Federal Hill needs more waterfront dining. Currently the only option is Little Havana’s. It is a great place (I actually ate there last night), but we need more variety. The only other restaurant on the Water in Federal Hill is Tabrizzi’s and that is too expensive/fancy to dine in more than once or twice a year. The Inner Harbor has some OK places, but they are mostly too crowded and touristy. Nick’s Fish house would be ideal, but it is a little too far away.
The formula is quite simple. Build a restaurant with a large outdoor deck bar and add a couple fake palm trees and serve cheap Natty Bohs. It basically becomes a license to print money. If Hightops served Natty Boh I would recommend to the owner opening a second location right next to Little Havana’s. That would be the perfect style of bar for the area. It is really not that hard. If I had some investors I would do it myself. Put in some flat screen TVs with the O’s game on, serve bottomless Mimosas on Saturday and Sunday Mornings and then watch the cash flow in.
The main hurdle may be getting the city to zone the area for a bar. I know their are many who are concerned that the harbor is becoming too commercialized and we are losing the traditional port jobs that once defined south Baltimore. I understand this. It is tough to see that heritage go. But really, there are several parking lots sitting empty (besides a few beat up clunkers) next to Little Havana’s. They are not being used for industry, nor will any industry ever come back there. Changing the zoning for this area will almost assure that bars will pop up generating tax revenue for the city. It is really a shame that we are letting the great view of the Harbor and the beautiful Baltimore skyline go to waste.
Anyone who opens a bar on the water next to Little Havana’s will have my business. I guess one concern could be that there is a significant drop off in winter business. If there is good food though it should not be too big of a problem. During summer you could literally serve shit (just like Sullivan’s Steakhouse does year round) and you would still have a crowd. Though instead of serving shit, serving crabs would really boost those summer profits. There are not too many places to get crabs in Federal Hill. Just follow the formula that I have interspersed throughout this post and you will have a profitable bar in no time at all and us Federal Hillers will be quite happy.