Howard Gerber


December 29, 2007

Howard Gerber has earned the freedom to let someone else worry about whether the beer is running low on New Year's Eve. Last year he sold his fabled Fells Point bar, the Horse You Came In On Saloon, a Thames Street landmark he'd owned since 1972.

He's now focusing on his criminal legal work. "My time is now spent in the courtroom," he said. "I don't get the bad guys. I don't do high-profile cases - maybe a little marijuana possession or assault."

When it seems appropriate, he said, he tries to get his clients into counseling.

"I fight for my clients," he said.

Born in Harrisburg, Pa., Gerber came to Baltimore as a young man and in the 1960s worked at the old Chanticleer and the Tom Foolery in Mount Vernon and at No Fish Today in Seton Hill on Eutaw Street. After buying the Horse, he found the time to complete his law school studies and went into practice in 1980.

He still keeps his eye focused on local nightlife.

"I don't go to as many clubs. The whole club scene has changed. It's about restaurants. I'm often at Kali's Court and Da Mimmo's," he said, adding that he plans to remain in Baltimore, while occasionally visiting his BMW-driving mother in Florida.

"Baltimore is one of the most unique cities in the world. I've stayed in Baltimore and I find myself becoming an enthusiastic tour guide proud of the city."

As to New Year's Eve, Gerber says, "I'm tempted to cook at home, but I get cabin fever a lot. It's nice going to other people's establishments and telling them how to run their bar."

Jacques Kelly

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