If Jerry's Belvedere Tavern is something of a night life fixture in Govans, at least some of the credit must be due to its crossroads location at York Road and Northern Parkway. Thousands of people drive by every day, and more than a few stop in.
It also doesn't hurt that Jerry's is one of those three-in-one operations -- package goods store, barroom and dining room -- ready to meet your needs of the moment.
But what probably accounts more than anything else for its steady pull is that it's one of those Baltimore taverns where the unpretentious-to-the-point-of-plain decor and the rib-sticking menu appeal to folks who want a no-fuss, no-nonsense night out.
When the decor amounts to several Hollywood movie posters casually hanging about like a what-the-heck afterthought, you know Jerry's is not exactly going for the glamour set. And when a tavern has daily specials like sour beef and dumplings, you know it's not exactly after the food trend crowd.
The regulars in the barroom at Jerry's like to settle in and watch sports on the two overhead TV screens. Mostly ranging in age JTC from their late 20s to their late 30s, they seem as if they've been at home here for a while.
Some may recall a decade or so ago when Jerry's catered to a rambunctious college clientele. What with the change in the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 and the timeless tendency of the young and the restless to congregate periodically at new watering holes, Jerry's no longer has the collegiate rep it once did.
"I'm glad I don't have the younger ones in here that I did before, so it's now quieter and less destructive," observes veteran owner Beatrice Rugolo, who comes across as an expert on young adult psychology. "Kids that age tear up the place, and whether they're happy or sad they need to prove something. Until a guy is 25 he thinks he has to prove he can get stinking drunk."
If she sounds like a mother talking, she is. In fact, she has two sons in their early 20s who took over operation of that Towson landmark, the Crease, last year.
Jerry's Belvedere Tavern
Where: 5928 York Road.
Hours: Open: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Menu: soups, sandwiches, burgers, veal and beef.
Credit Cards: Not accepted.
% Call: (410) 435-8600.