place. Truely an overlooked gem in Baltimore. Tucked away in the Belvedere Hotel, its outlived many a bar in its time. High ceilings, stained glass windows and warm ambiance make this place a great place to go to dinner or for drinks. Bar is quite long and is totally ancient. About 15 or so taps serve great craft brewed beer from the likes of Dominion, Troegs, Victory, Dogfish Head and others. There's also some stuff in bottles. Food is awesome. A huge brick oven adorns the corner of the restaurant, churning out great brick oven pizzas. A more "sophisticated" menu is also available but the BOP goes great with the beers available. Service was quite friendly and knowledgable. Definitely a don't miss.
02-21-2005 20:37:32 | More by ChrisBowers
3.73/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
First off, Im absolutely amazed that this place hasnt already been in the Beerfly. Stopped in here Friday for the second week in a row. The plan is generally to get drinks at the Brewers Art, walk across the street, and then get excellent BOP and raw bar selections. ..
The high point is the ambience. You have a bar that is tucked away in the old, majestic Belvedere Hotel. The location is all brick, with just the right amount of wood at the bar and places to sit. It is a very open space with high ceilings. The brick oven is in the corner with the raw bar. The bar is in the front and has an interesting stained glass owls halfway up the large wall. The crowd is mixed. You have the well to do folks who own the large houses in the area, but you also have the local poor culinary school kids and the recently placed downtown rental folks.
Food is tasty. Ive actually not had any of the real food. However, it is made by the same folks that run nearby Truffles, so that should be good all by themselves. We stick to the clams and brick oven pizza. Delicious and exactly what one needs after filling up on Belgian goodies across the street.
They have a dozen or so taps, each with something good mixed in. I had a few perfect pints of Troegs Oatmeal stout this last trip. Like all the bars in the area, the servers and bartenders tend to seem a bit pretentious, but they know the selection pretty well. Plus, they put up with us after too many beers at the belgian palace across the street.
Its worthwhile, check it out
01-17-2005 17:34:18 | More by Dithyramb
The Owl Bar in Baltimore, MD
90 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.