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Taps: 8 / Bottles: 48
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$ - inexpensive
[ Bar ]
16 West Main St
phone: (301) 689-9777
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
Meanwhile, in Frostburg, I went out for a beer and found Dantes on the strip of Main Street where east meets west. Across from a scary run down hotel described by some folks here as Stephen King's nursing home, this, the beacon in a sea of beaten, tired and old, or boarded up burnt out. Little bar in a college town in the way western Maryland panhandle, they just shouldn't have the beer here that they do but they do...
Shortly after 7 on a Monday my second week in and I'm the only one here as it's early yet for the college kids to have woken and boken before motivating. It's a deep, narrow place that used to be an elsething, with broken honeycomb tile floorings, ancient pressed tin ceiling painted black up high with spinning fans & chandelier drop lamps, and walls painted pale yellow below red uppers & some brick. Wall mounted lamps, light brewery signage and heavy local art throughout; large paintings, small paintings, some of it's quite good. Pinball machine in the front corner and art in the front windows; tap handles, whiskey boxes and large plush pepper pieces. Nice artsy steel coat rack and a single shelf with some bottles displayed, but they're all listed on the big board upfront.
A pieced together straightish wood bar seating 14 on roundie stools off to the left. In a nook under the stairs to somewhere else sits a recessed barback; a wood unit with shelved booze & glassware over mirrored backing above a marble top counter lined with some strung rope lighting. Martini glasses from a rack on the corner, a tap & bottle specials board with a cool little Mexican day of the dead framed box piece and an old b/w pic of this place from 1974 when it was the Fiorita town & country bar above, and baby bottle Alice White & Woodfield wines displayed on a rack down the way a bit.
An inaccessible dartboard toward the back of the room where performers set up and a pair of mounted angel wings mounted above. And down the hallway to a small back room with a single pool table, or through to the side room holding a larger forward stage and great media art for sale (Oh, if Pollack could see the pieces they've done with cassettes!), and access to a small outside seating area with a few tables there.
2 towers of 4 a piece on the bar but only 6 taps up just now (Smutty Summer Weisen, Bluepoint Rastafar Rye, Lancaster Shoofly Porter, Stoudts APA, Abita Turbodog, Yuengling). The Yuengling is $2, the Abita Turbodog $3, and everything else is $3.50. I caught my 1st pint at happy hour so my Shoofly was a big $2.50, which is just absurd.
And a bottled list with roughly 4 dozen selections, nearly ½ of them micros nearish (Troegs Hopback Amber & Sunshine Pils, DogFishHead 60 & 90 Minute IPA, Wild Goose Oatmeal Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Saranac Pomegranate Wheat & IPA, Magic Hat #9, Lucky Kat & Circus Boy), and far (Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale & Old Chub, North Coast Old Rasputin, Old Stock & Blue Star Wheat, Bear Republic Red Rocket & Racer 5, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, 21st Amendment IPA), and upwards of a dozen imports split between Belgian, English, German (Duvel, Chimay, Lindemans, Sam Smith, Ayinger) and an unusual emphasis on the Scottish beers (Craigmill Alba Scots Pine, Grozet Gooseberry, Fraoch Heather Ale, Ebulum Elderberry Ale & Orkney Skullsplitter). The remainder are macros & maltos.
With the kids back in school, they've seemed to go back to occupying all 8 taps, and they change up fairly regularly with the exception of the accidental Woodchuck Cider which they just couldn't give away. In the last 2 months, I've seen things come & go (Magic Hat Circus Boy, Troegs Hop Back, Pyramid Hefe, Bluepoint Hoptical Illusion, Anchor Steam, Wild Goose IPA, Sam Adams Octo). Last time out I was drinking Stone Smoked Porter pints on special for $2.50 (which did not suck) and last night I found that in my absence, I'd missed the Troegs event with the Dead Reckoning Porter firkin (yes, a firkin here in Frostburg, see that's what I've been trying to tell you), but they still had the Troegenator up; pints on special for $2.50. Had one, and then the Stone IPA and Smoked Porter and out. Oh, and hey, Smutty Old Brown Dog's on deck. Generally I'll stick with the taps but I've dealt a bottled Racer 5 or Hop Back in the mix here or there.
I go on Tuesdays now, Kenny 'tending with guitar in tow, playing some Nick Drake and Jango. It's jazz night, kind of. At least that's what Eric brings before open mic kicks in or not, although that one live Tom Waits show from '75 was the real deal. Last night, we listened to Blonde on Blonde. Sometimes, people actually perform. Amy's sister came and played guitar one week, and Amy herself did the same the next week. It's all good. A bit on the divey side, it's got some grit to it, sure, but they've got a good crowd of grown up regulars among college kid bars. And they've got beer tastings coming soon on Tuesdays, if I can remember to bring beer on Tuesdays.
09-30-2009 20:49:05 |
More by slander
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $
Visited on 8/30/08.
Dante's is an eclectic little bar and music venue on the main drag in the small college town of Frostburg, MD. I could technically be considered a hole-in-the-wall bar given its overall appearance, but once inside, it does have a certain charm that definitely appeals to the younger bar crowd. They also have a window box right as you walk in that showcases a variety of Troegs, Stone and Brooklyn tap handles as well as some beer memorabilia and band posters.
The main room features a long wooden bar that extends to the back of the room with steaing for about 16 or so. The room also boasts brick walls in some areas, and a high ceiling with antique black tin/metal tiles. Toward the back of the bar is a smaller room with a pool table and bathrooms. There is also a seperate room with a small stage that is utilized live entertainment on weekends, but they actually have a ping pong table that patrons can use when bands are not playing. There are a few scattered tables as well. Local artwork is on display throughout the entire establishment (including some extremely risque pieces).
As for the beer selection, it actually wans't too bad. They do have more than the four taps that Beerfly indicates. I think they had eight, but there was one that was off-line. When I was there, they had Troegs Rugged Trail, North Coast Red Seal, Magic Hat Circus Boy, Penn Dark Lager, Yuengling Lager, Guinness and I think one other macro selection. The Troegs was on special for only $2.50 a pint. They also had a pretty solid bottle selection including four Troegs selections, Victory Prima Pils and Hop Devil, multiple North Coast, Saranac and DFH selections, Chimay, Lindemans lambics and some other imports. I was surprised to see DFH 90min. for only $3.50 a bottle, which I thought was extremely reasonable. They had all of their draught and bottle selections on a chalkboard right at the front of the bar, with all of the prices clearly marked. Everything on tap was between $2 and $3.50. Most bottles were only $3. I don't think they have any food available, but it is non-smoking of course, so that's always nice. Bartender was friendly and knowledgeable about beer styles, so no complaints about service.
I'm not sure what else is in Frostburg as far as beer bars, but I did walk up and down the main drag and didn't really see anything other than your typical college swill-type bars. While Dante's is by no means an awesome beer bar, it does have a unique vibe, good people and a decent selection that has something for everyone. Best of all, their prices are extremely reasonable. So if you find yourself in this small college town, stop in and have a pint or two.
08-31-2008 18:33:08 |
More by ffejherb
Dante's in Frostburg, MD