Harry A. Reynolds Jr., 72 Fells Point bar owner, dies


September 24, 1990|By Rafael Alvarez

Services for Harry Atkins Reynolds Jr., a Baltimore & Ohio railroad claims investigator who found local fame when he bought a small bar in Fells Point, will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Lilly & Zeiler funeral home, Eastern Avenue and Wolfe Street.

At 7:30 tonight there will be a public wake and memorial service for Mr. Reynolds in the Fells Point Square at the foot of Broadway.

Mr. Reynolds had a heart attack on the sidewalk in front of his house on South Ann Street Thursday night and died a short time later at Church Hospital. He was 72.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Reynolds graduated from McDonogh School in 1937. He joined the B&O shortly thereafter and had a long career with the railroad until 1975, interrupted by a stint as an Army freight router in England and France during World War II.

In 1972, before his railroad retirement, he bought a small tavern at 1718 Lancaster St. Known to insiders as "Harry's" -- a bar that drew strange and varied customers from around the world -- it was publicly identified by a black and white sign that, to this day, only says: BAR.

Occasionally Mr. Reynolds -- a political liberal who enjoyed a good, friendly argument -- would tape a napkin with his name on it to the front door to let people know they had found the place.

"Harry's," said one regular visitor from Sacramento, Calif., "was the damnedest melting pot I ever saw."

Mr. Reynolds, a large man who stocked the bar with his favorite jazz and classical albums and allowed patrons to bring in their own records for a listen, could usually be found inside his establishment in a rocking chair.

"He liked watching and listening to people," said a friend who once lived on the floor above the bar, which was notable for its lack of maintenance. "He'd just sit and listen to people talk and eventually they'd tell him what was really on their mind."

An aficionado of railroads and boats, Mr. Reynolds sold his bar in the mid-1980s and bought himself a 20-foot power boat in Hyannis Port, Mass. that was custom-made to resemble a small tugboat.

Called "Little Toot," the vessel is moored near the Hanover Street Bridge in South Baltimore.

Mr. Reynolds, an only child and lifelong bachelor, is survived by his first cousin, Richard G. Reese of Baltimore, and Irene Pula, a longtime companion who lived with him on Ann Street.

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