Crafted in the popular Beaux-Arts style, the hotel was quite the gathering spot with no place more cozy than the dark paneled Owl Bar tucked away off of the main lobby. The tavern room with its decorative brickwork, leaded glass windows, and terracotta tiled floor still retains the feel of the historic era when the wise old owls roosting above the bar kept their beaks closed but their eyes opened, much to the delight of patrons wanting to wet their own beaks. The Owls were placed atop the cash registers ostensibly as decor.
Those with keen eyes will spot an owl tucked away in the eaves above the muraled entryway. One theory is they were taken as a souvenir by a reveler carried away by the spirit of the ban on booze being lifted. Then the hotel fell on hard times in the early s. Though used for a while as student housing, it later closed altogether -- which meant, presumably, that the Owls had vanished for good, too. The chandeliers hanging above modern-day revelers are original to the opening of the hotel.
Owl John Eager Howard, named after a Maryland governor, keeps a watchful eye from his roost above the bar. When the property was purchased and reopened in , a great search for the beloved Owls commenced. It was thought that they were lost to history until one fateful night when they returned again. We will most definitely stop by The Owl Bar again to sample the rest of their delectable dishes.
The Owl Bar Restaurant - Baltimore, MD | OpenTable
I like this place a lot. It's a beautiful space. Check out the brick work when you go. The service is awesome. The bartenders and wait staff are very friendly. I usually get the chili nachos or pizza. It's a fun place. Excellent burger - we had the truffle burger - fun atmosphere. Would go again for a quick bite or some drinks with friends. Told us it would be a 25 minute wait even though we had a 25 min wait.
We had a drink at the bar and the hostess continued to push the time for our wait so we just left. We left an hour after ordering, having received no food, not even the salads, which require virtually no prep.
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We were told the kitchen was rushed, but the waiter could not even dig up the manager to hear our anger. I have been to the Owl many times in the past, but will not risk having another evening at the theater ruined by not being able to have a meal before hand. We were never served our meal. We told our server as did many other tables that we were headed to a program nearby so he would know our timing.
Most of the dining room was not served. I'm sure there was a problem in the kitchen which would explain this, but someone should have told us that so that we did not waste our dinner hour waiting for nothing. Service was friendly but super SLOW. I think that they forgot about our table. Crab soup was good, though. History of the place makes it cool and being in the beautiful Belvedere hotel.
I use to live nearby and walked there often. I had not been there in several years. The portions were small and overpriced.
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This was an unpleasant surprise. The quality was ok. I cannot remember ever having fish and chips any place else with one small piece of fish and a lot of chips. The cole slaw was served in a very small container that is usually used for tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. How expensive is cole slaw? My guests plates looked similar. The waiters never offered bread or rolls which would have been good with my friends short ribs. These were out of town folks who wanted to go to a place that would be indicative of old Baltimore - not Harbor Place.
Sorry, but I won't go back anytime soon. The OWL is historic! Marvelously decorated in keeping" with the past.
I've been to the owl bar many times and never disappoints. Good food, good service! The food was very good. My server was polite, attentive and efficient. The resturant was to noisy for my preference. Great food, good portions, nice cider selection. Enjoyed the experience was over dressed but would return in jeans.
Baltimore street parking is always a challenge before 6 pm, yet I found a space close by and only had to pay the meter until 6 pm. One of the guests ordered the MD crab soup it was more like stewed tomatoes with a little crab meat. You can't mess up crab soup in Baltimore! Hoping it was just a glitch. I will return and recommend others do as well.
Red Owl Tavern
Made reservations for Monday night of restaurant week. We were disappointed that we were the only party seated in the outer dining area by the host stand. We did not have the atmosphere experience we expected nor were we offered the opportunity to wait for a table in the main bar area to open up after directly asking the host about it. Our service and food were outstanding!
This will be on our regular rotation when visiting Baltimore. Really loved the vibe! Our server had just started 2 days before but was excellent. My friend and I shared all three course during our restaurant week meal and I can say confidently the poutine was the crowd favorite. The dessert was pretty disappointing, but didn't take away from us wanting to come back. I can't wait to try them for happy hour; the specials looked great! Service is slow and food is fine, but nothing special. We had a large party so maybe that had something to do with it?
Still a great meal and a good value for the price. The restaurant week offerings were tasty and the ice cream dessert was delicious. Went for weekend dinner. Food all-around was serviceable. A couple very good cocktails--the pisco sour and barrel-aged old fashioned. And a great bread pudding. The old, dark, cozy pub vibe could be pretty great, but it's undermined by the choice to add cheap rotating colored lights.
My girlfriend and I really loved The Owl Bar. We went for Baltimore Restaurant Week, and we loved all three of the courses. We were particularly impressed by the sweet corn ice cream - who would've thought?
Our waiter, Jonathan, was great - very friendly and efficient. We'd definitely come again. Ambiance of Owl Bar has been consistently good for the occasional visit we make over the last 28 years. Good but so loud that conversation was not possible without shouting. The service and the food is always good, but it is noisy in that bar. Been here many times, but this last brunch was disappointing. We were attending an event at the Baltimore Symphony and chose the Owl Bar because it was within a short walking distance and because it was located in a historic hotel.
We enjoyed it very much.