The Bedford Inn
Where: 6044 Harford Road, Hamilton.
Hours: 6 a.m.- 2 a.m. daily.
Menu: Sandwiches, burgers, soups, pizza.
Credit cards: Not accepted.
While the Inner Harbor glitz comes at a price, humble neighborhood bars are often easier on the recession-strained wallet.
The commercial strip of Harford Road in Hamilton, for example, has more than its share of unpretentious bars. Locals are so fiercely loyal to their favorite watering holes that visitors hailing from other parts of Baltimore might first be given the once-over reserved for alien life forms. Live-and-let-drink prevails, though.
If the glass brick front window of the Bedford Inn were fronting a harborside address, you'd think: Hmmm, another retro design statement. But up in neighborhoods like this it's simply the way such places have always looked.
The Bedford, which opens at 6 a.m., gets a breakfast crowdThere's also a daylong menu of sandwiches, burgers and soups, but that cuts off around 6 p.m. The bar recently has been drawing people with the free pit beef sandwiches served Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
There are plans to beef up the menu, which may result in some restaurant seating going in and some of the pool tables coming out, according to a bar employee. Actually, what most struck my tourist eye about the Bedford Inn were the regulars who sure knew their way around its four pool tables. If the lighting here seems too bright for most purposes, it does make it easier to get pool balls in the pockets.
Billiards and barrooms don't always make for the most peaceful of combinations, but the scene was fairly subdued on a recent visit. Of course, the posted game rules and regulations help ensure that the players remain gentlemen.