The Annabel Lee Tavern in Highlandtown is designed as a whimsical shrine to Edgar Allan Poe and, by extension, a shout-out to Baltimore itself. Inside the narrow rowhouse, a candle flickers next to a drawing of the famed poet, and lines of his romantic, melancholy poetry are scrawled across the walls in large, looping letters.
But don't get the wrong idea. This corner tavern is not some gimmicky cobwebs-and-candles ode to Baltimore's favorite dead poet. Owner Kurt Bragunier was most recently manager at Brewer's Art, and he has brought a similarly high level of style and inventiveness to this much smaller space.