Today we leave the lush tree-lined avenues of our beloved North Baltimore neighborhoods to scour the hardscrabble streets of the southside for the best of all possible daydrinking bars. Any bunch of fake-ass Irish posers can start at the top o’the mornin’ on Saint Patrick’s day, but if you’re really wicked hahdcoar, pull up a stool to open and close one of these joints. We’ll see you there.
South Baltimore: Southside Saloon (430 E. Fort Avenue)
If you want to drink during the day, Fort Avenue is a pretty likely destination. From Delia Foley’s to City Limits, there’s no shortage of bars, most open pretty early. But your home base for daydrinking has to be Southside Saloon. The decor is about as dated as the customers, and that’s not a bad thing. With an older crowd that’s not working for one reason or another, this place can get kinda full during the day. Between the keno, lotto, scratch offs, racetrax and several video poker terminals the place is almost as much casino as it is bar. The prices though are very un-casino like… $1 bohs and $1.50 Blue Moons all day. Perfect accompaniment for the Dante’s frozen pizza on offer. First Call: 10:00 am.
Fell’s Point: Dead End Saloon (935 Fell Street)
There aren’t going to be any accidental tourists stumbling into the Dead End. There won’t be any red hat ladies having luncheon or people wanting to watch soccer for some dumb reason. It’s in a dead end street. The only people in there belong there. Although with 16 beers on tap there’s virtually no dead end of variety. The last time we were there there was a pretty sexy girl (glasses, sleeve tattoos) damn near passed out on the bar and forgetting where she lived. And this was at 2 pm. If you’re out daydrinking, it’s always good to know that you’re not the most degenerate lowlife in the place, and maybe you can take home the girl who is. First call: 11:00 am.
Butcher’s Hill/Patterson Park: Butts and Betty’s (2200 Gough Street)
Out of the way but close to everything, Butts and Betty’s is one of the few original neighborhood corner bars still holding it down with a 6 am opening time. The place has quite a lot in common with Southside Saloon, except that the decor has actually been updated since the Vietnam era. It’s actually a pretty nice crappy bar: no drop ceilings, no linoleum floors, etc. It’s so ooh-la-la the regulars even drink Yuengling. If you end up there, go ahead and order a Lager for yourself. Remember: it’s their bar. You’re just drinking in it. First Call: 6:00 am.
Canton: Sports Cafe (1226 S. Clinton Street)
There’s no link there because we’re the first site that ever wrote about Sports Cafe on the internet. Not even a damn Yelp review. It’s a shame, because this is actually a pretty decent neighborhood bar- and a great bar for daydrinking. Probably the best in the city. Happy hour is eight hours long. From 11 am- 7 pm you can get a bucket of beers for $6 and play keno all day long while you nosh on cheap food. This is an old-school spot just up from the Clinton Street docks which still serves retired longshoremen and railyard workers and not the Real Housewives of Canton. How old school? A shot of blackberry brandy is a happy hour special. First call: 11:00 am.
So there you have it Baltimore. Now you know just where to go to drink cheap beer all day every day. You could daydrink all week and still have a couple bars left to get to. What are some of your favorite choices for daydrinking? You can let us know in the comments. Just don’t call us an enabler.