Like many of the neighborhoods during that time, the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood where I grew up was somewhat of a self contained unit with businesses of various types located in our small community. Among those local businesses were several neighborhood bars which catered to the working class denizens that resided there. One of them which was frequented by most of the people at one time or another was Adam’s bar, which was located at the corner of Dulany St. and East Lynn Avenue. Adam’s was a brick constructed building which had a long bar area for sitting and drinking. They also had another entrance which was largely used as a dining area as Adams served as one of the neighborhood restaurants at that time. One of the favorites of Adam’s was the Raw Beef Sandwich which consisted of Rye Bread, Raw Beef, ketchup and plenty of onions and salt and pepper. May not sound very appealing by today’s standards, but believe me, it was delicious.
Another one of the popular bars in the area was Pinky’s bar which sat on the corner of Wilkens and Brunswick St. Pinky’s was small in comparison to Adam’s but did a pretty brisk business. Another feature that I remember from those days is that Pinky’s would sell a pitcher of draft beer in what amounted to a gallon ‘Pickle Jar’ for about $.50 or so. My father would get one whenever he could scrounge up the money, which wasn’t all that often.
Ross’s bar was another local bar that sat across and down the street from Pinky’s and also served food as well. I remember going in there a time or two when I was younger and one of the things I recall about the bar is that they had a long shuffleboard there that took up most of the length of the bar. They also served Stewart sandwiches, which were heated in a little oven, and were quite tasty. Ross’s was very small but did have a small dining area in the back where they would serve up those sandwiches. I really enjoyed those ‘Torpedo’ sandwiches.
Down the street from Pinky’s on Brunswick street was a bar they called ‘Pearl Harbor’. I don’t know how it got that name, but I can imagine that there was probably as much fighting going on in there among the inebriated patrons as there was at the original Pearl Harbor.
Finally, there was a bar on St. Benedict’s Street called Wannewitch’s and one up on Wilkens Avenue and Millington but I can’t recall what that was called at the time. The point is that there was plenty of places for a man or woman to go hang out, have some conversation, grab a drink and a bite to eat, and perhaps engage in some friendly fisticuffs. It might have been pretty limiting by today’s standards but sufficient for neighborhood folks back then.
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