Pub's big tickets: ambience, location

January 25, 1991|By Mike Giuliano

Penguin City Pub

Where: 25 South Broadway, Fells Point.

Hours: 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.

Menu: Pizza.

Credit cards: MC, V.

Call: 327-4778. Penguin City Pub takes its Antarctic namesake seriously. The penguin motif appears throughout the upper Fells Point bar, with images of penguins that have drinks in "hand." You can even imagine a thematic tie-in between the black-and-white penguins and the floor tiles of the same colors.

Still, one can't help wondering why anybody would name a pub after penguins when Fells Point is more renowned for its sea gulls. The answer is more idiosyncratic than logical.

It seems that Carlos D'Addario, who once ran Carlos' Cafe at this spot, had an accident that confined him to a wheelchair for a while. When he took his first tentative steps on his own, his kids -- who now own the business -- teased him that he waddled like a penguin. The name stuck to him and eventually to the pub.

The pub, however, seems neither fish nor fowl. There have been recent renovations -- the oval window-graced front door, for instance -- but some of the inside decor looks a bit the worse for wear. Likewise, the game room in back has a pool table among its sporting attractions, but could use more barroom games.

Still, the ambience is folksy enough and you can't kvetch about paying only $1.50 for bottled domestic beer. At those prices, a lot of us don't mind drinking American.

The pub serves only pizza now, but by this summer plans are to open up another back room and serve a sub shop-type menu.

What with the Johns Hopkins metro station being built several blocks to the north, the Penguin City Pub hopes that the combination of a subway station and submarine sandwiches will attract even more customers.

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