Getting a head start on post-game crowds

April 19, 1991|By Mike Giuliano

How could a sports bar ask for a better location? Sliders Bar and Grill is directly across the street from the Camden Yards stadium.

Those into technicalities will note that the new baseball stadium won't open for another year, but Sliders was so sure of its major league prospects that it opened last summer on this easternmost block of Washington Boulevard.

Sliders took over the site of a longtime neighborhood bar called Marty's Good Times Saloon, many of whose regulars worked at the factories and warehouses demolished to make way for the stadium.

"Marty's was a neighborhood place for guys to play cards, but we have changed that and are looking toward stadium business in the future," observes Sliders' co-owner Mike Taylor.

Although the knotty pine back bar is a holdover from the Marty's era, it is now topped by baseball caps representing the 26 major league teams. Other sporty touches include a wall mural depicting a sliding Oriole. On the promotional front, there are Orioles' ticket give-aways on Friday nights.

Mr. Taylor says the sports bar is still building up its collection of bats, photographs and other memorabilia. That's good to hear because this place could use a bit more sporting flavor.

Fans who like to comment on the team -- or other world affairs, for that matter -- are never shy about doing so from their bar stool perches. And at Sliders they may also leave their remarks on blackboards installed on the restroom walls. "We get lots of interesting drawings. People can write whatever they want," says Mr. Taylor, adding that erasing the board is much less of a hassle than scrubbing graffiti from the walls.

So far, the bar has been getting some sporting customers, but its real base seems to be the nearby University of Maryland professional schools. This means that in one ear you'll be hearing about Hoiles and Kilgus, while in the other you're hearing about tibia and femur.

In the offing at Sliders is a renovation of the second floor into an upstairs bar. This seems like good baseball strategy, because the smallish downstairs bar could only accommodate the teeniest fraction of 45,000 beer-thirsty O's fans.

Sliders Bar and Grill

Where: 504 Washington Blvd.

Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Mondays to Saturdays.

Menu: A light fare menu of soups, sandwiches, crab cakes and burgers. There is a raw bar Friday and Saturday nights.

Credit cards: Not accepted.

Call: 547-8891.

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