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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1209 South Charles Street
phone: (410) 727-1298
Reviews by johnmichaelsen:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
It's been several years since I last visited the Ropewalk. This is one of the older bars in the area (Federal Hill), a part of town where there tends to be a pretty high turnover of lame watering holes. The fact this place isn't lame probably has a lot to do with its longevity in the area.
Located on Charles Street, one doesn't really get an appreciation for the size of this place until you walk in. There are three full bars in this place; one in the back, one in the cozy bar area up front, and then a seperate area portrayed as an Irish pub called McFauls. Sort of an interesting idea and concept the latter.
For the most part, this beer bar is made up of brick and wood, and there's a definite nautical theme to the decorations. The ceiling in the back is pretty high, with plenty of tables and chairs located there and up front. There are also a couple of pool tables between the main bar area up front and the "Irish pub" area.
As others have noted, the selection here is no real great shakes, but it's better then your typical downtown bar. There were close to 20 different beers on tap (the Irish pub is the only place you'll find Beamish, Murphy's and Boddington, along with Guinness of course), which includes things like Stella, McHenry's amber, Yuengling and AB American ale, but which also includes Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada, Bass, Newcastle and Arrogant Bastard. Also, while the bottle selection is nothing to write home about, they did have things like Erdinger, 90 minute and Duvel.
As for service, I was surprised by how good it was. The young woman who waited on me (Paige I believe) was quick, attentive and pretty sharp. When I ordered my Duvel, instead of getting the expected "huh," she nodded, grabbed it right out of the cold box and brought it to me (with a pint glass, but hey, you can't have everything).
Didn't get the food, but it looked like your typical downtown Baltimore pub grub. That means wings, sliders, some sort of crab dip, etc. However, the Irish pub kitchen has a bit more interesting food selection, including fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, etc.
I should point out that one can drink pretty cheaply here during happy hour, which runs from opening till 5:00 on weekends and till 7:00 on week days.
I have to confess that the Federal Hill area is not my favorite part of Baltimore, and I came here pretty much expecting to be disappointed. However, at least on a quiet Sunday afternoon, this place was actually pretty good. They have quite a few flat screen TV's in the bar, so there's plenty of sports to watch while sippng one's beer and eating the pub grub. Portions here, by the way, are pretty good size so come with an appetite if you plan to eat here.
One last thing I would point out and emphasize, is that I came here during off hours. My understanding is that this place can get pretty crowded and wild at night, especially on weekends. Something to keep in mind when visiting.
03-02-2009 14:46:58 |
More by johnmichaelsen
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
I generally go here with my family on Sundays around 11 am unless there's a Ravens home game, the most recent time being 03 Oct 2010. I always enjoy the atmosphere here and with Dogfish 60 and Arrogant Bastard on tap, I've always been satisfied. The wings here are better than most and the service is generally good too. Another nice thing about this place is that it is packed with TVs to watch whatever games are on. This place won't give a magical beer experience, but it's a great place to suck back a few.
10-10-2010 04:27:14 |
More by brian26
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
It has been a couple years since I was at Ropewalk, so take this review with a grain of salt...
This place looks like the perfect destination to go if you're in a fraternity and want to impress your frat brothers. I have never been impressed by the gross majority of patrons drinking Miller Lite at this establishment (although the girls are still nice to look at).
As far as beer goes, you can get fancy and have a Honey Brown or a Blue Moon.
Granted, I'll take Ropewalk over TGIF's or Chilli's any day. I just wouldn't make it a priority if I were a beer lover passing through Baltimore...
07-27-2009 23:23:07 |
More by jgasparine
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Atmosphere: Like the rest of Federal Hill, it has really gone downhill on a beer and patronage scale over the last couple of years. The crowds in Federal Hill are younger and this place gets the frat boy spillover that cant cram into Mothers. Looks neat inside with nautical crap on the walls and an homage to Ronnie Reagan.
Quality: At least a dozen or two on tap, which change seasonally. They claim ~120 microbrews in bottle. To be honest, there appears to be a bunch of junk generally mixed in and most people dont seem to be ordering those beers. They do have a Masters in Beer Appreciation (MBA) that allows your name on a wall when you have 100. If you are a local, Id suggest throwing some love over to Mahaffeys instead. Cant think of anything besides a couple of macro micros being on tap here.
Service: Over the past couple of years hasnt stayed up with the quality once seen here. They dont appear to know the beers very well and may ignore you after they have to hit the fridge the first time around for you. The complete selection is never on the menu and they get pissy when you just don't order Bud Light and move on.
Food: Pub grub with the sandwiches and wings being a nice longer lunch to enjoy on this side of town. Nothing to write home about, but ample and well done.
09-18-2007 18:13:32 |
More by Umbra
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3
This was an amazingly atmospheric place, a huge old building with lots of wood and some wild cluttered stuff in the upper floors. Also they had the best music playing of any bar on my recent visit to Baltimore...Django Reinhardt and Elmore James within just a few minutes of each other! Quality...of the beers that I had, they seemed in good shape. Service was very attentive. The selection is the one thing I have to knock this bar down for. The draft list is small and not that great, but there are a lot of bottles. However, when you look at the actual list, it is not nearly as good at the quantity of bottles could've allowed. It's a shame, it has the possibility of being a great place. I will still check back any time I am in town, especially as it's a five minute walk from Sean Bolan's.
08-25-2004 04:23:47 |
More by saltydog
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Ropewalk is a beautiful tavern just 2 blocks south of Sean Bolan's (another great bar) and a few blocks up from the Cross Street Market. It's really nicely done and interesting to look at with an unfinished wood floor, tin ceiling with chandaliers, and old wooden bars. There are several bars, and equally important, several bathrooms! It's a pretty big place, and it's nicely seperated into different areas. The upstairs bar looks down on the pool room which has three tables. And there's foosball and Golden Tee available as well. There's a good selection of beers on tap, and many more in bottles. The food is basically bar food, but it's very good. Some memorable selections include crab dip $8.75, jalapeno poppers 5.75, wings in a wide variety of styles 6.75, burgers and chicken sandwiches 5.75-7.50, buffalo chicken wrap 6.75, shrimp salad sandwich 9.75, tavern crab cake 10.50 and seafood alfredo 14.00. The service is generally good, although it can get busy. And at times it's very college oriented. Overall, it's a great stop for a pint or two and some snacks after work, or with a bunch of friends for a night on the town. Well worth trying.
01-30-2004 13:51:35 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5
Wow has this place gone downhill. I was just at the Ropewalk yesterday and was quite disappointed. I have seen it steadily decline from a great place to meet friends, especially before a game. The service has been in decline but yesterday was non-existent and this was before a Ravens game! They had 2 servers working who knew absolutely nothing (not even what beers were on tap). She said they had an "evervescent" on tap and pointed to UFO Hefeweizen. The food was quite poor. French fries were pracitcally raw. They only let you order your burger one way to save time. The bottle selection, while it looks good in the fridge, is in reality 90% average stuff that overlaps bigtime. I ordered a St. Peter's Porter and was greeted with a perplexed look until I said "the one in the funny bottle" and that registered. When asked about the Octoberfest they had on tap they brought a glass and asked us to try it because it had gone flat the night before. HUH?? Who does that? I still like the decor in this place and its ok if you're out with a barhopping crowd, just beware that the clientelle is about 90% fratboys now.
<<<ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW>>>
This is one of my favorite bars in Federal Hill. Not nearly as good as Sean Bolans, but nothing to stick your nose up at either. The atmosphere can't be beat. The Ropewalk is in an old 18th or 19th century ship rigging warehouse. Old wooden floors, exposed beams and high ceilings dominate the place. There are 2 main bars and 2 smaller bars throughout the place and some pool tables in a central room with a very high ceiling. The tap selection is average, with Murphy's, Blue Moon, Anchor Steam, Harpoon, Sierra Nevada making up the bulk of whats worth drinking. The bottle selection is quite good, with over 100. The prices on the bottles are quite reasonable too. Most are 3.50, with a few coming in at 4-5 (mostly larger bottles or belgians). $5 for a belgian in a bar in my opinion isn't bad.
The food is excellent, but getting it can be a problem. I've never been in there when it wasn't real busy, but on a gameday with an average crowd it can take forever. The waitresses are usually not very friendly, but the management is. One time it took an extremely long time for us to get our food, and the manager comped the whole thing.
Ropewalk is a great place to come at night and have a few beers with your friends. Its not a place to sit down and quietly sip a few specialty beers, but rather a place to go with your friends where you can still drink some good brews.
12-10-2003 22:41:49 |
More by ChrisBowers
Ropewalk in Baltimore, MD